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[108] and was divided into two corps, under the respective commands of Generals John B. Hood and William J. Hardee. But General Polk was on his way to join them, and in a few days Johnston had in the neighborhood of seventy thousand men. His position at Dalton was too strong to be carried by a front attack, and Sherman was too wise to attempt it. Leaving Thomas and Schofield to make a feint at Johnston's front, Sherman sent McPherson on a flanking movement by the right to occupy Snake Creek Gap, a mountain pass near Resaca, which is about eighteen miles below Dalton.

Sherman, with the main part of the army, soon occupied Tunnel Hill, which faces Rocky Face Ridge, an eastern range of the Cumberland Mountains, north of Dalton, on which a large part of Johnston's army was posted. The Federal leader had little or no hope of dislodging his great antagonist from this impregnable position, fortified by rocks and cliffs which no army could scale while under fire. But he ordered that demonstrations be made at several places, especially at a pass known as Rocky Face Gap. This was done with great spirit and bravery, the men clambering over rocks and across ravines in the face of showers of bullets and even of masses of stone hurled down from the heights above them. On the whole they won but little advantage.

During the 8th and 9th of May, these operations were continued, the Federals making but little impression on the Confederate stronghold. Meanwhile, on the Dalton road there was a sharp cavalry fight, the Federal commander, General E. M. McCook, having encountered General Wheeler. McCook's advance brigade under Colonel La Grange was defeated and La Grange was made prisoner.

Sherman's chief object in these demonstrations, it will be seen, was so to engage Johnston as to prevent his intercepting McPherson in the latter's movement upon Resaca. In this Sherman was successful, and by the 11th he was giving his whole energy to moving the remainder of his forces by the

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