Information was received by daylight on the 16th that Johnston had evacuated Resaca, and directions were immediately given for the whole army to start in pursuit. Our troops occupied the town about 9 a. m. and commenced repairing the bridge over the Oostenaula, which had been partially burned by the enemy; a pontoon bridge was also thrown across above the railroad bridge, so that by night Howard's corps had got across, and marched on Calhoun. Hooker's command crossed the Connesauga at Fite's Ferry and at a ford in its vicinity, thence marching south across the Coosawattee toward Adairsville. Palmer's command was to follow after Howard's, except Davis' division, which was detached and sent toward Rome to the support of Garrard's cavalry, then acting under special instructions from the major-general commanding the military division.
On the 17th our advance skirmished with the enemy nearly the whole distance from Calhoun to within two miles of Adairsville, when a fierce skirmish ensued, completely checking our farther progress, and occasioning considerable loss in wounded. Information was brought in about dark that the whole on Johnston's army was at Adairsville.
The column was again set in motion on the morning of the 18th, the enemy having left during the night. Howard's and Palmer's commands moved on the direct road and along the railroad toward Kingston, camping at a point three miles north of the latter place. Hooker's corps moved on a road running southeast from Adairsville, his instruction being to proceed as far as Cassville, and there await further orders. General Davis' division, of the Fourteenth Corps, occupied Rome, capturing a large amount of commissary and quartermaster stores, hospital supplies, &c., and all sorts of ammunition., enough to supply his command for two weeks. The enemy tried to destroy the valuable iron-works at this place, but failed to do them much injury.
Howard's troops entered Kingston about 8 a. m. on the 19th, skirmishing with the enemy on the southeastern side of the town. The column started again about 11 a. m. and came up with what was reported to be Cheatham's and another division in line of battle on a hill about half away between Kingston and Cassville. Howard's troops shelled the enemy from this position, pushing on after him to within two miles of Cassville, skirmishing with his rear guard until dark, when the command halted for the night. Baird's division, of palmer's corps, was posted on the right of Howard's corps. Hooker's troops, engaged the enemy on the road, leading direct from Adairsville to Cassville, skirmishing with him and driving him into his works at the latter place. At 10 p. m. General Hooker reported the town in possession of his troops. A deserter came into our lines with the information that Johnston received a re-enforcement of 6,000 men on the 19th, and that his army was now estimated at 70,000 strong.
By direction of the major-general commanding the military division the whole command rested until the morning of the 23d. In the mean time, the railroad having been placed in running order as far as Cassville Depot, twenty day's rations and forage were issued to the troops. Resaca was directed to be strongly held and made a depot of supplies, only such stores and provisions to be brought forward to Kingston and Rome as could be moved by the moved by the wagons present with the army. My directions were to move my army at daylight