No. 7. reports of Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas, U. S. Army, commanding Army of the Cumberland.
headquarters Army of the Cumberland, In the Field, near Dallas, Ga., June 5, 1864.Colonel: I have the honor to report the operations of my command for the month of May as follows: In obedience to instructions from the major-general commanding the military division, I got my command in readiness for a forward movement on Dalt on, Ga., and was fully prepared to move on the 2d of May, as directed. Major-General Hooker, commanding Twentieth Army Corps, was directed to move from Lookout Valley, via Lee and Gordon's Mills, on East Chickamauga Creek, to Leet's farm, on the road leading from the mills to Nickajack Gap, the movement to commence on the 2d. Major-General Palmer, commanding the Fourteenth Army Corps, was to concentrate his command at Ringgold, Ga., and Major-General Howard, commanding the Fourth Army Corps, was to move from Cleveland, East Tennessee, on the 3d, and concentrate his command in the vicinity of Catoosa Springs, about three miles east of Ringgold; McCook's division of cavalry to move on Howard's left; Kilpatrick's division of cavalry was stationed at Ringgold, picketing toward Tunnel Hill, and patrolling on Palmer's right flank; Garrard's division was detached and operating under instructions from Major-General McPherson, commanding the Army of the Tennessee. The army got into position by the 5th, and stood as above directed, communication having been fully established from the right to the left of the whole command. According to instructions given on the 6th, the army moved on Tunnel Hill at daylight on the 7th in three columns-Palmer's corps on the direct road from Ringgold, Howard's via Lee's house, and Hooker's via Nickajack Gap and Trickum. The enemy made some show of resistance in Palmer's front, but evacuated Tunnel Hill on the appearance of Howard's column on his flank, and fled toward Buzzard Roost, our troops occupying Tunnel Hill Ridge. Palmer's command was then moved forward and took position on Howard's right along the ridge, and both corps remained there for the night. Hooker's column reached Trickum Post-Office about 4  p. m. and camped for the night, picketing strongly the roads leading from Buzzard Roost and Dalton, as well as the approaches from the direction of Villanow. General Kilpatrick's division of cavalry took post at or near Gordon's Spring to be in readiness to establish communication with the Army of the Tennessee, which was expected at Villanow on the 8th. On the morning of the 8th Harker's brigade, of Newton's division, Howard's corps, was pushed along the crest of Rocky Face Ridge to within half a mile of the rebels' signal station, where it came upon obstructions of too formidable character to admit of farther progress, except with very severe loss; it was instructed to hold the position. Wood's division, of the Fourth Corps; Davis' division, of the Fourteenth Corps, and Butterfield's division, of the Twentieth Corps, then pushed forward a line of skirmishers and drove the enemy to his intrenchments, our men occupying the mouth of Buzzard Roost. Geary's division, of the Twentieth Corps, made a reconnaissance well up the side of Chattoogata Mountain (a high and precipitous ridge running due south from Buzzard Roost). Geary's men fought their way well up to the enemy's intrenchments on the crest, but with considerable loss and without being able to gain possession of Mill Gap. The troops were then withdrawn to a, position in the valley out of reach of the enemy's guns; Kilpatrick's communicated with General McPherson's command at Villanow, and then returned to Trickum. Brig. Gen. Ed. McCook was ordered to concentrate his cavalry division and take post on the left of General Schofield until General Stoneman's cavalry could arrive and relieve him. From a prisoner captured at Buzzard Roost we learned that the force defending the passage of the gap amounted to 11,000 men, comprising Stewart's and Bate's divisions, being supported by Hindman's and Stevenson's divisions, numbering 10,000 more. They had considerable artillery, but none heavier than 10-pounder caliber. The enemy was fortifying all night of the 7th and had masked batteries at points all through the pass. Heavy skirmishing was kept up along the whole line during the 9th and 10th with considerable loss in wounded, and but few killed. General Hooker was directed on the 10th to send one division from his command to the support of General McPherson at Snake Creek Gap, to enable the latter to operate more freely from danger to his rear. Kilpatrick's cavalry was also ordered to report to General McPherson. McCook's division of cavalry, posted on the left of General Schofield's command, had a heavy skirmish with three brigades of the enemy's cavalry on the road leading to Varnell's Station, resulting in our driving the rebels to their intrenchments on Poplar Creek Hill, where they opened on McCook's troops with two pieces of artillery. Our loss was 136 men and 15 officers killed, wounded, and missing; among the latter Colonel La Grange, of the First Wisconsin, who was captured. The enemy's loss was greater than ours. General Hooker was directed to send another division from his command to Snake Creek Gap, with instructions to repair the road through the gap so as to facilitate the passage of infantry and wagons. On the 11th it was decided to leave one corps (Howard's), supported by Stoneman's and McCook's divisions of cavalry, and move to Snake Creek Gap with the balance of the army, attacking the enemy in force