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mish. McPherson drove in the enemy's pickets near Resaca on the 13th, and occupied a range of hills in front of the town, with his right on the Oostanaula River. Thomas on his left faced Camp Creek, a small affluent of the Oostanaula, and Schofield took a position on Thomas's left. The enemy, under Johnston, meantime fell back from Dalton, Howard pressing his rear, to a strong position bebind Camp Creek, and, on May 14th, occupied the defensive works at Resaca, with his right on some high chestnut hills to the north of the town.
The enemy lay here behind a line of rifle-pits and earthworks, which they had thrown across the peninsula formed by the Coosawattie and Conasauga Rivers, which unite near Resaca to form the Oostanaula. Hardee held their right, Polk the left, and Hood the centre. On the 14th of May, Sherman vainly operated to turn the flank of the enemy in order to prevent their retreat. A vigorous attempt by Palmer on the left centre to carry the position in his front resulted in a repulse, with the loss of seven hundred and fifty-five men. A similar attack on the left by a column composed of Judah's Division of Schofield's Corps and Newton's Division of Howard's Corps, assisted finally by Cox's Division of Schofield's Corps, resulted in driving the enemy from an outer line of rifle-pits. The fire was kept up until the close of day, when the enemy, having massed a strong column, fell suddenly upon Stanley's Division of the Fourth Corps, driving it in confusion from the hill where it had been posted. The division was saved from rout by the arrival of Hooker's Corps, which had been ordered round from the right centre to support the left wing. Meanwhile, McPherson on the right, taking advantage of the enemy's occupation with this movement, sent Logan's Corps across Camp Creek, where it carried a line of rifle-pits in a position which afforded an enfilading fire upon the rebel works. The approaching night put a stop to active operations, and both parties proceeded to strengthen their positions.
On the morning of May 15th, heavy skirmishing began on our centre and left centre, under cover of which our troops were formed on the left for an attack upon the extreme right of the enemy's line, where an attempt was to be made to secure possession of two fortified hills which commanded each other, compelling a simultaneous attack on both. Hooker directed Butterfield's Division to assault, supported by the divisions of Geary and Williams. Forming under cover of a ravine in the forest, our troops advanced, covered by heavy skirmishing along the whole line of the army, and a heavy artillery fire, taking the enemy at first by surprise, and carrying every thing before them, until, with the help of their supports, they secured a lodgment in front of one of the enemy's strongest positions. Here they found shelter from fire, while the right and left flanks of the work were raked by our fire and their guns silenced. At about four P. M. an assault was made on our new position by Hood's Corps, which was repulsed with heavy slaughter, and night closed with Hooker still in possession of the heights he had carried. On the night of the 15th, the enemy quietly abandoned his works and retreated towards Calhoun, destroying the bridge across the Oostanaula. Our total loss in this series of engagements was about eight hundred killed, and
something over four thousand wounded, of whom some two thousand were so slightly injured that they were fit for duty in two or three weeks. Our captures amounted to one thousand. Besides these, eight guns were captured, four of them fine twelve-pounders. The rebel loss was about two thousand five hundred.
The army followed in pursuit, on the morning of the 16th, Thomas by the direct road, McPherson by Lay's Ferry, and Schofield to the left. The cavalry, under McCook and Stoneman, started in advance of the infantry. Ilooker crossed the river on pontoons near Resaca, and Schofield in the same way near Pelton, farther to the left. The remainder of our army was afterwards thrown across, and on Wednesdar, the 18th, Sherman reached Kingston, twenty-five miles by rail beyond Resaca. Meanwhile, Rome was occupied by Davis's Division of the Fourteenth Corps. A large amount of provisions and seven fine iron works and machine-shops were secured at Rome, where every thing appears to have been left undisturbed by the rebels. On Monday evening, the 16th, there was some slight skirmishing with the rebel rear-guard. On Tuesday, the 17th, our centre reached and passed Calhoun—the capital of Gordon County, eighty miles northwest of Atlanta, and sixty miles beyond Chattanooga. Three miles beyond here, a brisk little fight occurred, the rebels having occupied with their sharpshooters an octagon cement building, called the “Graves House." After a fight of two hours, the skirmishers of Newton's Division of Howard's Corps (Fourth), aided by artillery, succeeded in dislodging the enemy. Early Wednesday morning (18th), the army was again upon the march, the Fourth Corps leading the way, and before night our troops occupied Kingston. The Twentieth and Twenty-third Army Corps advanced on the left by way of Crossville, skirmishing heavily by the way. The army here had a few days' rest, while supplies were accumulating for a new forward movement. The enemy, meanwhile, on the 19th, crossed the Etowah, burving the road and railroad bridges near Cartersville, and fell back upon Illatoona Pass, in the Etowah Vountains, a position of vast natural strength, and almost impregnable against a direct advance on Atlanta by railroad.
Sherman, who had previously ordered away the newspaper reporters, now issued the following circular, which explains its own object, and also the evil which the previous order had been intended to remedy :
“ HEAD-QUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, )
"KINGSTON, GA., May 20, 1864. “Inasmuch as an impression is afloat that the Commanding General has prohibited the mails to and from the army, he takes this method of assuring all officers and men that, on the contrary, he encourages them, by all his influence and authority, to keep up the most unreserved correspondence with their families and friends. Wherever they may be, army corps and division commanders should perfect the arrangements to receive and transmit mails; and all chaplains, staff officers, and captains of companies should assist the soldiers in communicating with their families.
