Throughout Sherman's Atlanta Campaign Johnston placed the highest goal on the preservation of his army while it kept the enemy away from Atlanta. He understood that to attack Sherman's superior lines would result in a Confederate disaster. Therefore, he conducted a very cautious and defensive campaign, drawing the Federal army further and further from its supply base. Handling his army admirably, he succeeded in slowing the Union advance and inflicting heavier losses on the enemy than his own army sustained.
In obedience to orders of the War Department, I turn over to General Hood the command of the Army and Department of Tennessee. I cannot leave this noble army without expressing my admiration of the high military qualities it has displayed. A long and arduous campaign has made conspicuous every soldierly virtue, endurance of toil, obedience to orders, brilliant courage. The enemy has never attacked but to be repulsed and severely punished. You, soldiers, have never argued but from your courage, and never counted your foes. No longer your leader, I will still watch your career, and will rejoice in your victories. To one and all I offer assurances of my friendship, and bid an affectionate farewell.