from that quarter, while Howard was keeping t p the impression of a direct attack on Buzzard Roost. This movement  was to commence on the 12th. Instructions were given to corps commanders to provide their commands with ten days rations and a good supply of ammunition, sending all surplus wagons back to Ringgold. At 9 a. m. on the 13th General Howard's command occupied Dalton, it having been evacuated by the enemy on the evening of the 12th, concentrating his troops in Dalton. General Howard pursued the enemy along the railroad in the direction of Resaca, capturing a considerable number of prisoners. The concentration of the balance of the army in Snake Creek Gap having been completed by the night of the 12th, at 8 a. m. on the 13th Hooker's corps, preceded by Kilpatrick's cavalry, moved out on the Resaca road in support of McPherson's troops, threatening Resaca. Palmer's corps moved out of Snake Creek Gap two miles northeast of Hooker, and then took a course parallel with the Resaca road, with orders to proceed as far as the railroad. On reaching the neighborhood of the railroad his skirmishers encountered those of the enemy strongly posted on the hills immediately west of the railroad, and continued a fierce skirmish with them until night-fall. Butterfield's division, of Hooker's corps, moved up in support of Palmer's right. About noon of the 14th Schofield's and Palmer's corps attacked the enemy's position on the hills bordering the railroad, meeting with very heavy resistance. General Schofield's left being threatened, and he having called on me for support, I directed Newton's division, of Howard's corps, which had just arrived from Dalton, to move to Schofield's assistance, and subsequently the whole of Howard's corps took post on the left of Schofield. During the afternoon Hooker's corps, which had been acting as support to General Mc-Pherson, was shifted to the left of Howard's command, and Williams' division reached the position assigned him just in time to meet and repel a fierce attack of the enemy who was endeavoring to turn Howard's left flank. McCook's division of cavalry took post on the left of Hooker to guard against any further attempt of the enemy in that direction. The fighting in Schofield's and Howard's front was very severe, but we drove the enemy from the hills he had occupied and forced him into his intrenchments beyond. From prisoners captured we learned that Johnston's entire army was confronting us. At daylight on the morning of the 15th our line stood nearly as follows: Palmer's corps on the right, connecting with the left of McPherson's line, then Schofield, Howard, and Hooker, with Mc- Cook's cavalry on our extreme left. Orders were issued during the night of the 14th for the whole line to advance at daylight on the 15th, provision being made for the retirement of Schofield's troops from the position they then occupied, and directions having been given them to take post on the left, where they properly belonged, as soon as crowded out from the center of my line by the advance of Palmer and Howard. About 11 a. m. General Butterfield's division, of Hooker's corps, supported by Williams' and Geary's, of the same command, attacked and carried a series of hills strongly occupied by the enemy on the eastern road leading from Tilton to Resaca. The rebels were driven for nearly a mile and a half, our forces capturing 4 guns and a number of prisoners.  Information was received by daylight on the 16th that Johnston had evacuated Resaca, and directions were immediately given for the whole army to start in pursuit. Our troops occupied the town about 9 a. m. and commenced repairing the bridge over the Oostenaula, which had been partially burned by the enemy; a pontoon bridge was also thrown across above the railroad bridge, so that by night Howard's corps had got across, and marched on Calhoun. Hooker's command crossed the Connesauga at Fite's Ferry and at a ford in its vicinity, thence marching south across the Coosawattee toward Adairsville. Palmer's command was to follow after Howard's, except Davis' division, which was detached and sent toward Rome to the support of Garrard's cavalry, then acting under special instructions from the major-general commanding the military division. On the 17th our advance skirmished with the enemy nearly the whole distance from Calhoun to within two miles of Adairsville, when a fierce skirmish ensued, completely checking our farther progress, and occasioning considerable loss in wounded. Information was brought in about dark that the whole of Johnston's army was at Adairsville. The column was again set in motion on the morning of the 18th, the enemy having left during the night. Howard's and Palmer's commands moved on the direct road and along the railroad toward Kingston, camping at a point three miles north of the latter place. Hooker's corps moved on a road running southeast from Adairsville, his instruction being to proceed as far as Cassville, and there await further orders. General Davis' division, of the Fourteenth Corps, occupied Rome, capturing a large amount of commissary and quartermaster stores, hospital supplies, &c., and all sorts of ammunition, enough to supply his command for two weeks. The enemy tried to destroy the valuable iron-works at this place, but failed to do them much injury. Howard's troops entered Kingston about 8 a. m. on the 19th, skirmishing with the enemy on the southeastern side of the town. The column started again about 11 a. m. and came up with what was reported to be Cheatham's and another division in line of battle on a hill about half