Immediately upon receiving a report that General Warren had connected with General Hancock I returned to my headquarters. Soon after I left the enemy moved out across Hatcher's Run, in the gap between Generals Hancock and Warren, which was not closed as reported, and make a desperate attack on General Hancock's right and rear. General Hancock immediately faced his corps to meet it, and after a bloody combat drove the enemy within his works, and withdrew that night to his old position. In support of this movement General Butler made a demonstration on the north side of the James, and attacked the enemy on the Williamsburg road and also on the York River Railroad. In the former he was unsuccessful; in the latter he succeeded in carrying a work which was afterward abandoned, and his forces withdrawn to their former positions.
From this time forward the operations in front of Petersburg and Richmond, until the spring campaign of 1865, were confined to the defense and extension of our lines and to offensive movements for crippling the enemy's lines of communication and to prevent his detaching any considerable force to send south.* By the 7th of February our lines were extended to Hatcher's Run, and the Weldon railroad had been destroyed to Hicksford.
General Sherman moved from Chattanooga on the 16th of May, with the Armies of the Cumberland, Tennessee,and Ohio, commanded, respectively, by Generals Thomas, McPherson, and Schofield, upon Johnston's army at Dalton; but finding the enemy's positions at Buzzard Roost, covering Dalton, too strong to be assaulted, General McPherson was sent through Snake [Creek] Gap to turn it, while Generals Thomas and Schofield threatened it in front and on the north. This movement was successful. Johnston, finding his retreat likely to be cut off, fell back to his fortified position at Resaca, where he was attacked on the afternoon of May 15. A heavy battle ensued. During the night the enemy retreated south. Late on the 17th his rear guard was overtaken near Adairsville, and heavy disappeared. He was vigorously pursued and was overtaken at Cassville on the 19th, but during the ensuing night, retreated across the Etowah. While these operations were going on, General Jefferson C. Davis' division, of Thomas' army, was sent to Rome, capturing it with its forts and artillery and its valuable mills and foundries. General Sherman having given his army a few days' rest at this point, again put it in motion on the 23rd for Dallas, with a view of turning the difficult pass at Allatoona. On the afternoon of the 25th the advance, under General Hooker, had a severe battle with the enemy, driving him back to New Hope Church, near Dallas. Several sharp encounters occurred at this point. The most important was on the 28th, when the enemy assaulted General McPherson at Dallas but received a terrible and bloody repulse.
On the 4th of June Johnston abandoned his intrenched position at New Hope Church and retreated to the strong positions of Kenesaw, Pine, and Lost Mountains. He was forced to yield the two last-named places and concentrate his army on Kenesaw, where, on the 27th, Generals Thomas and McPherson made a determined but unsuccessful assault. On the night of the 2nd of July Sherman commenced moving his army by the right flank, and on the morning
*Subordinate reports of operations against Petersburg and Richmond from August 1 to December 31, 1864, will appear in Vol. XLII.