War of the Rebellion: Serial 072 Page 0140 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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p. m. and encamped for the night, picketing strongly the roads leading from Buzzard Roost and Dalton, as well as the approaches from the direction of Villanow. General Kilpatrick's division of cavalry took post at or near Gordon's Spring to be in readiness to establish communication with the Army of the Tennessee, which was expected at Villanow on the 8th.

On the morning of the 8th Harker's brigade, of Newton's division, Howard's corps, was pushed along the crest of Rocky Face Ridge to within half a mile of the rebels' signal station, where it came upon obstructions of too formidable character to admit of farther progress, except with very severe loss; it was instructed to hold the position. Wood's division, of the Fourth Corps; Davis' division, of the Fourteenth Corps, and Butterfield's division, of the Twentieth Corps, then pushed forward a line of skirmishers and drove the enemy to his intrenchments, our men occupying the mouth of Buzzard Roost. Geary's division, of the Twentieth Corps, made a reconnaissance well up the side of Chattoogata Mountain (a high and precipitous ridge running due south from Buzzard Roost). Geary's men fought their way well up to the enemy's intrenchments on the crest, but will considerable loss and without being able to gain possession of Mill Gap. The troops were then withdrawn to a position in the valley out of reach of the enemy's guns; Kilpatrick's communicated with General McPherson's command at Villanow, and then returned to Trickum. Brigadier General Ed. McCook was ordered to concentrate his cavalry division and take post on the left of General Schofield until General Stoneman's cavalry could arrive and relieve him. From a prisoner captured at Buzzard Roost we learned that the force defending the passage of the gap amounted to 11,000 men, comprising Stewart's and Bate's divisions, being supported by Hindman's and Stevenson's divisions, numbering 10,000 more. They had considerable artillery, but none heavier than 10-pounder caliber. The enemy was fortifying all night of the 7th and had masked batteries at points all through the pass. Heavy skirmishing was kept up along the whole line during the 9th and 10th with considerable loss in wounded, and but few killed.

General Hooker was directed on the 10th to send one division from his command to the support of General McPherson at Snake Creek Gap, to enable the latter to operate more freely from anger to his rear. Kilpatrick's cavalry was also ordered to report to General McPherson. McCook's division of cavalry, posted on the left of General Schofield's command, had a heavy skirmish with three brigades the enemy's cavalry on the road leading to Varnell's Station, resulting in our driving the rebels to their intrenchments on Poplar Creek Hill, where they opened on McCook's troops with two pieces of artillery. Our loss was 136 men and 15 officers killed, wounded, and missing; among the latter Colonel La Grande, of the First Wisconsin, who was captured. The enemy's loss was greater than ours. General Hooker was directed to send another division from his command to Snake Creek Gap, with instructions to repair the road through the gap so as to facilitate the passage of infantry and wagons.

On the 111th it was decided to leave one corps (Howard's), supported by Stoneman's and McCook's divisions of cavalry, and move to Snake Creek Gap with the balance of the army, attacking the enemy in force from that quarter, while Howard was keeping p the impression of a direct attack on Buzzard Roost. This move-