share in the battle, but I directed the Twenty-third corps, Brigadier-General Cox commanding, to move rapidly from the base of Kenesaw, due west, aiming to reach the road from Allatoona to Dallas, threatening the rear of the forces attacking Allatoona. I succeeded in getting a signal message to General Corse during his fight, notifying him of my presence. The defence of Allatoona by General Corse was admirably conducted, and the enemy repulsed with heavy slaughter. His description of the defence is so graphic, that it leaves nothing for me to add; and the movement of General Cox had the desired effect of causing the withdrawal of French's division rapidly in the direction of Dallas. On the sixth and seventh, I pushed my cavalry well toward Burnt Hickory and Dallas, and discovered that the enemy had moved westward, and inferred that he would attempt to break our railroad again in the neighborhood of Kingston. Accordingly, on the morning of the eighth, I put the army in motion through Allatoona Pass to Kingston, reaching that point on the tenth. There I learned that the enemy had feigned on Rome, and was passing the Coosa River on a pontoon-bridge about eleven miles below Rome. I therefore, on the eleventh, moved to Rome, and pushed Garrard's cavalry and the Twenty-third corps, under General Cox, across the Oostenaula, to threaten the flanks of the enemy passing north. Garrard's cavalry drove a cavalry brigade of the enemy to and beyond the Narrows, leading into the valley of the Chattooga, capturing two field-pieces and taking some prisoners. The enemy had moved with great rapidity, and made his appearance at Resaca; and Hood had in person demanded its surrender. I had from Kingston reinforced Resaca by two regiments of the army of the Tennessee. I at first intended to move the army into the Chattooga valley, to interpose between the enemy and his line of retreat down the Coosa, but feared that General Hood would, in that event, turn eastward by Spring Place, and down the Federal Road, and therefore moved against him at Resaca. Colonel Weaver, at Resaca, afterward reenforced by General Raum's brigade, had repulsed the enemy from Resaca, but he had succeeded in breaking the railroad from Tilton to Dalton, and as far north as the Tunnel. Arriving at Resaca on the evening of the fourteenth, I determined to strike Hood in flank, or force him to battle, and directed the army of the Tennessee, General Howard, to move to Snake Creek Gap, which was held. by the enemy, whilst General Stanley, with the Fourth and Fourteenth corps, moved by Tilton across the mountains to the rear of Snake Creek Gap, in the neighborhood of Villanow. The army of the Tennessee found the enemy occupying our old lines in the Snake Creek Gap, and on the fifteenth skirmished for the purpose of holding him there until Stanley could get to his rear. But the enemy gave way about noon, and was followed through the Gap, escaping before General Stanley had reached the further end of the Pass. The next day, the sixteenth, the armies moved directly toward La Fayette, with a view to cut off Hood's retreat. We found him intrenched in Ship's Gap, but the leading division (Wood's) of the Fifteenth corps rapidly carried the advanced posts held by two companies of a South-Carolina regiment, making them prisoners. The remaining eight companies escaped to the main body near Lafayette. The next morning we passed over into the valley of the Chattooga, the army of the Tennessee moving in pursuit by La Fayette and Alpine, toward Blue Pond; the army of the Cumberland by Summerville and Melville Post-Office to Gaylesville; and the army of the Ohio and Garrard's cavalry from Villanow, Dirttown Valley, and Goover's Gap to Gaylesville. Hood, however, was little encumbered with trains, and marched with great rapidity, and had succeeded in getting into the narrow gorge formed by the Lookout Range abutting against the Coosa River, in the neighbor-hood of Gadsden. He evidently wanted to avoid a fight. On the nineteenth, all the armies were grouped about Gaylesville, in the rich valley of the Chattooga, abounding in corn and meat, and I determined to pause in my pursuit of the enemy, to watch his movements and live on the country. I hoped that flood would turn toward Guntersville and Bridgeport. The army of the Tennessee was posted near Little River, with instructions to feel forward in support of the cavalry, which was ordered to watch Hood in the neighborhood of Wills's Valley, and to give me the earliest notice possible of his turning northward. The army of the Ohio was posted at Cedar Bluff, with orders to lay a pontoon across the Coosa, and to feel forward to centre, and down in the direction of Blue Mountain. The army of the Cumberland was held in reserve at Gaylesville and all the troops were instructed to draw heavily for supplies from the surrounding country. In the mean time communications were opened to Rome, and a heavy force set to work in repairing the damages done to our railroads. Atlanta was abundantly supplied with provisions, but forage was scarce; and General Slocum was instructed to send strong foraging parties out in the direction of South River, and collect all the corn and fodder possible, and to put his own trains in good condition for further service. Hood's movements and strategy had demonstrated that he had an army capable of endangering at all times my communications, but unable to meet me in open fight. To follow him would simply amount to being decoyed away from Georgia, with little prospect of overtaking and over-whelming him. To remain on the defensive, would have been bad policy for an army of so great value as the one I then commanded; and I was forced to adopt a course more fruitful in results than the naked one of following him to the South-West. I had previously submitted to the Commander-in-Chief a general plan, which amounted substantially to the destruction of Atlanta and the railroad back to Chattanooga,
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Foreign accounts of the fight.
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