the immense masses everywhere confronted me. Surely no nobler body of men, in all that constitutes genuine nobility, was ever collected together upon this continent. Here was a force much larger than that with which Napoleon, when a mere boy, won a score of pitched battles, destroyed four mighty armies, conquered all Italy, and sent the Austrian eagles screaming with terror back over the Noric Alps. The pride, the flower, the chivalry, the strength of the whole vast West was here. In able hands, how effective it might be made for the suppression of treason and the advancement of our glorious cause! Was it in such hands? The ardent enthusiast might answer unhesitatingly in the affirmative; the thoughtful patriot would only hope and pray. All this day the army was employed in coming through the gap, and getting into position on the eastern side. Strange that the enemy never once attempted to interfere with our arrangements! Had he thrown himself with determined valor upon the heads of our columns as they were debouching into the plain, he might have inflicted upon us a heavy loss, and given us a world of trouble. But he was busy strengthening his defences at Resacca. All the operations of our army were covered with consummate skill by the cavalry, and it may be the enemy did not even know our infantry was through the gap, until a corps or two was in line of battle upon the eastern side. Early on the morning of Friday, the thirteenth of May, preparations were made to advance towards Resacca. General Kilpatrick galloped forth to beat up the enemy's pickets. While he and members of his staff were in advance of his men, he fell into an ambuscade laid by a small party of the enemy, and received a painful, although not dangerous wound. Both he and his staff escaped with some difficulty from the rebels. The command of General Kilpatrick's division now devolved upon Colonel Murray, Third Kentucky cavalry, heretofore commanding a brigade in the division. It could not have fallen into better hands, for Colonel Murray is a young man who truly as any with whom I am acquainted, represents the chivalry of Kentucky. The command of Colonel Murray's brigade devolved upon Colonel Atkins, Ninety-second Illinois; and this, too, was fortunate, for the army contains no better man than he. The cavalry operations were conducted to general satisfaction all through the day. At one o'clock P. M. news arrived that General Howard had passed through Buzzard Roost Gap and entered Dalton, finding the place entirely evacuated by the enemy. Shortly after the announcement of this intelligence, Osterhaus' and Harrow's divisions, of the Fifteenth corps, Logan's, began to advance towards Resacca. The rebels retreated rapidly until they came to a point where the Sugar Valley road, which so far runs nearly south, bends suddenly round some steep hills to the east, and passing through a ravine between two hills, continues its course to Resacca. Here a heavy skirmish commenced, and at three P. M. the enemy opened a battery of twelve-pounders upon our troops, and shelled them most viciously. Our own batteries replied with spirit and effect, and a charge being sounded, a part of Osterhaus' division rushed forward and carried the hill upon which the rebel batteries had been planted. The rebels withdrew precipitately into their works, and this initial success encouraged our men greatly. It exasperated the rebels, however, for, concentrating the fire from a dozen cannon upon the summit of the hill, they hurled round shot and shell upon it so furiously, that it seemed impossible anything could continue there alive. But Foelkner's and De Gress' batteries were not to be intimidated, any more than were the Twenty-seventh Missouri infantry, which occupied the hill. The former returned fire for fire, and the latter crouching close to the side of the eminence, held fast to their position. The firing at last ceased, and just as the sun was about to go down, Sherman, Thomas, Elliott, and other Generals came up to the summit of the height, and through their glasses viewed long and attentively the rebel works around Resacca. The sun had not risen on the morning of the fourteenth, Saturday, when the skirmishing recommenced; and until two P. M. there was not a single minute in which the dropping sound of musketry could not have been heard. It was half-past 12, perhaps, when the rebels opened a severe fire of both small arms and artillery upon the left of the Fifteenth corps. At the same time the noise of battle could be distinctly heard away to the left. This last was readily understood. After entering Dalton the day before, and finding nothing there save a ruined and deserted town, Howard, with Wood and Stanley's divisions, had moved rapidly southward, to effect a junction with the remainder of the army. The rebels were making a feeble effort to prevent this, and hence the firing upon the left. By noon the pickets of Howard communicated with those of Schofield or rather with Newton's division of his own corps, which had marched down the western side of Rocky Face, and passed through Snake Creek Gap in company with Schofield. Half an hour later the lines communicated, and thus the entire army was again united and in order of battle surrounding the enemy's works; Howard being upon the extreme left, Schofield next in order. Hooker next, Palmer next, Logan next, and Dodge on the right. Whoever would form a general idea of the field of battle, has only to conceive of a river, the Oostenaula, with a great bend; at the middle of the semicircle thus formed, is the town of Resacca, through which runs the Western and Atlanta Railroad. The rebel works extend generally north and south in front of the town, bending east and west at the extremities, so as to rest both flanks upon the river. Outside of this arc, and in a
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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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