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Monday, May 9.
At six o'clock Davis' division opened the ball on the right by throwing forward his whole line towards the base of Rocky Face Creek into the gaps where the engagement took place in February last. Much difficulty was experienced in crossing the creek, which the rebels had inundated since our last visit to Buzzard Roost; yet the difficulty was overcome by wading the stream, an attack was at once made up the knolls and hills on the left of the railroad, which were gallantly carried by our skirmishers, the One Hundred and Thirteenth Ohio, Lieutenant Colonel Warner, occupying the hill on the immediate left of the railroad, while Morgan's brigade, which occupied the centre, carried the hill to the left, or immediately to the right of Rocky Face Ridge. Morgan's brigade was immediately thrown round on the left of the hill, carried by it, and pushed rapidly forward through a gap separating it from Rocky Face. In his attack the fire was quite brisk, and his loss in wounded was about thirty.

At six in the morning brisk skirmish fire was heard on Rocky Face, near the position held by Newton's division, the balance of which was thrown up at an early hour, Musketry and artillery firing from Newton was kept up for half an hour, when a wild cheer was heard, and it was supposed that Newton had carried the fortified gorge which impeded Harker's advance yesterday. This, however, proved unfounded, for to-night his line is but a few hundred yards in advance of where it was last night. During the afternoon Wood's and Stanley's divisions of the Fourth corps made an assault upon the base of Rocky Face from the valley with the view of making a demonstration in favor of Newton. Very heavy skirmishing ensued, in which the line took part for a few moments, but so rugged was the slope that the jutting rocks and steep gorges rendered an assault and capture of the ridge impossible. In the operations of the day Wood lost about seventy wounded and six killed.

At eleven o'clock, and previous to the assault by Wood and Stanley, the enemy opened upon Johnson's division from a mountain howitzer, planted on the summit of a commanding hill, which forms a link in the chain of hills known as the Chattanooga Mountains. Johnson promptly ordered one section of Houghtalling's Illinois [28] battery into position, and shelled the rebel battery, the third shot taking effect in the howitzer, and silencing it until in the afternoon, when Wood and Stanley made their demonstration, and called out a vigorous artillery and musketry fire along the whole line.

At four o'clock, General Howard ordered the divisions of Stanley and Wood forward into the gaps facing the enemy's breastworks and fortifications to the right of Dalton. The movement had the desired effect, compelling the enemy to open his artillery, and expose the position of his batteries. From five until after dark a heavy fire was kept up, and when it ceased Stanley was far in advance of Davis' position of the morning, and extended his line some distance up the slope of Rocky Face, supported by General Wood's division. With the exception of Davis' division, the Fourteenth corps was not engaged.

General Schofield, with his corps, succeeded about one o'clock in getting up and confronting the enemy's fortifications on the left of Dalton. Brisk firing was heard in the direction of his position, and I learn to-night that he holds, like the centre and right wings of the army, every foot gained during the day.

A despatch was received at noon from General McPherson, who had occupied Snake Gap, near Resacca, in Chattanooga Mountains, with his force, on Sunday night, which was within six miles of Resacca at that time. The General is directly on the enemy's flank, and it is very strange that he was permitted to occupy so vital a defile without great opposition. His present position is about thirty miles in the rear of Dalton, and in all probability the enemy, in finding his flanks and rear exposed, will fall back from the gap in front of Dalton, and give McPherson battle, or retreat hastily without offering fight.

The loss of Newton's division (chiefly in Harker's brigade) on Rocky Face Ridge, was, up to last evening, one field and one line officer and fifteen men killed, and three line officers and thirty men wounded.

Our casualties, I have just learned, include Colonel McIlvaine of the Sixty-fourth Ohio, and Lieutenant Ehler, same regiment, killed; Colonel Buckner, Seventy-ninth Illinois, wounded in the body; the gallant Major Boyd, Eighty-fourth Indiana, shot through both thighs; Captain Chamberlin and Lieutenant Hall, Sixty-fourth Ohio, slightly, and Lieutenant-Colonel Bullett, Third Kentucky, slightly. The Sixty-fourth was in the hottest of the desperate conflict for the possession of Rocky Face Ridge, and, led by the dauntless McIlvaine, it won the encomiums of all who witnessed its daring and intrepidity.

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D. S. Stanley (10)
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