Late September 1864:
Sherman has fortified Atlanta extensively and has started to build up supplies and rest his troops. The Confederates are not sitting idle, and Hood has ordered all the Federal prisoners kept at Andersonville to be moved to different prisons out of the reach of Sherman’s forces. Hood then shifts his Army from Love Joy’s Station to Palmetto, which lies along the railroad to West Point and further into Alabama. Hood is resting his troops, building up supplies and making plans for a move to the north to attack Sherman’s supply line.
Confederate President Davis arrives in Palmetto on September 25th. The next morning he begins a review of the troops and is greeted with silence, not cheers for their President. A few soldiers yell out to the President asking for General Johnston to be place back in command, but these remarks fall upon deaf ears. Bringing Johnston back would be like admitting that he made a mistake in removing him.
On the 27th, Davis meets will Hood and all his Corps Commanders and some of the Divisional Commanders. A great deal is discussed including a plan to strike Sherman’s supply and communications lines north of Atlanta, there by cutting him off and forcing him to retreat back to Tennessee, all the while being engaged by Hood. Hood then thinks he can move on the Federals in Tennessee and turn the tide of the war in the western theater and possibly as a whole. Hood also complains to Davis about General Hardee and blames the loss at Jonesboro on him. He ask Davis to remove him. Davis agrees and Hardee readily accepts the offer to command the coastal defenses of Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida. Hardee is relieved to be out from under Hood’s command. On the 28th, Hood receives word from Davis that he may move forward with his plans to on North.
On September 29th and 30th, the Confederate Army of Tennessee begins their next march and crosses the Chattahoochee River near Palmetto and Campbellton with about 40,000 troops. By late in the evening of October 1st, Hoods army has moved about 8 miles from the river crossing in the direction of Marietta. Sherman, who had anticipated this move to the north by Hood a week earlier, had already sent troops to Rome and Chattanooga to help protect those areas from the threat of Hood and from the threat of General Nathan Bedford Forrest, who cavalry that has started operating in the northern part of Alabama and into Tennessee.