Early on this morning (May 12) the command moved out in front of Dalton, on the Cleveland railroad, a distance of some six miles and a half, for the purpose of supporting General Wheeler in a reconnaissance of that portion of the enemy's line. Line of battle was formed in rear of where General Wheeler was skirmishing with the enemy, but the enemy retiring, the command returned to near Tilton, where we bivouacked during the night. At about 10 a.m. on the 13th the command resumed the march in the direction of Resaca, and at about 2 p.m. were formed into line of battle about three miles north of Resaca, where temporary works of defense were begun. Before their completion the command was moved by left flank for about one mile, when we halted and bivouacked during the night.
Early on the morning of the 14th we began to move, and took our position in battle line about 7.30 a. m. Colonel Benton, commanding Thirty-fourth Mississippi Regiment, occupied the right, Colonel Brantly, commanding Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth Mississippi, on the left, and my command the center. We began immediately to erect temporary works of defense, but at about 11 a. m., and before our defenses were complete, the enemy advanced to assault them. Our sharpshooters were forced in, and the enemy, with three lines of battle, came dashing across the open field in our front at a double quick and arms port. On they came with wild yell until within easy range. A terrific volley was poured into their advancing columns, which caused them to break and retreat in confusion to the cover of a small hill in our front. Then moving by the left flank, they passed out of the field, still under a galling fire from our rifles, and gained the cover of a dense pine thicket to our left. They advanced to the edge of this, where they were partially protected by a fence, from two to three feet high, and from the cover of which they kept up during the day a brisk fire at a distance not exceeding 200 yards from our works. Our fire did not cease during the day, and from unmistakable evidence the execution was good and the enemy's loss heavy.
The loss of the two regiments under my command during this day was 20 killed and 29 wounded, among whom, I regret to say, was Lieutenant Colonel A. J. Jones and Captain J. R. Poole, of the Twenty-seventh Mississippi Regiment. They were killed instantly. The firing ceased at about 8 p.m.
Having secured tools at a late hour, it was deemed expedient to strengthen our works, which up to this time were in a very imperfect condition. During the night the enemy intrenched themselves in the position occupied by them during the day, and also got into position some batteries on eminences commanding our line.
At about 6 a. m. on the 15th the engagement began again and raged during the entire day until after dark. At about 8 a. m. the batteries erected by the enemy began shelling our line without doing any execution whatever; but at about 11 o'clock they opened again with a range terribly accurate, and succeeded in silencing our guns and enfilading our entire works. The shelling continued at intervals during the evening and resulted in serious loss in killed and wounded, and in some places almost annihilating our frail defenses. The fighting continued until after dark, when it ceased, and it being impossible to obtain told to repair and strengthen our works, the men were allowed to sleep in the trenches.
51 R R-VOL XXXVIII, PT III