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[326]

In the mean time Jackson had given information of General Sherman's march toward the bridges near Stilesboroa, and of the crossing of the leading Federal troops there on the 23d. In consequence of this intelligence, Lieutenant-General Hardee was ordered to march that afternoon, by New Hope Church, to the road leading from Stilesboroa, through Dallas, to Atlanta; and Lieutenant-General Polk to move to the same road, by a route farther to the left. Lieutenant-General Hood was instructed to follow Hardee on the 24th. Hardee's corps reached the point designated to him that afternoon; Polk's was within four or five miles of it to the east, and Hood's within four miles of New Hope Church, on the road to it from Alatoona. On the 25th the latter reached New Hope Church, early in the day. Intelligence was received from General Jackson's troops soon after, that the Federal army was near-its right at Dallas, and its line extending toward Alatoona.

Lieutenant-General Hood was immediately instructed to form his corps parallel with the road by which he had marched, and west of it, with the centre 1 opposite to the church; Lieutenant-General Polk to place his2 in line with it, on the left, and Lieutenant-General Hardee to occupy a ridge extending from the ground allotted to Polk's corps, across the road leading from Dallas toward Atlanta-his left division, Bate's, holding that road.

As soon as his troops were in position, Lieutenant-General Hood, to “develop the enemy,” sent forward

1 A road from Dallas to Marietta, passing by New Hope Church, at right angles to General Hood's line, was held in this way.

2 General Polk's corps was about five miles from this position.

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