army constructed some field-works at Resaca
for the protection of the bridges there, and three very rough country roads from Dalton
were converted into good ones.
In the spring the works there were considerably enlarged.
On the 5th of May, the Federal
army was in order of battle three or four miles in front of Tunnel Hill
On the 6th, it approached Tunnel Hill
; on the 7th, drove our advanced guard from that place, and placed itself, in the afternoon, near and parallel to Rocky Face
, its right some distance below Mill Creek gap.
On pages 32, 33, 34, and 35, General Sherman
describes the operations of the 8th, 9th, and 10th, except the very sharp fighting.
In his report, that of the 9th is characterized as almost a battle (see page 14). In these engagements the Confederates
, who were completely sheltered by intrenchments, had almost no loss; but the Federal
troops, standing on open ground and in great numbers, suffered very severely.
On page 34, General Sherman
claims to have surprised Johnston
, by McPherson
's arrival before Resaca
on the 9th; forgetting, apparently, that his approach was discovered on the 8th (see his report, page 14), and that the place was found well prepared for defense, being held not by “one small brigade,” as he supposed, but by a division-so intrenched as to be able to maintain itself a full day, at least.
So if McPherson
had attacked on the 9th, according to General Sherman
's plan, Resaca
could easily have been held against him until next morning, when the army, having left Dalton
the night before, without the enemy's knowledge, would be ready to fall upon him from the rear, while holding his line of retreat.
With twice his number on one side, and Resaca
on the other, he could not have escaped.
If the other course, suggested for McPherson
by General Sherman
, had been taken — that of “placing his whole force astride the railroad above Resaca
must have marched against and assailed him in the same manner, with the same advantages.
Either course suggested, taken by McPherson
, would have compelled Johnston
to attack him, and with such advantages of numbers and position as to secure his destruction.
We never found it difficult to leave the presence of the Federal
army at night without its knowledge.
The retreat to the east, which General Sherman
supposed that the Confederates
would have attempted, was impossible.
But even if it had been easy, they could not have hesitated to attack the Army of the Tennessee, in either of the cases supposed-opportunities for armies to fight detachments of half their strength are rarely offered in war.
is mistaken in the opinion, appearing both in