Sunday, May 8.At 8 A. M,. the assembly was sounded in General Johnson's division, and it immediately moved forward and formed line of battle about a mile in advance of its former position. Immediately after General Howard, who, in the absence of General Thomas, had command of the Fourteenth and Twenty--third corps, in addition to his own corps, ordered forward General Stanley's division on the centre to make a demonstration to develop the enemy's strength and position. Simultaneously with this order General Newton was instructed to endeavor to throw a regiment or two up Rocky Face, and to move along it cautiously. General Harker was instructed by Newton to execute the order, and promptly selected the One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Ohio, Colonel Opdycke, to perform the task. The response of Colonel Opdycke and his “Ohio tigers” was prompt, fearless, and steady. The veteran regiment climbed the steep ride, ever and anon stopping to, cross some rocky gorge, or scale almost perpendicular bluffs, where to miss a step was certain death. Arriving on the summit of the ridge the regiment immediately encountered the skirmishers of the enemy, who in small force extended across the ridge. The enemy was slowly driven from the ridge toward Dalton, retreating before the unerring fire of the brave regiment that confronted them. So many natural and artificial obstructions were encountered that the regiment did not move more than half a mile per hour. Learning that the rebels were moving to our left against our force in large Numbers, General Harker was ordered to throw his whole brigade up the ridge to support the One Hundred and Twenty-fifth. The order was obeyed with alacrity, and the enemy was driven about three miles, when a deep gorge was encountered which checked the advance for the rest of the day. The regiments that played a conspicuous part in the capture of the hill were the One Hundred and Thirteenth Ohio, and the Seventy-eighth Illinois. General Cruft held the right of Stanley's line, and when the forward movement was ordered sent the Thirty-first Indiana out as skirmishers. They moved rapidly and in excellent order across the open fields, the enemy retreating from behind their barricades at their approach, and seeking safety in flight. Halting for a brief moment, and seeking protection behind the rebel barricade, the Thirty-first again moved forward, and the whole line simultaneously pressed forward and at the close of the skirmishing, at sundown, occupied a position about one mile in the rear of the gaps in which Palmer fought the enemy so stubbornly on the twenty-sixth and twenty-seventh of February. Brigadier-General Wood's skirmishers were engaged during the day on the left of Stanley extending to the base of Rocky Face. The day has not brought on a regular engagement,  though it has witnessed the repulse of a gallant charge made by two brigades of Geary's division of Hooker's corps. As I have already said, Schofield's corps is working east of the rebel positions, while Hooker's bears south-west of Dalton, and McPherson, with a large army, is aiming at Resacca, in the rear of the rebel works at Dalton. Geary's division is in front of Dug Gap, in John's Mountain, which is a precipitous elevavation four and a half miles south-west of Dalton, covered with forests, some undergrowth, and loose with tumbling boulders. About three o'clock this afternoon Colonel Buschbeck's and Colonel Candy's brigades, the first consisting of the One Hundred and Nineteenth, One Hundred and Thirty-fourth, One Hundred and Fifty-fourth, New York, Twenty-seventh, Seventy-third, One Hundred and Ninth, Pennsylvania, and Thirty-third Now Jersey, and the latter of the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania, and Twenty-ninth, Fifth, and Seventh Ohio, were marshalled for assault. They advanced up the mountain with splendid spirit, meeting with little opposition until they toiled up the crest, where they received a withering and concentrated fire, which, in about twenty minutes, compelled them to fall back to a plateau on the mountain not far from its base. The rebels were commanded by General John H. Morgan, who is now leading a division of rebel infantry. Two of our batteries were at the base of the mountain in a field, but they could not be sufficiently elevated to be effective. At the same time the rebels could not depress their guns to contest our advance up the hillside. They were in heavy rifle-pits, and their concentrated fire was not to be borne by mortal man. Our troops held their ground for about half an hour at the first assault. A second assault was made about six o'clock by the Thirty-third New Jersey, One Hundred and Thirty-fourth New York, and One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Pennsylvania, led by Colonel Mindel, of the former, the object being to flank the rebel right on the crest. Like the first, it failed after a gallant fight. Our troops withdrew about dark to their position occupied in the morning, and went into bivouac. The loss during both assaults will not exceed two hundred and fifty killed and wounded. It must be remembered that large bodies of troops are working around the rebel left flank. Kilpatrick occupies our right with his cavalry. Stoneman is on the left. The failure of one or two storming parties is expected before Johnston can be expelled. His attention will soon be called to other localities than Dalton. General Schofield, with his corps, to-day reached Newton's left, and this afternoon moved up Crow Valley, to the left of Rocky Face Ridge. He will possibly strike the enemy on his right flank, simultaneously with an attack on his left by a column now moving forward for that purpose. Should these flank movements succeed, Johnston must of necessity vacate his almost impregnable position, and move back on Atlanta or Rome, or fight us this side at Resacca, in a less strong position. I shall not attempt to speculate upon the probable work of to-morrow, but record the movements as they occur. The rebel sharpshooters seem to be the possessors of excellent guns, which are completely under their control. To-day General Howard rode out to meet General Stanley, and in conversation, about a mile from the front, received a bullet through his coat. The same ball passed through the hat of Captain Kniffin, commissary of Stanley's division.
This text is part of:
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 .
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.