CHAPTER XXI 11 .-Continued.
The aggregate number of Sherman's soldiers was about one hundred thousand men. These were confronted by about fifty-five thousand men, led by General Joseph E. Johnston, and arranged in three corps commanded respectively by Generals Hardee, Hood, and Polk. This army then lay at Dalton, at the parting of the ways one leading into East Tennessee, and the other into West Tennessee. To strike that position in front was impracticable, or, at least, perilous, for the Confederates were very strongly posted; and Sherman began there a series of successful flank movements. When he menaced the flanks of the Confederates at Dalton by seeking a passage through Snake Hill Gap), on the left, the insurgents fell back to a point near Resaca Station at the Oostenaula River, on the line of the railway between Chattanooga and Atlanta. At that place a sharp battle occurred on the 15th of May, when the Confederates were driven across the Oostenaula. Johnston fired the bridge that spanned that stream, cutting off direct pursuit immediately. Generals Thomas, Hooker, McPherson, Schofield, and other noted leaders were engaged in the fight; and as soon as a temporary bridge was constructed, the next morning, Thomas pursued Hardee (who covered the retreat) directly, while McPherson and Schofield kept on their flanks. The Confederates fled from post to post, burning bridges behind them, until they reached a mountainous region covering the Allatoona Pass. There Johnston halted, with the Etowah River between his troops and the National forces; and then both armies took a brief rest.
These flanking movements had resulted so favorably to the Nationals, that Sherman resolved to pursue them. He determined to flank Johnston out of his strong position at Allatoona Pass, by concentrating his forces at Dallas, westward of him. In attempting to thwart this movement, the Confederates brought on an engagement near Dallas, on the 25th of May. The battle was indecisive, and was followed by a very stormy night, during which Johnston's men used the pick-axe and spade so industriously that by morning Sherman found his antagonist strongly intrenched, with lines extending from Dallas to Marietta. Between these towns was a broken, wooded country, and in that region there was much severe fighting for several days. At length Johnston was compelled to evacuate Allatoona Pass (June 1, 1864), when it was garrisoned by Sherman and made his second base of supplies, the first being at Chattanooga. The burned bridges were rebuilt and well guarded, and full possession of the railway in his rear was obtained by Sherman. At Allatoona he was reinforced on the 8th by troops under General Frank Blair, which made his number of effective men nearly what it was when he moved from Chattanooga.
The Armies at Marietta - Death of Bishop Polk - Hood in Command - Battles around Atlanta - Thomas Sent to Nashville - Hood Chased into Alabama - Sherman's March to the Sea - Evacuation of Savannah - Events in Florida and North Carolina - Invasion of Tennessee - Hood's Defeats and Escape - Confederate Cruisers - Capture of the "Alabama" - Farragut near Mobile - Election of President - Sherman in the Carolinas - Evacuation of Charleston - Grierson's Raid - Capture of Fort Fisher - Battles at Averysboro' and Bentonville - IV, Wilson's Raid-Capture of Mobile - Operations Below Petersburg - Sheridan Raid - Lee's Attempt to Escape - Stoneman's Raid - Movernents for Peace.
Soon after evacuating Allatoona Pass, General Johnston was compelled to abandon other posts before the approach of Sherman's strengthened army. The latter pressed vigorously forward toward the Kenesaw Mountains that overlook Marietta. Around these great hills and upon their slopes and summits, and also upon Lost and Pine Mountains, the Confederates had cast up intrenchments and planted
Copyright, 1895, by CHARLES F. JOHNSON. Copyright, 1905, by LOSSING HISTORY COMPANY. 1912, by THE WAR MEMORIAL ASSOCIATION, INC.