ston escaped, retreating south across the Oostenaula, and the next morning we entered the town, in time to save the road bridge, but the railroad bridge was burned. The whole army started in pursuit, General Thomas directly on his heels, General McPherson by Lay's Ferry, and General Schofield by obscure roads to the left. We found in Resaca another 4- gun battery and a good lot of stores.
General McPherson during the 16th got across at Lay's Ferry. General Thomas had to make some additional bridges at Resaca, but General Schofield had more trouble, and made a wide circuit to the left by Fite's and Field's Ferries across the Conesauga and Coosawattee Rivers, which form the Oostenaula.
On the 17th all the armies moved south by as many different roads as we could find, and General Thomas had sent by my orders a division (General Jeff. C. Davis) along the west bank of the Oostenaula to Rome. Near Adairsville we again found signs of the rebel army and of a purpose to fight, and about sunset of that day General Newton's division in the advance had a pretty sharp encounter with his rear guard, but the next morning he was gone, and we pushed on through Kingston to a pint four miles beyond, where we found him again in force on ground comparatively open and well adapted to a grand battle. We made the proper dispositions, General Schofield approaching Cassville from the north, t which point General Thomas had also directed General Hooker's corps, and I had drawn General McPherson's army from Woodland to Kingston to be in close support.
On the 19th the enemy was in force about Cassville with strong forts, but as our troops converged on him he again retreated in the night- time across the Etowah River, burning the road and railroad bridges near Cartersville, but leaving us in complete possession of the most valuable country above the Etowah River. Holding General Thomas' army about Cassville, General McPherson's about Kingston, and General Schofield's at Cassville Depot and toward the Etowah bridge, I have the army a few days' rest and also time to bring forward supplies for the next stage of the campaign.
In the mean time General Jeff. C. Davis had got possession of Rome with its forts, some eight or ten guns of heavy caliber, and its valuable mills and foundries. We also secured possession of two good bridges across the Etowah River near Kingston, giving us the means of crossing toward the south. Satisfied that the enemy could and would hold us in front, to turn it by a circuit to the right, and, having supplied our wagons for twenty days' absence from our railroad, I left a garrison at Rome and Kingston, and on the 23rd put the army in motion for Dallas. General McPherson crossed the Etowah at the mouth of Connasene Creek, near Kingston, and moved from his position to the south of Dallas via Van Wert. General Davis' division moved directly from Rome for Dallas via Van Wert. General Thomas took the road via Euharlee and Burnt Hickory, while General Schofield moved by other roads more to the east, aiming to come upon General Thomas' left. General Thomas' head of column skirmished with the enemy's cavalry about Burnt Hickory, and captured a courier with a letter of General Johnston's showing he had detected the movement and was preparing to meet us about Dallas. The country was very rugged, mountainous, and densely wooded, with few and obscure roads.
5 R R- VOL XXXVIII, PT I