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The next stand of our army was at Alatoona, in the Etowah Mountains, south of the river of that name; the reported extension of the Federal army toward Dallas, threatening Marietta, was deemed to necessitate the evacuation of that strong position. The country between Dallas and Marietta, eighteen miles wide, and lying in a due westerly direction from the latter place, constitutes a natural fortress of exceptional strength. Densely wooded, traversed by ranges of steep hills, seamed at intervals by ravines both deep and rugged, with very few roads, and those ill constructed and almost impassable to wheels, it is difficult to imagine a country better adapted for defense, where the advantages of numerical superiority in an invading army were more thoroughly neutralized, or where, necessarily ignorant of the topography, it was compelled to advance with greater caution.

The engagements at New Hope Church, June 27th and 28th, though severe and marked by many acts of gallantry, did not result in any advantage to our army. Falling back slowly as the enemy advanced to Acworth (June 8th), General Johnston made his next stand in that mountainous country that lies between Acworth and Marietta, remarkable for the three clearly defined eminences: Kenesaw Mountain, to the west of the railroad, and overlooking Marietta; Lost Mountain, half-way between Kenesaw and Dallas, and west of Marietta; and Pine Mountain, about half a mile farther to the north, forming, as it were, the apex of a triangle, of which Kenesaw and Lost Mountains form the base. These heights are connected by ranges of lower heights, intersected by numerous ravines, and thickly wooded. The right of our army rested on the railroad, the line extending four or five miles in a westerly direction, protected by strong earthworks, with abatis on every avenue of approach. While the enemy, feeling his way slowly, was skirmishing on the right of our position, our army, our country, and mankind at large, sustained an irreparable loss on June 13th in the death of that noble Christian and soldier, Lieutenant General Polk. Having accompanied Generals Johnston and Hardee to the Confederate outpost on Pine Mountain, in order to acquaint himself more thoroughly with the nature of the ground in front of the position held by his corps, he was killed by a shot from a Federal battery six or seven hundred yards distant, which struck him in the chest, passing from left to right. Since the calamitous fall of General Albert Sidney Johnston at Shiloh and of General T. J. Jackson at Chancellorsville, the country sustained no heavier blow than in the death of General Polk.

On June 18th, heavy rains having swollen Nose's Creek on the left of

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