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[398] rapidly northwestward, and threatened Kingston and other important points on the railway. Sherman followed as rapidly. He pressed through the Allatoona Pass and across the Etowah, and by a forced march reached Kingston
Oct. 10, 1864.
and saved it. There he found that Hood had turned westward, threatened Rome, and was crossing the Coosa over a pontoon bridge, eleven miles below that town. Sherman then hurried on to Rome,
Oct. 11.
and pushed Garrard's cavalry and Cox's (Twenty-third) corps across the Oostenaula, to threaten Hood's flank should he turn northward. That vigorous leader had moved so rapidly that he avoided the intended blow, excepting a slight one by Garrard, which drove a brigade of Confederate cavalry, and secured two of their guns; and he suddenly appeared before Resaca, and demanded its surrender. Sherman had re-enforced that post with two regiments of the Army of the Tennessee, and Colonel Weaver, the commander, gallantly repulsed a vigorous attack. The assailants then moved on, closely followed by Sherman. They destroyed the railway from Tilton to the tunnel at Buzzard's Roost, and captured the Union garrison at Dalton.

On his arrival at Resaca,

Oct. 14.
Sherman determined to strike Hood in flank, or force him to fight. He was now puzzled by Hood's movements, and knew no better way to force him to develop his designs. General Howard moved to Snake Creek Gap, and skirmished with the Confederates there, for the purpose of holding them while General Stanley, with the Fourth and Fourteenth Corps, should move round to Hood's rear, from Tilton to the vicinity of Villanow. But the Confederates gave way and withdrew to Ship's Gap, and on the following day
Oct. 16.
Sherman's forces moved directly toward Lafayette, with a view of cutting off Hood's retreat. That leader was watchful, and being in lighter marching order than his pursuer, outstripped and evaded him. Sherman still pressed on and entered the Chattanooga Valley, and on the 19th, his forces were all grouped about Gaylesville, a fertile region in Northern Alabama.

Sherman was now satisfied that Hood was simply luring him out of Georgia, and did not intend to fight. He had an army strong enough to endanger the National communications between Atlanta and Chattanooga, but not of sufficient power to engage in battle. So the patriot leader determined to execute a plan, which he had already submitted to the consideration of General Grant, namely, to destroy Atlanta and its railway communications with Chattanooga, and, moving through the heart of Georgia, capture one or more of the important seaport towns-Savannah or Charleston, or both. So he remained at Gaylesville a week, watching the movements of Hood,

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