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[467] encouraged by the large accessions of strength which they saw arriving daily, and which they knew were marching rapidly to their support, were eager to advance and confident in their power to achieve victory and recover the territory which they had lost. Their position was such as to warrant the confident expectation of successful resistance at least. Long mountain ranges, penetrated by few and difficult roads and paths, and deep and wide rivers, seemed to render our position one from which we could not be dislodged or turned, while that of the enemy, dependent for his supplies upon a single line of railroad from Nashville to the point where he was operating, was manifestly perilous. The whole country shared the hope which the government entertained, that a decisive victory would soon be won in the mountains of Georgia, which would free the south and west from invasion, would open to our occupation and the support of our armies the productive territory of Tennessee and Kentucky, and so recruit our army in the west as to render it impracticable for the enemy to accumulate additional forces in Virginia.

On May 6th the Confederate forces were in position in and near Dalton, which point General Johnston believed that General Sherman would attack with his whole force. This belief seems to have been held by General Johnston until the evening of May 12th, when, having previously learned the proximity of the advance of Lieutenant General Polk's command, and that the rest of his troops were hurrying forward to reenforce him, but discovering that the main body of Sherman's army was moving round his left flank, via Snake-Creek Gap to Resaca, under cover of Rocky-Face Mountain, he withdrew his troops from Dalton and fell back on Resaca, situated on the Western and Atlantic Railroad, eighteen miles south of Dalton on a peninsula formed by the junction of the Oostenaula and Conasauga Rivers. The Confederate position at this place was strengthened by continuous rifle pits and strong field works, by which it was protected on the flanks on the above-named rivers, and a line of retreat across the Oostenaula secured. Information on May 15th, that the right of the Federal army was crossing the Oostenaula near Calhoun (four miles south of Resaca), thus threatening his line of communications, induced General Johnston to fall back from Resaca toward Adairsville, thirteen miles south on the railroad. General Johnston, in accounting for the abandonment of his strong position at Dalton, and of his subsequent position at Resaca, states that he was dislodged from the first position—that in front of Dalton—by General Sherman's movement to his right through Snake-Creek Gap,

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