"What the Commanding General does discourage, is the existence of that class of men who will not take a musket and fight, but who follow an army to pick up news for sale, speculating on a species of information which is dangerous to the army and to our cause, and who are more used to bolster up idle and worthless officers than to notice
the hard-working and meritorious, whose modesty is generally equal to their courage. · and who scorn to seek the flattery of the press.
“W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General"
Anticipating that the enemy would make a stand at Allatoona Pass with every chance of success, Sherman resolved to turn it, and for that purpose made full preparations for a flank movement to the right. Accordingly, on May 23d, the army was put in motion in a direction almost due south, Allatoon being more to the east. McPherson crossed the Etowah at the mouth of Conasene Creek, near Kingston, and moved for his position to the south of Dallas vid Van Wert. Davis's Division moved directly from Rome for Dallas by Van Wert. Thomas took the road via Euharlee and Burnt Hickory, while Schofield moved by other roads more to the east, aiming to come up on General Thomas's left. Thomas's head of column skirmished with the enemy's cavalry about Burnt Hickory, and captured a courier with a letter written by Johnston, showing he had detected the move and was preparing to meet Sherman about Dallas.
On the 25th May, Thomas was moving from Burnt Hickory for Dallas, his troops on three roads, Hooker having the advance. When he approached the Pumpkin Vine Creek, on the main Dallas road, he encountered the enemy's cavalry at a bridge to his left. He rapidly pushed them across the creek, saving the bridge, and followed out eastward about two miles, where he encountered the enemy's line of battle, and his leading division, Geary's, had a severe combat. It was near 4 o'clock P. M. before Hooker got his whole corps well in hand, when he made a bold push to secure possession of a point known as the “New Hope” Church, where three roads meet from Acworth, Marietta, and Dallas. Here he suffered a repulse, with a total loss of six hundred. On the 26th the enemy was discovered well intrenched in front of the road leading from Dallas to Marietta. Accordingly, McPherson was moved up to Dallas, Thomas was deployed against New Hope Church, and Schofield was directed towards our left, so as to strike and turn the enemy's right. Garrard's Cavalry operated with McPherson, and Stoneman with Schofield. McCook looked to our rear. In consequence of the difficult nature of the ground, these movements required several days. On the 28th, the enemy, taking advantage of McPherson's closing on Thomas to his left, assaulted him with great vigor, but the Federal troops, being behind breastworks, repulsed him with ease and with comparatively little loss. That of the rebels exceeded two thousand.
Johnston had selected a position of great natural strength near his base of supplies—with a rail and three excellent wagon-roads for his lines of supply--had recruited his army by all the available troops in his department, and was evidently anxious that Sherman would risk a general engagement, and in his present position he would have received battle if it had been offered. A battle would have involved the whole of both armies. It might have been successful on our part; but the cost of life and limb would have been immense. · Sherman might have achieved a victory; but he must in all probability have come out of the conflict with a shattered, crippled, weakened army. He might be unable for weeks to resume offensive operations. Then, again, the defensive line extending from Dallas northeast to Lost Mountain was not only the best, but almost the only military position of any great natural
strength north of the Chattahoochee River. If dislodged from that, Johnston would be compelled to fall back of that river, or fight upon more equal ground. Such being the situation, General Sherman determined not to attack Johnston in his intrenchments, and to force him to abandon them.
It being determined to change position so as to force Johnston into the field, after a few days' delay, Sherman renewed orders to McPherson to move to his left about five miles and occupy Thomas's position in front of New Hope Church, and Thomas and Schofield were ordered to move a corresponding distance to their left. This move was effected with ease and safety on the 1st of June, and by pushing the left well around, Sherman occupied all the roads leading back to Allatoona and Acworth, after which he pushed Stoneman's Cavalry rapidly into Allstoona, at the east end of the Pass, and Garrard's Cavalry around by the rear to the west end of the Pass. Both of these commands reached the points designated without trouble, and we thereby accomplished the real purpose of turning the Allatoona Pass. Our line was about seven miles in length. The extreme right, held by the Army of the Tennessee, was the longest relatively, and the weakest.
Contemporaneous with the withdrawal of the right wing, or immediately after its discovery, the rebels changed the position of their left, Hardee's Corps being moved to the centre. About midnight of June 4th, General Logan received information that the enemy in his front were evacuating their works and moving in some direction. The night was rainy and very dark. Logan gave orders to advance his skirmishers so soon as it sbould be light enough to move. The line moved about four, and found the works in the front of his corps entirely abardoned and his whole force withdrawn, save a few pickets, who were captured. Johnston was too shrewd to be cut off from his base, and on the 4th, discovering the Union troops moving round his right fank, he abandoned his position, and moved eastward to the railroad, to cover Marietta.
On the 6th the Army of the Tennessee marched at daylight to Acworth, on the railroad, some fifteen or sixteen miles northwest of Marietta by rail, and two-thirds that distance on a straight line. Thus Johnston was again obliged by General Sherinan's strategy to abandon a strong position, and move out of his carefully and thoroughly prepared fortifications. Sherman, having examined Allatoona Pass, resolved to make it a secondary base.
Here, on the 7th, was Sherman, in sight of the enemy's signal stations at Lost Mountain-on the direct road from Dallas to Marietta, seven miles from the latter place—and Kenesaw Mountain, ten miles from Lost Mountain, a little east of north from it, on the railroad. These two points were the right and left of the enemy's position, their army stretching along the hills between the two. They are detached peaks, overlooking the plain beyond, and connected by a ridge, or series of low hills. Kenesaw Mountain, the larger of the two, rises to an elevation of one thousand eight hundred and twenty-eight feet above the sea-level, extending some nine hundred yards on its summit from northeast to southwest. It is situated two and one-half miles northwest of