in front of Dalton
, by General Sherman
's movement to his right through Snake-Creek Gap, threatening our line of communications at Resaca
; and from the position taken at Resaca
to meet that movement, by a similar one on the part of the Federal
general toward Calhoun
— the second being covered by the river, as the first had been by the mountain.
In both cases, the great numerical superiority of almost three to one enabled him, with little risk, to avail himself of the features of the country, which covered such manoeuvres.
The only mode of preventing these operations would have been to defeat the Federal
army in its position in front of Tunnel Hill
on the 5th.
But at that time there were two arguments against such an attempt by us : one, that, in the event of an attack by us, the greater strength of the enemy would have made the chances of battle decidedly against us, and the consequences of defeat would have been disastrous; the other, that the position of the Federal
army indicated clearly the purpose of assailing us. And there was no reasonable doubt of the ability of the Confederate forces to maintain themselves in the position selected for them, and prepared by them, against three times their number.
In his report, General Sherman
expresses the opinion that nothing saved the Confederate army from the effects of his first manoeuvre “but the impracticable nature of the country, which made the passage of the troops across the valley almost impossible.”
This obstacle to a rapid march by the United