War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0125 Chapter L. REPORTS, ETC. - ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE.

Search Civil War Official Records

Having passed the three days, 10th, 11th, and 12th, succeeding the unsuccessful attempt on Resaca of May 9, near the southeastern end of Snake Creek Gap, the Fifteenth Army Corps marched on the morning of the 13th instant toward that fortified and strongly re-enforced place. Your order of march placed me in rear of Second Division. On arriving at the intersection of the Sugar Valley and Resaca and Dalton and Calhoun Ferry roads, we found the cavalry force of General Kilpatrick, whose progress was checked by rebel cavalry. In obedience to orders received, I deployed the First and Second Brigades of my division on both sides of the Resaca road, unlimbering Battery F, Second Missouri Artillery, action front. The Third Brigade and Fourth Ohio Battery were formed in second line by battalions in mass, behind the first line; Fourth Ohio Battery also in reserve. The sharpshooters, Lieutenant Williams commanding, and a strong chain of skirmishers from the first line, advanced as close to the enemy's line as the conformation of the ground and the timber permitted. This position was in alignment with the Second Division, on my right. The road to Resaca, from the intersection of the Dalton and Calhoun Ferry road, leads around a series of hills in more or less sudden curves until it strikes Camp Creek half a mile west of town. Timber and open fields alternate on both sides of the road, which, before reaching the creek, runs through a short gap, formed by narrow crested hills. From these the forts of Resaca are within effective range of rifled ordnance (1,600 to 2,400 yards). On receipt of your order to advance, my skirmishers and sharpshooters opened a lively fire on the rebels occupying a belt of timber in their front. Following up their fire by a steady advance, they soon dislodged the rebels, driving them from every position which the terrain induced them to take, until their rear reached the short gap mentioned above west, of Camp Creek. The eminences on both sides of the gap were held by a strong line of sharpshooters and on the hill on the left a two-gun battery had been established behind some light breast-works. As soon as my line debouched from a belt of timber to an open field, separating us from the rebel intrenchments on the hill (distance not over 700 yards), the battery opened a brisk fire of spherical case and shell. The conformation of the ground on the right of the road afforded comparatively good cover to my skirmishers and sharpshooters who not only pushed back the enemy but succeeded in approaching the position of the battery so as to expose its flank to our fire. While this movement on my right (First Brigade) was being executed, one section of 12-pounder howitzers (Battery F, Second Missouri Artillery) was brought into action against the rebel battery with the usual alacrity and skill of this command. They immediately found the range of their opponents, and the enemy very soon had to yield to our superior practice. My skirmishers and line followed the retrograde movement of the rebels, and took possession of the hills just evacuated by them. The occupation of these ridges giving us a direct artillery fire on the town, the Fourth Ohio Battery was placed in position on the right of the road, while the section of 3-inch ordnance (Battery F, Second Missouri Artillery) was brought into action on the foremost crest to the left of the road; the First and Second Infantry Brigades were deployed on the left of the road, their lines conforming to the ridges, so that the bottoms in front, which, as yet, separated us from the fortifications, were exposed to their fire. The skirmishers advanced