previous next

[34] and the Seventh Iowa. They moved straight up to the ridge from which the rebels opened on us in the advance. The enemy, unsupported by infantry of any number or importance, hurriedly vacated the summit, and carried with them the little howitzers.

Sweeping around the Resacca road, the column moved forward toward the gap, through which leads the wagon road to the town. Just to the left of the road stands a bald knob, from which the rebel artillery again opened, but which the industry and skill of our sharpshooters compelled the enemy to leave. The knob was then possessed, and the enemy, with a few pieces from the forts near the town, thundered away until nightfall.

General Dodge did not regard his flanks as sufficiently protected to warrant an attempt to possess the town, or even to remain and hold the heights, and he retired under cover of the night to the main force at Snake Creek Gap, where, by this time, Logan's Fifteenth corps was rapidly arriving.

To whose account must be credited a woful failure I shall not determine. That some one is censurable for our failure to cut the railroad at and hold Resacca there seems to me to be no manner of doubt.

Operations on the twelfth.

In obedience to orders from the General commanding, this morning, cool and pleasant, with excellent roads, the Fourteenth corps moves from Buzzard Roost, and following the Twentieth, hurries forward to Snake Creek Gap.

While this concentration of the armies is going on, Kilpatrick determines to reconnoitre in the direction of Dalton, which is now almost eighteen miles north of us.

Leaving the Third Kentucky, under command of Major Wolfley, to picket and hold the Resacca road, the General, with Colonel Murray's brigade, leaves our outer barricade, and bears towards the enemy. He is soon engaged, but lightly, however, and the Ninety-third Illinois, Colonel Atkins' mounted infantry, drives the rebels rapidly before it. The losses were light on both sides, and the boys professed themselves highly disappointed.

Operations on the thirteenth.

At six o'clock the cavalry left camp, and took the advance toward Resacca, General Kilpatrick leading the van. Skirmishers were deployed at the picket line, and, though the enemy fought stubbornly, he was pushed persistently back. The country here on either hand is very hilly, rough, and broken, and is covered with pine jungles and brush thickets, through which it is almost impossible to penetrate on horseback. Through this dense undergrowth, however, our cavalry pushed the enemy foot by foot, Kilpatrick busily riding the lines, superintending the work, and cheering the boys.

I admire, and so does the world, the man who, fearless when duty calls, steps forward to his place, and holds ever a dauntless front to his enemy. But in all candor, and that candor springs from my esteem and admiration for the man, I cannot see the good to be accomplished by General Kilpatrick's constantly galloping up and down the skirmish line in full view of the enemy, who want nothing better than an opportunity now and then to send a bullet through one of our general officers. His commands might just as readily be carried front in the usual manner, and he remain somewhat retired. However, in my regret for the General's fall, I find myself turning critic.

General Kilpatrick, accompanied by his faithful staff officer, Captain H. E. Stansbury, was endeavoring to find through the pine thickets the direction of his skirmish line, when they came suddenly upon a party of rebels lying in wait for him. So near were the rebels that, in rising, one of them struck Captain Stansbury's horse with his gun. The escape of the couple with their lives is certainly miraculous.

General Logan, with Osterhaus and Harrow, of the Fifteenth, is seen arriving, and soon begins to form his line just at the intersection of the Dalton and Resacca roads.

Troops are manoeuvred with great difficulty in a densely wooded and rolling country, and hence we leave the infantry to form its line of battle.

Colonel Murray assumed command of the division, and upon Colonel Atkins, of the Ninety-third Illinois, devolved the command of Colonel Murray's brigade. A force of cavalry is at once ordered out on the main Dalton road, and our outpost is at Holcomb's, three miles from Resacca.

At 2:30 P. M. General Osterhaus is ordered forward toward Resacca. General M. L. Smith's division climbs to the summit of the ridge in front, and Harrow is held in reserve on the left.

The skirmishers of General Osterhaus' division are soon engaged, but the line scarcely halts. The firing is desultory along the entire front, and with but very little difficulty we gain the curve of the road, just where it sweeps around the point of the ridge and passes through the gap. To the left of the road on the bald knob taken by Dodge, on the eleventh, the enemy had two guns, and opened viciously as our skirmishers, moving from the cover of the ridge, exposed themselves in the open fields.

The line was halted, and a few minutes after three o'clock Griffith's First Iowa battery was answering the iron compliments of our malicious brothers in kind. The artillery “mill” continues for a half hour, when the bugle sounds the advance for the skirmishers, and the line steadily, coolly, bravely goes forward.

The Twenty-seventh Missouri, Colonel Curly, of General Wood's brigade, rises the bald knob, and drags up its declivitous sides the First Indiana battery. Scarcely have the guns been placed in position when a terrible concentrated fire of artillery from the forts near the town

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Dalton, Ga. (Georgia, United States) (1)
Buzzard Roost (Georgia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
J. Kilpatrick (5)
Osterhaus (3)
Murray (3)
H. E. Stansbury (2)
John A. Logan (2)
Harrow (2)
George S. Dodge (2)
Atkins (2)
Thomas J. Wood (1)
Wolfley (1)
Morgan L. Smith (1)
James P. Holcomb (1)
Griffith (1)
Curly (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
11th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: