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emy with no great difficulty, and occupying the place on the 6th of May. Schofield held the left, advancing by way of Cleveland and the line of the East Tennessce and Georgia railroad, encountering Wheeler's Rebel cavalry on the 9th, the advance being temporarily interrupted, with the loss of a small number of prisoners. The enemy, however, was repulsed without any severe fighting. As our forces advanced, both the railroads were put in repair. Thomas advanced from Tunnel Hiħ, and appeared before the enemy's position north of Dalton, supported by Schofield's forces on the left, and by Hooker's corps on the right, May 9th ; McPherson, meantime, was executing his important movement on the extreme right. The Rebel position on Rocky-face Ridge, and at Bazzard's Roost, was of the most formidable character, and was apparently thought by the enemy sufficiently impregnable to withstand a siege, and to delay further movements into Georgia, if not altogether to arrest them. Here they first seriously contested the advance of Sherman.
The Rebel army in Georgia was now commanded by Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, who had succeeded Bragg after his fatal failure which gave our armies possession of East Tennessee, and a foothold on the border of Georgia. His leading generals were Hood, Polk and Hardee, each in command of an army corps. He had also a large cavalry force under Gens. Wheeler, Forrest, Rhoddy, and other commanders. The enemy's great advantage in position, in knowledge of the country, and in the fact that every mile's advance by Sherman added a new difficulty and hazard to his communications, was partly balanced by the superiority of numbers on the Union side. The resu of this advance was regarded by President Lincoln rather with hope than with any assured expectation. The Rebel leaders, on the other hand, affected a consciousness of entire security, so utterly impracticable did thoy pronounce the advance of so large an army so far away from its base, with such force to encounter as that now confronting Sherman. In fact, scrious difficulty had for a time been experienced in keeping up the line from Nashville to Chattanooga, without its further prolongation. The accumulation of supplies at the latter
place, however, rendered it practically a new base, for the time, and more especially since the enemy had been almost entirely driven out from East Tennessee.
While the several movements on the left and center, just indicated, were taking place, McPherson, with the Army of the Tennessee, moving by the road to Lafayette, on the extreme right, had passed through Snake Creek Gap, turning the Rebel position. Hooker's corps, moving south about twelve miles from its location in front of the enemy's lines, where it had remained since crossing Taylor's Ridge, on the 7th, passed through Snake Creek Gap on the 10th and 11th, effecting a junction with McPherson. On discovering this completely _successful flanking movement in heavy force, the Rebel general ordered a retreat to Resacca, which commenced on the 10th. Sherman occupied Dalton on the 12th, having at once secured an important point, and dislodged the enemy from a position of great strength, without any more serious engagement than had attended his steady pressure on the front of the enemy's position north of Dalton.
Resacca is an important railroad station, about fifteen miles south of Dalton, and some distance north of the Oostenaula river. The new position taken by the enemy near this point was on a commanding ridge, densely covered with woods and thickets, and both naturally and artificially of great strength. On the 13th, Hooker's corps moved toward the front of the enemy's position, and skirmishers were thrown out, who became partially engaged with the opposing skirmish line, without bringing on any serious fighting. On the same day, McPherson's command advanced, a force sent out by him striking the railroad and capturing nine trains with supplies, retiring from Dalton. On the 14th, Howard's corps (the Fourth), now on the left of Hooker, became heavily engaged with the enemy at Resacca, and in the afternoon was forced back for some distance, when the First and Second Divisions of the Twentieth Corps were moved up in support. These reenforcements arrived at nightfall, and the enemy's column was checked and forced back, the Union forces sleeping on their arms. Early in the morning, a reconnoissance was sent out to
discover the enemy's position, and soon after noon, the Third Division of Hooker's corps having in the meantime been brought up, a combined attack, in which the latter division led the way, was made
upon the enemy's works, which forced him to abandon his outer line. Wood's brigade, of Butterfield's division, also captured one of the inner forts, with a battery of five guns, but being exposed to a concentrated fire, was obliged to withdraw. Still strong in his inner intrenchments, the enemy made three successive sallies, in heavy masses, but was repulsed each time with severe loss. Darkness closing upon the field, our men again lay down in line of battle, with their arms at their side. Before daylight on the next morning, our skirmishers discovered that Johnston had hastily retreated, leaving his dead unburied, and his wounded on the field. Thus terminated the battle of Resacca, the first heavy engagement of the campaign. The losses were considerable on each side, those of the Union forces being somewhat the most severe in killed and wounded (estimated at 3,600). Gens. Hooker, Willich, Kilpatrick and Manson were wounded; the three latter seriously. The Rebel corps of Polk and Hardee lost several hundred prisoners, and the killed and wounded on that side were estimated at 2,000. Seven pieces of artillery were captured from the enemy, and three of his general officers were reported killed.
