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[304] which fell upon the brigades of Pettus and Brown at the angle on Rocky Face, on Stovall's and Baker's on the ridge, and on Bate in the gap, but the gallant Confederates held their ground with firmness, and the enemy suffered severely. The fight, said Sherman, ‘attained the dimensions of a battle.’ The Federals repeatedly charged and were as often repulsed.

Meanwhile McPherson's army reached Snake Creek gap, and his cavalry advance encountered some Confederate forces, including Grigsby's Kentucky cavalry and the cadets of the Georgia military institute, supported by Cantey's brigade. The cadets made reputation in this fight, which was among the earliest of their engagements, and did in fact delay McPherson materially, though driven back into the works at Resaca. After skirmishing until nearly dark, and finding that he could not succeed in cutting the railroad that afternoon, Mc-Pherson decided to withdraw the command and take up a position for the night between Sugar valley and the entrance to the gap.

Johnston had sent Hood, with Hindman, Cleburne and Walker, to Resaca, but learning of McPherson's retreat, withdrew Cleburne and Walker to Tilton, midway, and being advised that General Polk had arrived at Resaca with Loring's division, army of the Mississippi, he calmly maintained his position at Dalton. During the 11th and 12th he annoyed the enemy with tentative movements, one of these being a reconnoissance around the north end of the mountain by General Wheeler, in which that officer defeated Stoneman's cavalry and caused the enemy considerable loss in men and wagons.

On the 14th of May, Sherman found the Confederate army in a strong position behind Camp Creek, occupying the forts at Resaca with its right on some high chestnut hills, to the north of the town. Thus ended the first stage of the campaign which changed the Confederate front from the mountains before Chattanooga to Resaca on the Oostenaula river.

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