Tuesday, May 17, 1864.-We reached Adairsville just before day, a little ahead of troops. Cultivated, rolling country from Resaca to Adairsville.
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9.45 p. m., this morning and forenoon guns heard at intervals at distance; Wheeler skirmishing; 2.30 p. m., dispatch received from Wheeler (2.10), saying enemy pressing rapidly two and a half miles from town, and he would have to fall back. General had ridden out to Hood's line; original sent to him and copies of to H. and H. [Hood and Hardee]. [Hardee] did not receive his until after his infantry informed him. At this time cavalry were coming in. General soon came in. by 5 p. m. Cheatham, who was one mile in advance, was skirmishing. Pack up and saddle. Troops who had not been in line, but massed in bivouac, quickly formed, while firing going on. Sent to Hardee to ask what dispositions he had made; found him on his left; Cheatham in advance of all infantry; Walker on his right, Cleburne next, part crossing Oothkaloga Creek; Bate in reserve. Returned soon, all the lieutenant-generals and Wheeler. Enemy reported on west of Oothkaloga Creek. Bate sent over; 6,000 cavalry reported six miles of Cartersville. pontoons at Cassville. Jackson's division cavalry ordered back. One brigade had no corn for three days. (Pontoons ordered to Etowah.) Firing heard at Rome, while all this going on. Telegram from Lieutenant-Colonel Steever, Rome, saying enemy in force, shelling town. I sent after General P. about 6 p. m. All in council. Can the army be withdrawn when so many roads into Calhoun? Carry a dispatch in room; General W. W. [Mackall] and J---- looking at map. Latter traces road from here to Cassville; asks how long will it take all to go down one road? [Hoodl] says can't be done. [Hardee] said we will have to fight. [Hood] has been anxious to get from this place south of Etowah. 7.10 p. m., Roy and Cunningham have just been called for. In waiting. On 16th May received cipher from General S. D. Lee, Demopolis; not translatable. Repetition received on 17th, at night. Forrest will start on 20th from Corinth to cross Tennessee at Florence with 3,500 picked men and 2 batteries. Colonel Hill reported on authority of scout that enemy were moving down toward Rome, on Calhoun and Rome road, Palmer's corps in advance, wagon trains along, and one brigade cavalry. Did not learn whether any other force was behind.
Wednesday, May 18.-Reached creek near Cassville about 7.30 a. m.; got into camp 9.30 a. m.; no firing so far (just after break-fast). Left headquarters just beyond Adairsville about 4 a.m. Hardee's corps moved on Adairsville and Kingston road, Hood's and Polk's on Adairsville and Cassville. Sears' brigade, French's division, reached Adairsville yesterday. French with Cockrell's this a. m. at Kingston; cars gone for Ector's. French had one brigade about starting from Rome to join this army when town was attacked. Cockrell's detained to aid in defense and protect the other brigade. 4 p. m., cipher from S. d. Lee, of 17th, Meridian, received. Forrest's move for 20th suspended on account of demonstrations from Memphis. Colonel Hannon just reports enemy's cavalry in force advancing on Fairmount road rapidly, and four miles from here. Armstrong ordered to support of Hannon.