War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0721 Chapter L. REPORTS, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

very severe by the extreme heat of the summer and the steep acclivity of the ridge, about an hour before sundown. Reaching the gap (Dug Gap) in person, while my command was still at the foot of the ridge, I found the First and Second Arkansas Cavalry, dismounted, and Grigsby's brigade of Kentucky cavalry holding the position. They had gallantly repulsed every assaults. The fight was still going on, and some anxiety was felt (you yourself were present) lest the overwhelming numbers of the enemy might carry the position before my command could ascend the hill. The Arkansas and Kentuckians held it firmly, however, until I placed Lowrey and Granbury in position, which was done by night-fall. With night the enemy remitted his attack, and everything was quiet. On the morning of the 9th my pickets were advanced to the extreme base of the ridge on its west face. Many of the enemy's dead were found, and some wounded, who were brought in and cared for. Most of the wounded belonged to Buschbeck's brigade, Geary's division, Hooker's corps. A great many small-arms were collected and brought in also. The enemy did not attack during the day. His forces were plainly in view in the valley. Their numbers, however, could not be estimated, as the valley had only a small portion of cleared land. Some prisoners were taken during the day.

At about 1 a. m. on the 10th I received orders to move to the junction of the Sugar Valley and Dug Gap roads. At that point further orders were communicated to me to move toward Resaca. Leaving Colonel Williamson with his Arkansas troops in the gap (Grisby had been sent to Snake Creek Gap) I moved accordingly within a mile of that place (Resaca) on the railroad. I remained here tow of three hours, when I returned by your command to Dug Gap, arriving about sundown. My division was now together. Receiving orders during the night I marched on the morning of the 11th, starting at 7 o'clock, upon the Sugar Valley road in the direction of Resaca. This movement was rendered necessary by the untoward circumstances of Snake Creek Gap not being adequately occupied to resist the heavy force thrown against it, under the sagacious and enterprising McPherson. How this gap, which opened upon our rear and line of communication, from which it was distant at Resaca only five miles, was neglected I cannot imagine. General Mackall, Johnston's chief of staff, told me it was the result of a flagrant disobedience of orders, by whom he did not say. Certainly the commanding general never could have failed to appreciate its the importance. Its loss exposed us in the outset of the campaign to a terrible danger, and on the left forced us to retreat from a position where, if he adhered to his attack, we might have detained the enemy for months, destroying vast numbers of his men, perhaps prolonged the campaign until the wet season would have rendered operations in the field impracticable. As it was, if McPherson had hotly pressed his advantage, Sherman supporting him strongly with the bulk of his army, it is impossible to say what the enemy might not have achieved - more than probable a complete victory. But McPherson faltered and hung back, indeed after penetrating within a mile of Resaca he actually returned, because, as I understood, he was not supported, and feared if we turned back suddenly upon him from Dalton he would be cut off, as doubtless would have been the result. After a few miles I camped for several hours. In the afternoon I resumed the march, and halted about sundown at a point where a