On the fifth of May this army was in line between Ringgold and Tunnel Hill, and after skirmishing on that and the following day, on the seventh pressed back our advanced troops to Mill Creek Gap. On the same day Canty reached Resaca with his brigade, and was halted there. On the eighth, at 4 P. M., a division of Hooker's corps assaulted Dug Gap, which was bravely held by two regiments of Reynolds' Arkansas brigade, and Grigsby's brigade of Kentucky cavalry fighting on foot, until the arrival of Lieutenant-General Hardee with Granbury's brigade, when the enemy was put to flight. On the ninth five assaults were made on Lieutenant-General Hood's troops on Rocky Face Mountain. They were repulsed. In the afternoon a report was received that Logan's and Dodge's corps were in Snake Greek Gap. Three divisions under Lieutenant-General Hood were therefore sent to Resaca. On the tenth Lieutenant-General Hood reported the enemy retiring. Skirmishing to our advantage continued all day near Dalton. Major-General Bates repulsed a vigorous attack at night. On the eleventh Brigadier-General Canty reported that the enemy was again approaching Resaca. Lieutenant-General Polk arrived in the evening with Loring's division, and was instructed to defend the place with those troops and Canty's. The usual skirmishing continued near Dalton. Rocky Face Mountain, and Snake Creek Gap, at its south end, completely covered for the enemy the operation of burning Dalton. On the 12th the Federal army, covered by the mountain, moved by Snake Creek Gap towards Resaca. Major-General Wheeler, with 2,200 of ours, attacked and defeated more than double that number of Federal cavalry near Varnell's Station. At night our artillery and infantry marched for Resaca. The cavalry followed on the thirteenth. On that day the enemy approaching on the Snake Creek Gap road, was checked by Loring's troops, which gave time for the formation of Hardee's and Hood's corps, just arriving. As the army was formed, the left of Polk's corps was on the Oostanaula, and the right of Hood's on the Connasauga. There was brisk skirmishing during the afternoon on Polk's front and Hardee's left. On the fourteenth the enemy made several attacks — the most vigorous on Hindman's division (Hood's left). All were handsomely repulsed. At six P. M. Hood advanced with Stevenson's and Stewart's divisions, supported by two of Walker's brigades, driving the enemy from his ground before night. He was instructed to be ready to continue the offensive next morning. At nine P. M. I learned that Lieutenant-General Polk's troops had lost a position commanding our bridges, and received from Major-General Martin a report that Federal infantry was crossing the Oostanaula near Calhoun, on a pontoon bridge. The instructions to Lieutenant-General Hood were revoked, and Walker's division sent to the point named by Major-General Martin. On the fifteenth there was severe skirmishing on the whole front. Major-General Walker reported no movement near Calhoun, Lieutenant-General Hood was directed to prepare to move forward, his right leading, supported by two brigades from Polk's and Hardee's corps. When he was about to move, information came from Major-General Walker that the Federal right was crossing the river. To meet this movement Lieutenant-General Hood's attack was countermanded. Stewart's division not receiving the order from corps headquarters in time, attacked unsuccessfully. The army was ordered to cross the Oostanaula that night, destroying the bridges behind it. On the sixteenth the enemy crossed the Oostanaula. Lieutenant-General Hardee skirmished with them successfully near Calhoun. The fact that a part of Polk's troops were still in the rear, and the great numerical superiority of the Federal army, made it expedient to risk battle only when the position or some blunder on the part of the enemy might give us counterbalancing advantages. I therefore determined to fall back slowly, until circumstances should put the chances of battle in our favor — keeping so near the United States army as to prevent its sending reinforcements to Grant — and hoping, by taking advantage of positions and opportunities, to reduce the odds against us by partial engagements. I also expected it to be materially reduced before the end of June, by the expiration of the terms of service of many of the regiments which had not re-enlisted. In this way we fell back to Cassville, in two marches. At Adairsville, about midday on the seventeenth, Polk's cavalry, under Brigaadier-General Jackson, met the army, and Hardee, after severe skirmishing, checked the enemy. At this point, on the eighteenth, Polk's and Hood's corps took the direct road to Cassville — Hardee's that by Kingston. About half the Federal army took each road. French's division having joined Polk's corps on the eighteenth, on the morning of the nineteenth, when half the Federal army was near Kingston, the two corps at Cassville were ordered to advance against the troops that had followed them from Adairsville — Hood's leading on the right. When this corps had advanced some two miles, one of his staff officers reported to Lieutenant-General Hood that the enemy was approaching on the Canton road in rear of the right of our original position. He drew back his troops and formed them across that road. When it was discovered that the officer was mistaken the opportunity had passed, by the near approach of the two portions of the Federal army. Expecting to be attacked, I drew up the troops in what seemed to me an excellent position — a bold ridge immediately in the rear of Cassville, with an open valley before it. The fire of the enemy's artillery commenced soon after the troops were formed, and continued until night. Soon after dark Lieutenant-Generals Polk and Hood together expressed to
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Doc . 62 .-Hoisting the Black flag — official correspondence and reports.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.