60 Series I Volume XXXVIII-I Serial 72 - The Atlanta Campaign Part I

Page 60 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

cross the Oostenaula, there to threaten and if necessary attack the enemy's line at Calhoun, I gradually enveloped the enemy in Resaca, and pressed him so hard that he evacuated in the night of May 15 and retreated by the good roads south. He made a short stand at Adairsville and made extensive preparation at Cassville, but on our approach in strength he retreated south of the Etowah River by the Allatoona Pass. The country along the Etowah is rich in wheat fields and in minerals.

Occupying Rome and Kingston I delayed until the 23rd of May to fill our wagons and replenish ammunition. I knew the strength of Allatoona Pass, having ridden through it twenty years ago, and knew it would reduce our strength by forcing us to operate by the head of a single column. I determined not to attempt it but to pass the range by other more devious and difficult natural roads that would admit of more equal terms with the enemy should he attempt, to meet us. Accordingly, on the 23d, General Thomas was ordered to move via Euharlee, Stilesbourough, and Burnt Hickory on Dalla; General Schofield to cross the Etowah higher up and keep on General Thomas' left, via Richland Creek and Huntsville, while General the right of Dallas, via Van Wert. General Jeff. C. Davis' division, of General Thomas' army, had occupied Rome from Resaca, moving by the west of the Oostenaula. General McPherson was ordered to relieve General Davis by a brigade of his, and General Davis also marched from Rome via Van Wert. All the columns reached their destined points on the 25th, and we found the enemy in force on all the roads occupying difficult ground, extending along the Dallas and Acworth road, beginning about two miles northeast of Dallas and extending full five miles. As soon as the head of General Thomas' column, General Hooker's corps, could be got well into position, I ordered it to attack violently and secure the position at New Hope Church, which would have broken the line of the enemy in two and given us great advantage. General Hooker attacked well and drove the enemy back to the very road, but a pitchy dark night set in and by the next day the enemy had strengthened his position by strong breast- works that were too serious to attempt. Accordingly I ordered the whole army to deploy forward, conforming our line substantially to that of the enemy, General McPherson and General Davis, who were at and in front of Dallas, to close to the left of General Hooker The ground was very difficult, being densely wooded and composed of ridges and spurs of flinty ground, very barren as to forage and difficult for roads. It took us nearly a week to feel well up to the enemy, who continued, of course, to strengthen his position, so that by the 31st of May it became necessary for me to order the direct assault or to turn the enemy's works. The railroad and main Georgia road being to our left, I resolved to pass the enemy's right flank and place the whole army in front of Allatoona Pass. General McPherson was ordered to draw off from Dallas and move up six miles and replace General Hooker on our right flank in front of New Hope Church, General Thomas and General Schofield to move to the left, making as much eastward as possible. General McPherson got up about noon of June 1 and the general movement began, but heavy rains set in, delaying us so that General Schofield did not actually envelop the enemy's extreme right until late in the afternoon of June 3l; but in the mean time, coincident with the first move that could indicate to the enemy our purpose, I sent direct to Alla-


Page 60 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.