of turning Dalton. On the 12th the Federal army, covered by the mountain, moved by Snake Creek Gap toward Resaca. Major-General Wheeler, with 2,200 of ours, attacked and defeated more than double that number of Federal cavalry near Varnell's Station. At night our artillery and infantry marched for Resaca. The cavalry followed on the 13th. On that day the enemy, approaching on the Snake Creep Gap road, was checked by Loring's troops, which gave time for the formation of Hardee's and Hood's corps, just arriving. As the army was forced, the left of Polk's corps was on the Oostenaula and the right of Hood's on the Connesauga. There was brisk skirmishing during the afternoon on Polk's front and Hardee's left. On the 14th the enemy made several attacks, the most vigorous on Hindman's division (Hood's left). All were handsomely repulsed. At 6 p. m. Hood advanced with Stevenson's and Stewart's divisions, supported by two of Walker's brigades, driving the enemy from his ground before night. He was instructed to be ready to continue the offensive next morning. At 9 p. m. I learned that Lieutenant-General Polk's troops had lost a position commanding our bridges, and received from Major-General Martin a report that Federal infantry was crossing the Oostenaula, near Calhoun, on a pontoon bridge. The instructions to Lieutenant-General Hood were revoked, and Walker's division sent to the point named by Major-General Martin. On the 15th there was severe skirmishing on the whole front. Major-General Walker reported no movement near Calhoun. Lieutenant-General Hood was directed to prepare to move forward, his right leading, supported by two brigades from Polk's and Hardee's corps. When he was about to move information came from Major-General Walker that the Federal right was crossing the river. To meet this movement Lieutenant-General Hood's attack was countermanded. Stewart's division not receiving the order from corps headquarters in time, attacked unsuccessfully. The army was ordered to cross the Oostenaula that night, destroying the bridges behind it. On the 16th the enemy crossed the Oostenaula. Lieutenant-General Hardee skirmished with them successfully near Calhoun. The fact that a part of Polk's troops were still in the rear, and the great numerical superiorly of the Federal army, made it expedient to risk battle only when position or some blunder on the part of the enemy might give us counterbalancing advantages. I, therefore, determined to fall back slowly until circumstances should put the chances of battle in our favor, keeping so near the U. S. army as to prevent its sending re-enforcements to Grant, and hoping, by taking advantage of positions and opportunities, to reduce the odds against us by partial engagements. I also expected it to be materially reduced before the end of June by the expiration of the terms of service of many of the regiments which had not re-enlisted. In this way we fell back to Cassville in two marches.
At Adairsville (about midway), on the 17th, Polk's cavalry, under Brigadier-General Jackson, met the army, and Hardee after severe skirmishing checked the enemy. At this point, on the 18th, Polk's and Hood's corps took the direct road to Cassville, Hardee's that by Kingston. About half the Federal army took each road. French's division having joined Polk's corps on the 18th, on the morning of the 19th, when half the Federal army was near Kingston, the two corps at Cassville were ordered to advance against the troops that had followed them from Adairsville, Hood's leading on the right.