Pursuit was commenced on the morning of the 16th, Howard leading the advance in the center, but the main army of Johnston was not overtaken during the next three days. If we except a little unimportant skirmishing with his rear guard, near the close of that day, some fighting at Adairsville on the railroad, about ten miles north of Kingston, and a brief engagement with Newton's division of the Fourth Corps, on the 17th, three miles beyond. Calhoun, the enemy made no stand until he had reached Cassville. Near this place, toward night, on the 19th of May, an attack on Hooker's foremost division, advancing on the right center, was made by Hardee's corps, and some skirmishing followed, but a general engagement was avoided, the remainder of Hooker's corps not having come up. Our advanced forces intrenched themselves in front
before him the little force now left in his front. At Staunton, prior to the 13th, after a decisive victory at Piedmont, he had taken possession, and destroyed, several valuable factories and founderies engaged in furnishing supplies to the Rebel armies. The amount of property destroyed was estimated at three mil. lions of dollars. An expedition had been sent out to Waynesboro, on the railroad leading to Gordonsville, which destroyed bridges and tore up the track for miles. Over one thousand prisoners, from Imboden's and other Rebel commands, were sent backward by Buffalo Gap and Huttonsville, to be trans. ferred to Washington. On the 13th, Hunter again moved his forces, advancing rapidly toward Lynchburg, to the defense of which Lee was obliged to detach part of the troops now operating with him at Richmond.
The bold attempt to capture Petersburg, which now had a slender defense, aside from the hastily organized militia of the town, and some not very important works on the south side, not heretofore menaced, seemed on the point of success. So well assured, apparently, was the result, that the very winds were charged with the tale, and rumor proclaimed it through the land as an accomplished fact.
Early on the morning of the 9th of June, soon after midnight, a cavalry column, under Gen. Kautz, of Gillmore's corps (the Tenth), with a battery, set out for a reconnoissance south of Petersburg. After a toilsome march of twenty-five miles, by winding routes, this force reached the outer picket lines, three miles from the city, and drove the outposts within the outer intrenchments, a mile distant. After a lively contest for half an hour, these intrenchments were captured, the enemy again retiring to their inner line. The object of this dash having been accomplished, and the force being manifestly inadequate to take the place, which was now astir with preparations for defense, Kautz promptly returned again to his camp near Point of Rocks, arriving the next day. An immediate advance of Gillmore's corps, had that been possible, might, perhaps, have secured possession of the city, before sufficient reënforcements could arrive. But the position of Bermuda Hundred could not be abandoned. Without such an advance,
the alarm now given must have been injurious rather than oth-erwise.
On the 16th, the Army of the Potomac being now well up in the vicinity of City Point, and the enemy having abandoned his works in front of our lines at Bermuda Hundred, Gen. Butler ordered an advance on the Richmond and Petersburg railroad, with a view to cut the communications between the two cities. After destroying two miles of the track, however, this force (a portion of Gillmore's corps), was obliged to retire to its former position, the advance of Lee's army having now come up, on the way from its position at Cold Harbor, to the rescue of Petersburg.
Meanwhile, on the 14th, Gen. Smith, with fifteen thousand men, including Wildc's colored division, had begun to move on Petersburg on the south, and Hancock was to follow as rapidly as possible with his corps. The city of Petersburg, on the south bank of the Appomattox river, is about twelve miles south-west from City Point, at the confluence of that river with the James. The two places are connected by railway, running along the left bank of the Appomattox-part of the way at some distance from the river. The city is about twentysix miles from Richmond, by railroad, and its position is strategically important with reference to the latter place, from the fact that three of the principal railroads running southward radiate from this point, leaving only the Danville railroad (not fully completed until since the commencement of the rebellion), as the only one southward connecting directly with Richmond, or available after the occupation of Petersburg. It was not without reason, therefore, that this place was regarded as substantially the key to the Rebel capital.
Gen. Smith appeared before the defenses of Petersburg on the morning of the 15th. The enemy's works had now been greatly strengthened, and were well manned. Smith carried a line of works at Beatty's House, the colored troops leading the assault with great intrepidity, and driving the enemy from the rifle pits. Their gallantry was specially commended by their commanding general. There was a heavy fire of Rebel artillery, and the main lines of the enemy were obstinately held