way between Kingston and Cassville. Howard's troops shelled the enemy from this position, pushing on after him to within two miles of Cassville, skirmishing with his rear guard until dark, when the command halted for the night. Baird's division, of Palmer's corps, was posted on the right of Howard's corps. Hooker's troops engaged the enemy on the road, leading direct from Adairsville to Cassville, skirmishing with him and driving him into his works at the latter place. At 10 p. m. General Hooker reported the town in possession of his troops. A deserter came into our lines with the information that Johnston received a re-enforcement of 6,000 men on the 19th, and that his army was now estimated at 70,000 strong. By direction of the major-general commanding the military division the whole command rested until the morning of the 23d. In the mean time, the railroad having been placed in running order as far as Cassville Depot, twenty days rations and forage were issued to the troops. Rosaca was directed to be strongly held and made a depot of supplies, only such stores and provisions to be brought forward to Kingston and Rome as could be moved by the wagons present with the army. My directions were to move my army at daylight  on the morning of the 23d on Dallas, by Euharlee and Stilesborough; the division of Brig. Gen. Jeff. C. Davis, at Rome, as soon as relieved by troops from General McPherson's army, to march direct on Dallas, by way of Van Wert. The advance guard of Mc-Cook's division of cavalry reached Stilesborough on the afternoon of the 23d, and found the place occupied by a strong force of the enemy's cavalry, supported by infantry, which resisted his farther advance, skirmishing with him until dark. The commands of Major-Generals Hooker, Howard, and Palmer camped on the south side of Euharlee Creek, in accordance with my directions. General Hooker was directed to send one division of his command at daylight on the morning of the 24th to push the enemy across Raccoon Creek toward Allatoona, on the Alabama road, and hold him in that position until relieved by the Army of the Ohio, covering the movements of the balance of the Twentieth Corps, directly through Stilesborough, upon Burnt Hickory, at which latter place his whole command was to encamp. McCook's division of cavalry was to precede the Twentieth Corps in the movement upon Burnt Hickory, and then take up a position toward Allatoona, picketing the roads strongly, and covering the movements of the army. The Fourth Corps followed the Twentieth Corps, camping on its right, and the Fourteenth Corps, not being able to reach Burnt Hickory on account of the crowded state of the roads and the difficult nature of the ground passed over, camped at a point on Allatoona Ridge, about half way between Stilesborough and Burnt Hickory. McCook reached Burnt Hickory about 2 p. m., after skirmishing with the enemy about four miles. He captured a rebel courier, bearing a dispatch to the rebel General Jackson, commanding a division of cavalry, with instructions from General Johnston to observe our movements toward Burnt Hickory, and stating that Johnston was moving in the direction of Dallas and Powder Springs. General Garrard, commanding Second Cavalry Division, informed me that he was camped on Pumpkin Vine Creek, about three miles from Dallas, and that in moving on that place, and when within a quarter of a mile from it, he was attacked by what was reported by prisoners to be Bate's division, the advance of Hardee's corps. Garrard repulsed this force and drove it back toward Dallas. On the 25th the First Division of Cavalry (McCook's) moved on the road leading to Golgotha, preceding Butterfield's division, of the Twentieth Corps. The balance of General Hooker's command advanced on the road leading to Dallas running south of the one used by Butterfield's division. Howard's corps followed Hooker's, and in rear of Howard, Palmer's. About 11 a. m. General Geary's division, of the Twentieth Corps, being in advance, came upon the enemy in considerable force at a point about four and a half miles from Dallas, the country on both sides of the road being thickly wooded and covered with undergrowth. Geary skirmished heavily with the enemy, slowly driving him, until Butterfield's and Williar is' divisions came up and relieved Geary's troops. Soon after the arrival of Williams, about 3 p. m., the column was again put in motion, Williams' division in advance, and, although heavily engaged, drove the enemy steadily before it into his intrenchments. Our loss was heavy, but it is believed that the loss of the enemy was much greater. Shortly after 3 p. m. the head of Howard's column got within supporting distance of Hooker's corps, and Newton's division was placed in position on Hooker's left about 6 p. in., and by morning the whole of Howard's corps was in position on the left of Hooker.  