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[640] that Hood, after making a feint on Rome, had moved 11 miles down the Coosa and was passing that river on a pontoon-bridge: Sherman followed to Rome,1 and dispatched thence Gen. Cox's division and Garrard's cavalry across tle Oostenaula to harass the right flank of the enemy, as he moved northward. Garrard chased a brigade of Rebel cavalry toward the Chattooga, capturing 2 guns.

Hood, moving rapidly, had by this time appeared before Resaca, summoning it; but Sherman had reenforced it with two regiments, and Col. Weaver had held it firmly, repulsing the enemy; who had moved up the railroad through Tilton and Dalton, destroying it so far as the Tunnel. Sherman, on reaching Resaca,2 was evidently puzzled to divine what his adversary meant in thus employing the second army of the Confederacy on a raiding expedition, but resolved to strike him in flank and force him to fight a battle. Accordingly, Howard was impelled westward to Snake creek gap, where he was to skirmish and hold the enemy, while Stanley, with the 4th and 14th corps, moved from Tilton on Villanow, with intent to gain Hood's rear.

But Hood had other plans; so Howard encountered no solid resistance at the gap, but had pressed through it by noon, before Stanley had time to gain its rear. Our army was then directed on Lafayette, expecting thus to get into the enemy's rear; but Hood had evidently been cured of his voracious appetite for fighting, and, having very scanty trains, was far too light-footed to be caught. He nimbly evaded Sherman, slipping around his front, and, moving by his left, was soon out of reach; Sherman halting3 in the vicinity of Gaylesville, Alabama, and feeling in various directions for his vanished foe.

After the lapse of a week, he was satisfied that his adversary, as if intent on drawing him out of Georgia at all events, had crossed Sand mountain, and was making for the Tennessee. Sherman refused to follow an enemy who would not fight, whom he could not overtake, and who might be able to lead him a profitless wild-goose-chase for months. He detached Stanley, with his (4th) corps, and Schofield, with the 23d, with orders to march to Chattanooga, and thence report to Thomas at Nashville; most of the cavalry, under Wilson, being given similar orders. A single division, under Kilpatrick, was reserved for operations in Georgia.

To Thomas was confided the defense of Tennessee, with unlimited discretion as to the use of his resources. A. J. Smith, then on his way from hunting Price out of Missouri, was ordered to report to him. Sherman had of course a full understanding with him, as well as with Grant, as to his plans. Hood's army, he advised them, now consisted of about 35,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry; and he did not turn his back again on Tennessee until assured that Thomas was strong enough to hold it. And now, learning that Hood, after a feint on Decatur, had passed on to Tuscumbia and laid a pontoon-bridge across the river to Florence, Sherman turned his face southward, and, gathering up all his garrisons

1 Oct. 11.

2 Oct. 14.

3 Oct. 19.

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