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[316] States army was not unknown to the Confederates. We had examined the country very minutely; and learned its character thoroughly. We could calculate with sufficient accuracy, therefore, the time that would be required for the march of so great an army from Tunnel Hill to Resaca, through the long defile of Snake-Creek Gap, and by the single road beyond that pass. We knew also in how many hours our comparatively small force, moving without baggage-trains and in three columns, on roads made good by us, would reach the same point from Dalton.

Our course in remaining at Dalton until the night of the 12th was based on such calculations, and the additional consideration that the single road available to the Federal army was closed at Resaca by our intrenched camp. On the 9th of May, when that camp was defended by two brigades, Major-General McPherson, a skillful engineer as well as able general, thought it β€œtoo strong to be carried by assault by the Army of the Tennessee,” led by him. On the 11th, when General Sherman's march toward Snake-Creek Gap was begun, the place was much more formidable. The defenses had been improved, and the number of defenders increased from two to thirteen brigades,1 so that on the 11th and 12th its strength, compared with that of the entire Federal army, was much greater than it had been on the 9th, compared with that of the Army of the Tennessee, so that we had no reasonable ground to apprehend that we might be intercepted β€” cut off from our base β€” by this manoeuvre.

It is true that we did not know certainly, on the

1 Including those of Calhoun and Walker, six miles off.

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