I had learned that Lee's corps, of Hood's army, had attacked that place the day previous. About 11 a. m. I was notified by Lieutenant-Colonel Webster, Forty-fourth U. S. Colored Infantry, who accompanied Captain McNeely, that he observed from Dug Gap that the railroad track from one mile north of Resaca to within five miles south of Dalton was burning, and that he believed the bridge at Tilton, ten miles south of Dalton, was on fire also. Soon after he informed me in person that the cavalry was skirmishing four miles south of Dalton on the Tilton road, and that the rebels were advancing on Dalton. I immediately made all necessary preparations, notified Major-General Schofield, who was on one of the trains then at the depot, and requested him to send me all the armed-men from the trains that could be spared. A company of about FIFTY men, belonging to the FIFTY-seventh Illinois Volunteers, were sent me, and the trains left in the direction of Cleveland. Shortly after our cavalry rushed into town and stated that a large force was following them closely. What force it was and whether infantry or cavalry they could not tell, and only after my picket-line engaged the enemy I discovered that it was an infantry force. After some skirmishing, between 12 and 1 p. m., a flag of truce came to my outposts, and the officer whom I sent to receive the flag sent me to following communication:
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE, In the Field, 13, 1864.
OFFICER COMMANDING U. S. FORCES,
I demand the immediate and unconditional surrender of the post and garrison under your command, and should this be acceded to, all white officers and soldiers will be paroled in a few days. If the place is carried by assault, no prisoners will be taken.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. B. HOOD,
I answered, I cannot surrender the troops under my command, what- ever the consequences may be. After this some slight skirmishing ensued. In about half an hour another summons (verbal) was sent in, but answered as the first. Skirmishing was resumed, and soon a very long a dense line of infantry, about two miles in length, reaching from the Tunnel Hill to the lower Spring Place roads, and several batteries could be observed from my redoubt. Cannonading was also heard above, near Buzzard Roost Gap, and I was informed that a DIVISION of cavalry occupied the Cleveland road, and that the railroad north of Dalton was burning, the guard at the first bridge north of Dalton captured, and that the rebels were then shelling the block-house at the second bridge north of Dalton. In short, we were surrounded.
Captain McNeely, of the Seventh Kentucky Cavalry, now came in and reported that he had ridden the entire line of the enemy; that I must surrender, as "they had men enough to east us up," as he expressed himself. I saw myself that there was a large force of the enemy, and judged from the disposition of the troops that they intended a determined attack. Fully aware that in the position which I occupied, and which would not afford sufficient shelter and protection to repel the attack of any raiding party, I could hold out but a very short time against the batteries of an army and the assaults of infantry, as my redoubt is commanded from two points, I sent Lieutenant-Colonel Webster, Forty-fourth U. S. Colored Infantry, Captain McNeely, Seventh Kentucky Cavalry, and Captain Holmes, Forty-forth U. S. Colored Infantry, under flag of truce to General Hood, with instructions to demand per-