The demonstration, commenced by the division on the eighth, was continued throughout the day, and almost continuously on the ninth, tenth, eleventh, and to noon of the twelfth, and although it was intended simply as a diversion, and was made with the skirmish line, a considerable number of casualties attest the vigor with which the demonstration against the rugged height was made. The impregnability of the enemy's position against a direct attack having become thoroughly patent during the afternoon and night of the eleventh, a movement was commenced by all the forces in front of the enemy, less the Fourth corps, to unite with the Army of the Tennessee, and pass to the south and rear of the enemy. Having discovered the withdrawal of our forces, the enemy, on the afternoon of the twelfth, commenced a counter-movement, the object of which was to turn our extreme left, then held by the cavalry under General Stoneman, and the Second division of the Fourth corps (General Newton's). The movement was early discovered by the signal-officers on the north-eastern point of the crest of Rocky-Face Ridge. General Newton reported his position as perilous, and asked for assistance. I immediately moved the First and Third brigades of the division to his support; but the reinforcement was not, in the end, needed, as the enemy after a bold display of force, and apparently initiating a movement which, if boldly pushed, might have seriously interfered with our plans, drew off without bringing matters to an issue. During the night of the twelfth, the enemy evacuated Buzzard's-Roost Pass, the crest of Rocky-Face, his defensive works on the roads east of the ridge, and at Dalton. Early on the morning of the thirteenth, I moved with the First and Third brigades, following the Second division into Dalton, by the roads east of Rocky-Face Ridge. The Second brigade followed the First division through Buzzard's-Roost Pass. Thus was the enemy forced from the first of the series of strong defensive positions which he had occupied to resist the progress of our arms into Georgia. Halting a brief time in Dalton to unite all its parts, the Fourth corps soon continued its march southward, and camped for the night several miles south of that place. The march of the day was made without any serious opposition. A few of the enemy's stragglers were picked up, and some light parties covering his retreat encountered. The forward movement was resumed early the morning of the fourteenth. A march of a few miles effected a junction between the Fourth corps and the remainder of our forces. It had been discovered that the enemy had occupied a strongly-intrenched position in the vicinity of, and north-west of Resaca. Dispositions were at once made to attack. The First and Second brigades of my division were deployed in order of battle in two lines, the former on the right, the latter on the left. The Third brigade was placed in reserve. Thus arranged, at the order, the line gradually advanced. By the contraction of our entire front, as it closed on the enemy's position, the First brigade of my division was forced out of line, and took position, immediately in rear, but following up the movement. In the advance, the Second brigade soon encountered the enemy's front line, which was rudely barricaded with logs and rails. This was handsomely carried, and the brigade pushed boldly on until it confronted, at not more than two hundred and fifty yards' distance, the enemy's second and far more strongly-intrenched line. It was problematical whether this line could be carried by even the most determined assault, such was its natural and artificial strength. The assaulting force would have been compelled to pass for two hundred and fifty yards over an open field, without the slightest cover, exposed to the most deadly and galling direct and cross-fire of artillery and musketry. To hold out the least hope of a successful assault, it was necessary that it should be made simultaneously throughout the lines. With a view to making necessary dispositions, the Second brigade was halted; and to guard it against the dangerous consequence of a counter-attack in force (such as fell the same afternoon on a brigade of another division of the corps), its front was at once strongly but rudely barricaded. About four P. M., I received an order from Major-General Thomas, commanding the Army of the Cumberland, to relieve the brigade of Colonel Reilly, of General Cox's division of the Twenty-third Army Corps. This was promptly executed by the First brigade, General Willich's, of my division. This disposition brought the First brigade into line, immediately on the right of the Second brigade, and in like proximity to the strongly-intrenched positions of the enemy. The brigade immediately barricaded its front securely. The Third brigade remained in reserve in an intrenched position, whence it could afford support to the front, as well as check-mate any movement of the enemy to swing into our rear by turning our extreme left. This position was maintained during the remainder of the afternoon; good roads were cut to the ammunition train in rear, and a fresh supply of ammunition brought to the front. Early in the morning of the fifteenth, an order was received for a grand advance of the whole line at eight A. M. The two brigades in line were at once instructed to be fully prepared for the movement, but the order for it never came. Late in the forenoon, intimation was received from Major-General Howard, commanding the Fourth corps, that an attack was to be made on the extreme right of the enemy's position, by the Twentieth corps, accompanied by an order to observe closely its effect on the enemy's centre, nearly opposite to which the First and Second brigades were posted, and if any weakening or shaking of his lines was observed, to attack
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Table of Contents:
Doc . 16 . operations in Tennessee .
Doc . 19 . the siege of Suffolk, Virginia .
Doc . 36 . General Rousseau 's expedition.
Doc . 59 . battles of Spottsylvania , Va: battle of Sunday , May 8 , 1864 .
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