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[209] Allatoona Mountains, which we were now well out of, and the Pine Mountains (or Hills) where the rebels are now posted, is moderately level and occupied by farms, and the march went briskly on till about noon, when the advance had reached a point about seven miles below Ackworth, and discovered a few rebel skirmishers. Cruft's brigade, of Stanley's division, had the advance, and with the Thirty-first Indiana and parts of the Ninetieth Ohio and Twenty-first Illinois thrown out as skirmishers, the division advanced slowly, halting frequently to await the results of the skirmishing. The rebels were evidently few in number, and retired slowly before us, throwing back now and then a shot, as if to lure us into a trap. The experience of the army near Dallas had taught it caution, and they were not to be induced to throw themselves gratuitously upon works which the rebels had constructed at their leisure, and for that very purpose. Accordingly, as soon as we were within three-quarters of a mile of Pine Mountain, on top of which could be seen through the trees a line of rifle pits, and the rebels moving about among them, a final halt was called, and the men proceeded slowly to form themselves into line. The various brigades turned into the thick woods and began scrambling their way out to the right and left of the road. What bad places the rebels select for us to fight in I It is their prerogative, however, to choose their own ground, and they seem disposed to make the most of it. Giving up all hope of a victory over our forces, they are seeking to weary our army out, and thus bring the campaign to naught, by taking advantage of every favorable site for fortifying strongly, thus compelling us to do likewise and consume time. We must defend our point till the flanking can be got well under way, and by that time several days have been consumed, and when they find our forces beginning to come upon their sides, then they quietly withdraw to choose another position. This Pine Mountain is a single range of hills simply, running parrallel to the great mountain chains, north of it, but presents good facilities for impeding a march, being composed of separate summits which command the depths below, and the whole densely wooded.

In the afternoon a section of battery B, of the Second Pennsylvania artillery, was brought up, and threw a few shells wildly among the trees, without any effect whatever. The rebels did not prefer to disclose their lurking places. The only casualties of the day were one man, John F. Hoskins, Company F, Ninetieth Ohio, killed, and a member of the Twenty-first Illinois, slightly wounded. The firing was very scattering, and at long intervals. Early this morning the lines had been completed, and immense numbers of axes were then put in requisition, felling trees for the defences. Though the rebels had guns planted close, as they have shown during the day, and could have made much trouble among the swarming choppers, they remained silent. The day was spent in perfecting and consolidating the lines and completing the works, while the firing has been sparse, and almost entirely from the Union forces. Rain has fallen in torrents, and the wagons drag heavily; but trenches dig easily, and that is the main business on hand for several days. It is pretty safe to predict that there will be little fighting of consequence here — in front, at least.

The army was surprised and gladdened to-day, by the unfamiliar sound of the railway whistle, the first for many days. A train arrived in the afternoon, and pushed clear down to Big Shanty. We have rumors in camp to-night that a train of cars was blown up on the road between Kingston and Resaca, by a torpedo, and two cars shattered to pieces.

Napoleon says: “The frontiers of States are either large rivers, or chains of mountains, or deserts. Of all these obstacles to the march of an army, the most difficult to overcome is the desert; mountains come next, and broad rivers occupy the third place.” Although the Allatoona range did not present any serious obstacles in the matter of altitude or abruptness, yet they afforded many great advantages to an army obstinately bent on disputing the passage of another, and the adroitness with which these were overcome or evaded might escape. the reader who did not give special attention to the manner of it. General Johnson had had sufficient time after his defeat at Resaca to fortify himself strongly in the naturally very strong-position of Allatoona Gap, and, expecting that, our forces would follow him up by the line of the railroad, he confidently awaited their approach. You have already been informed of the very simple and obvious expedient by which he was wholly deceived, and the crossing of the. Etowah effected without loss. Finding that his opponent was well over the river and marching south by the Dallas Road, he hastily withdrew from the Gap and threw his forces before us as rapidly as possible. Hardee's corps arrived first and in time to throw up fortifications which would prevent us from passing more than two thirds of the way through the mountain range. He then advanced boldly beyond his intrenchments sufficient to threaten the passage of the Pumpkin Vine. General Hooker, who led the way, was able to get over the river but one division of his corps, before he encountered the rebels, but he attacked so impetuously with this that they were driven back, and the remainder of the army allowed to cross undisturbed. Two thirds of the way had thus been accomplished without sacrifice, simply by the flanking movement from Kingston. But a third of the distance yet remained to be passed, before the open country beyond could be reached. Accordingly, as soon as the lines were well formed and the strength of the rebel position had been tested, a slow but steady movement of the entire army to the left and east was begun, by drawing back cautiously, divisions and corps from their places

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