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Doc. 8. Sherman in Georgia.

Tunnell Hill, Georgia, Thursday Afternoon, May 12, 1864.
General Sherman's grand campaign has reached that point where great events may be looked for at any moment. It is two weeks to-day since he left Nashville, his army then stretching from Decatur to beyond Knoxville, occupying the same lines held during the winter. His arrival at Chattanooga gave every division of the army a mysterious impulse, and, at the moment that Thomas gathered his legions into hand for an active movement, the corps on the flanks showed signs of life, and, by rapid strides, converged towards the centre of operations. Veteran regiments poured in from the North. Out-laying detachments were thrown together, and troops guarding important points were reduced to exact fighting weight. In less than ten days a tremendous concentration of troops has taken place, and to-day an immense army — a larger number of effective men than moved upon Corinth, after the battle of Shiloh--is in position [25] within gunshot of the enemy. The preparations for decisive fighting have been weighty and conclusive. Not an ounce of baggage is carried by the trains. Tents have been discarded, and the ammunition and supply trains are the only ones which have not shrunk to a shadow of their former selves.

Johnston has been occupying a position of immense natural strength, covering Dalton and Atlanta, and presuming the latter place to be the objective point of the campaign, the first aggressive movement promises, and has been found to be, one of great difficulty--one which peculiarly requires delicacy of judgment, combined with vigor of execution. Sherman has the absolute confidence of his men; he is a thorough soldier, a subtle strategist, and a fearless fighter. He will make the campaign a decisive one.

Tuesday, May 3,
was principally passed in concentrating the Fourth army corps, Major-General Howard, which was stretched along the railroad, the left resting at Cleveland, and the right at Ooltawah, ten miles below.

Camps were broken at noon; and amidst the wildest enthusiasm of the troops at the prospect of the opening of the spring campaign, the line of march was taken with the object of centering at Catoosa Springs, three miles north-east of Ringgold.

Wednesday, May 4.
Reveille at five in the morning, just as night is lifting her dark mantle from the earth, and the glimmer of morning is seen in the east. The soldier turns over, rubs his eyes open, crawls from under his blanket, is quickly upon his feet, blowing into life the smouldering embers — the remnant of the previous evening's fire. A few moments later, bright fires burn all around us, the coffee-pots are brought out, filled by canteens, and while the water is warming, the fires are deserted for the creek near by, where the soldiers take their morning's ablutions. Red Clay is left in the rear, and a slow and tedious march is made, with roads blocked up by cavalry upon Catoosa Springs, which was reached about two o'clock in the afternoon. A line of battle was at once formed, with the left (Newton's division) resting near Burke's Mill, three miles east of the Springs, and the right (Wood's division) joining Baird's division of the Fourteenth corps, which had been thrown forward to Catoosa Platform, south of Hooker's Gap. Stanley's division formed the centre. Fortifications of a temporary kind were at once thrown up, heavy lines of pickets thrown out in front, while General Edward McCook's cavalry division guarded our left flank, and General Kilpatrick's our right.

I must not neglect to mention that, as we moved down from Red Clay to Catoosa Springs, a portion of General McCook's division of cavalry took the lead and had a few slight skirmishes with the enemy, driving them from our front upon their reserve. Several of the enemy were killed and wounded. Our loss was one man killed.

Thursday and Friday, May 5 and 6.
The army, or at least the Fourth, Fourteenth, and Twenty-third corps, which had arrived at advanced positions, remained in its position of Wednesday, awaiting the arrival of General Hooker's and General McPherson's corps, who marched around to our right, preparatory to a flank movement upon the enemy's left, for the purpose of turning it.

General Sherman arrived at the front to-day, and in company with other general officers, rode along the lines, minutely inspecting the country, and familiarizing himself with the position of his command. This morning at an early hour, a small force advanced upon the enemy, who, in small force, held Bald Knob, a small hill about a mile south of Catoosa Platform, and drove them from it without the loss of a man on either side.

This morning Morgan's brigade of Davis' division were on picket, when a squad of rebels, mounted, came up within three hundred yards of our pickets, and called out, “Will you exchange coffee for tobacco?” “Yes,” was the reply, “Fort Pillow, d----n you,” as the pickets leveled their guns and discharged a volley into them, wounding one man. The rebels not liking leaden coffee retreated, exclaiming as they ran, “Are you niggers or white men, to treat us that way?”

Saturday, May 7.
At five o'clock in the morning the Fourth corps encamped on the hills about Catoosa Springs, moved east, Stanley taking the lead, followed by Generals Newton and Wood, arriving at Lee's House in the valley to the northwest of Rocky Face Ridge. Newton's division halted in line of battle. Stanley, with kis invincible division, moved forward about a mile further, on the left of Tunnel Hill, and throwing out a heavy skirmish line, the right of which rested at the base of Tunnel Hill Ridge, where it joined General Davis' skirmishers, under Colonel Dan McCook, whose brigade was on the extreme left of the line of the Fourteenth corps. The left rested on the base of Rocky Face Ridge. It was General Howard's intention to throw Wood's division in on the right centre to support General Stanley, but the enemy presented so weak a front that Stanley was able to accomplish all that was expected — the turning of the enemy's left flank by a movement along Tunnel Hill range to the hill immediately in front of the town.

At ten o'clock the enemy, about three hundred strong, comprising artillery and dismounted cavalry, could be discerned on the ridge commanding the town. Whitaker's brigade of Stanley's division at once moved forward up the moderate slope of the range occupied by the enemy, and with a single line of skirmishers drove the enemy from the hill, assisted by the Fifth Indiana battery, Lieutenant Morrison, one [26] section of which was located on a commanding hill about a mile north-west of the town.

While the Fourth corps were thus engaged, Johnson's and Davis' divisions moved up from Catoosa Platform, on the centre, and entered Tunnel Hill. Davis' division moved along the main wagon road running parallel with the railroad, and threw his line across the valley. Johnson came up on the right and entered the town by a narrow trail running down from the direction of Nickojack's Gap. Barnett's Illinois battery, attached to Davis' division, opened their guns upon the enemy's position about nine, and a brisk cannonading was kept up for two hours until the enemy was flanked and took flight. The fire of the enemy's artillery was quite accurate, and the cavalry displayed remarkable abandon and contempt for our fire, oily retiring when compelled to by overwhelming numbers.

On comparison of notes by brigade commanders, it was found that less than ten wounded was our total loss in the occupation of the town and the surrounding ridges.

Immediately on the retirement of the energy Stanley threw his column forward along the ridge overlooking the approach to Buzzard Roost, and joined his right to Palmer at the wagon road leading to Dalton. At one P. M., a small brigade of rebel infantry approached within a mile of our advance and formed in an open field, but a few well-directed shots from the Fifth Indiana battery soon dispersed them, and they retired, leaving a small picket force.

Generals Sherman and Thomas were early on Tunnel Hill, and to-night have their headquarters within a mile of our advance line. Both Generals watched every movement of the enemy, and gave their orders with a coolness and confidence that proved them to be equal for any emergency that may arise. The brigades in

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Dalton, Ga. (Georgia, United States) (39)
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