The roads were so full of wagons that Palmer's corps could not get into position by night of the 25th, but on the morning of the 26th Johnson's division, of the Fourteenth Corps, was moved up to within a short distance of Hooker's and Howard's commands, and was posted in reserve. Davis' division, Fourteenth Corps, which had reported back to its command (it having been relieved at Rome by troops from the Army of the Tennessee), was sent by General Palmer to move on Dallas by the most direct road from where he then was to support General McPherson's command, and communicate with the right of General Hooker. Baird's division, of the Fourteenth Corps, was left at Burnt Hickory to protect the trains at that point and the rear of the army. McCook's division of cavalry met the enemy's cavalry on the road leading from Burnt Hickory to Marietta near its intersection with the lower Dallas and Allatoona road. McCook's troops skirmished heavily with the force opposing them, inflicting on them considerable loss and capturing 52 prisoners, from whom it was ascertained that the whole of Wheeler's cavalry was posted on the right of the rebel army. The left of General Howard's corps was swung around to the right, occupying a line of hills running nearly perpendicular to the line occupied by Hooker on the 25th, thereby threatening the enemy's right. The Twentythird Army Corps, Major-General Schofield commanding, was posted on the left of my command, Schofield's left extending to and covering the road leading from Allatoona to Dallas, via New Hope Church. There was light skirmishing all day while Howard and Schofield were working into position, and at dark on the 26th Howard's left connected with Schofield's right. In the mean time trains were brought up and rations and ammunition issued where practicable. Strong breast-works were thrown up all along the line, the men working cheerfully and prepared to resist any attack the enemy might see fit to make. On the 27th, in accordance with instructions given by the majorgeneral commanding the Military Division of the Mississippi, Hooker's and Howard's corps pressed the enemy, supported by considerable artillery firing. Wood's division, of Howard's corps, supported by Johnson's division, of Palmer's corps, was moved to the left of Schofield's line and swung around toward the right, attacking the enemy's right flank and driving him into his rifle-pits, with considerable loss, however, to our troops. Our men had to contend with an almost hidden foe, the ground being cut up into ravines and covered by a dense forest filled with undergrowth; but notwithstanding all the difficulties of the country both officers and men did their work nobly, and having assumed a position were not to be moved from it. The enemy came out of his works in front of Newton's division, of Howard's corps, attacking Wagner's and Kimball's brigades, but was driven back after a short and warm contest. General Davis occupied Dallas with his division on the afternoon of the 27th, skirmishing with the enemy and driving him as far as he could without losing his connection with General McPherson. Davis reported that after skirmishing all the afternoon he developed the enemy in force and strongly posted in front of his (Davis') left, with a battery in position on a hill commanding the road between him and General Hooker. Davis had, however, cut a road through the forest to his rear, by which he could communicate safely with Hooker. During the night of the 27th the enemy attacked Davis and was repulsed after a sharp fight, leaving behind him a few  wounded and 27 prisoners, belonging mostly to Polk's corps. By this time it had been ascertained beyond a doubt that Johnston had his whole army with him, strengthened by Polk's command and detachments sent from various points to re-enforce him. He had taken up a strong position, which he was steadily strengthening with earth-works, evidently with the determination to make a firm stand where he then was. On the 28th our line stood as follows: Hooker's corps (Twentieth) on the right, with Davis' division, of Palmer's corps, still on his right, but acting as a support to the Army of the Tennessee; two divisions of Howard's corps (Fourth) on the left of Hooker; then the Army of the Ohio, Major-General Schofield commanding. Wood's division, of Howard's corps, on the left of Schofield's command, with Johnson's division, of Palmer's corps, on the left of Wood; Stoneman's division of cavalry holding a hill to the left of Johnson, and then McCook's division of cavalry holding the road leading from Burnt Church to Marietta, via Golgotha, and guarding the left of the army. During the 28th there was considerable artillery firing, with skirmishing at intervals during the day and night. During the night of the 29th the enemy felt our line at several points, without making a serious attack at any one place. They found our men vigilant and fully prepared for them. Owing to the close proximity of the enemy's lines to the right of ours, neither McPherson nor Davis could withdraw from their positions without being attacked and forced to return, so that the project of using their commands to relieve Hooker, Howard, and Schofield, allowing these latter to take post on the left of the line, could not be carried out, although three attempts at a withdrawal were made by McPherson and Davis on the nights of the 29th, 30th, and 31st. In the meanwhile, the position of the army remained unchanged up to the 31st, our skirmishers and those of the enemy exchanging occasional shots. The detailed reports of the subordinate commanders will be forwarded as soon as handed in. I have the honor to forward herewith a consolidated return of casualties for the month, as also a return of prisoners captured, and a list of captured property and ammunition expended. I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Geo. H. Thomas, Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.
Lieut. Col. R. M. Sawyer. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Mil. Div. of the Mississippi.
Inclosure no. 1.
|Fourteenth Army Corps||14||210||54||1,100||2||75||1,455|
|Twentieth Army Corps||22||387||127||2,880||2||499||3,917|
|Fourth Army Corps||30||493||120||2,471||4||284||3,402|
Geo. H. Thomas, Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.