11th, that the main body of the United States forces had moved from their camps about Tunnel Hill
and Mill-Creek Gap, and our five divisions near Dalton
were kept in their positions in the lingering hope of a strong assault upon them.
It was easy to march to Resaca
in the night of the 12th, if necessary; and it was certain that the Federal
army could not reach that point so soon; consequently there was no serious danger in the course pursued.
The disposition of the Confederate army about Dalton
was predicated on the belief that the Federal
general would attack it there with his whole force.
For that reason its entire strength was concentrated there, and the protection of its communications left to Lieutenant-General Polk
's troops, then on their way from Alabama
to join us. I supposed, from General Sherman
's great superiority of numbers, that he intended to decide the contest by a battle, and that he would make that battle as near his own and as far from our base as possible — that is to say, at Dalton
On general principles, that was his true policy.
It is evident that he did not so act, because he thought as I did-that, in the event of his assailing us, the chances would have been very strong in our favor.
My own operations, then and subsequently, were determined by the relative forces of the armies, and a higher estimate of the Northern
soldiers than our Southern editors and politicians were accustomed to express, or even the Administration seemed to entertain.
This opinion had been formed in much service with them against Indians
, and four or five battles in Mexico-such actions, at least, as were then called