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[457] not coming up to their highest standard, is a harsh judgment. If the troops1 enumerated by General Bragg had reinforced the army at Dalton, the President might have had a right to hope for such a victory as would have opened the way for us into Middle Tennessee. But as the case actually was-odds of almost three to one against that army-he had no reason to entertain such a hope. If the writer was informed of opportunities “refused” by me, he should have named them. As he has not done so, I have a right to claim that he knew of none. If the Federal general gave us favorable opportunities to attack him, they were discovered by no one in our army. We neither occupied nor saw positions almost impregnable. None such are to be found between Dalton and Atlanta. Wherever the two armies confronted each other, the ground occupied by one was as favorable for defense as that held by the other. Both armies depended on intrenchments; not on the natural strength of their positions. General Sherman never extended his flanks in the manner described. As we were able to hold our intrenchments against his greatly superior forces, it was evident that we could not attack those forces in fieldworks equally strong, with reasonable chances of success. We were compelled to abandon Dalton, not by the extension of a flank, but by the march of the Federal army itself toward Resaca — that march being completely covered by the mountain, Rocky-Face. And at Resaca, after intrenching his army so strongly as to make it secure from assault, General Sherman availed himself of the course of the

1 See page 293.

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