War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0433 Chapter XLIV. DEMONSTRATION ON DALTON, GA.

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Varnell's Station to the position at which I found him. Neals' farm is 6 miles northwest of Dalton, and 3 miles north of the Chattanooga and Dalton railroad. We both advanced on the wagon road south toward Glaize's house at the railroad. The ridge to our right at this place [Neal's house] soon changed to the southeast, and continues that direction until it passes beyond Davis' house, at the western base of the ridge, at which point the road crosses to the west side of the ridge. Five hundred yards beyond and southeast from the passage of the road over the ridge a gorge separates the ridge, through which a creek flows to the west, south of which the ridge bears to the west of south 1 1/4 miles to the railroad, at a point 3 miles north of west from Dalton, and at a point 1 1/2 miles east of the gorge through the Rocky Fafe Ridge, or Buzzard Roost, forming a valley east of Rocky Face Ridge about 1 1/2 miles wide, running from Davis' south to the railroad a like distance. We steadily advanced, Colonel Long taking the lead; drove the enemy from all the ridge north of the creek. Upon entering the valley Colonel Long's command passed to the right along the base of the ridge to the west. The Eighty-fourth and Seventy-fifth Illinois Infantry were moved forward in the valley on the left of the cavalry, covering the slope of the eastern ridge with skirmishers thrown forward and to the left to cover the ridge and flank of the line. The Twenty-fourth Ohio was thrown forward in rear of the cavalry to support them. In this form we pressed the enemy to within 300 yards of the railroad, the command of Colonel Long driving the rebel infantry out of their camp immediately at the road. We continued in this position, skirmishing in front for some time, when lines of the enemy's infantry commenced an advance upon us. A few well-directed rounds from the section of artillery, with the aid of a heavy skirmish line, brought them to a halt and put them under cover. It was now near night, and learning from prisoners that Stewart's rebel division was in our front and Stevenson's near by, and not knowing that it was possible to have any assistance during the night, at dusk I withdrew the forces, leaving the cavalry and Eightieth Illinois Infantry at Neal's farm, and retired the residue to Widow Burke's house, reported the facts, and rested for the night.

February 25, at early day Brigadier-General Cruft, division commander, promptly came up with the other two brigades, and by his orders all moved forward to Neal's farm, the enemy having occupied the ridge where the road passes over toward Davis' house and for near a mile to the north. Our lines were soon formed, my brigade on the ridge to the right covering the summit and extending well over the western slope, the Thirtieth Indiana, Seventy-fifth and Eightieth Illinois in the front line from right to left, in the order I have named them; the Eighty-fourth Illinois, the Twenty-fourth Ohio, and Thirty-sixth Indiana in the second line. The Second Brigade [Colonel Champion] formed on my left, Colonel Long's cavalry extending his left, the other brigade [Colonel Dickerman] in reserve. It was now about 9 a.m. Major-General Palmer appeared on the field and wished to see me. I reported to him in front on the skirmish line. After consultation the general informed me that we would not advance until General Baird's division should arrive in the valley to my right.

About 11 o'clock all was ready, and I sounded the forward and the whole line moved off in splendid order. I rode with Colonel Bennett, Seventy-fifth Illinois, whose battalion was the battalion of di-