War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0796 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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his army was moving northwestwardly), after destroying in the vicinity of Marietta five or six miles of the railroad from Atlanta to Chattanooga, I left at once to join him, overtaking him at Cave Spring on the evening of the 9th instant. I was there informed by him that General Sherman having hastily advanced from Atlanta with five corps, amounting to about 40,000 men, leaving one corps to guard his fortifications, he (General Hood) had determined to draw Sherman's forces still farther north by attempting to break up the railroad between Kingston and Resaca, and again between Resaca and Dalton. To effect the first of these objects he purposed crossing to the north side of the Coosa River, about twelve miles below Rome, which is still occupied by one DIVISION of the enemy, and then to cross the Oostenaula about the same distance above that town. After destroying the road as contemplated, if he could not obtain the immediate surrender of Resaca, commanding the railroad bridge over the Oostenaula, he designed recrossing to the north side on his pontoon bridge above Rome, moving thence to destroy the road between Resaca and Dalton. He proposed meanwhile to guard well the crossings of the Coosa and Oostenaula Rivers, so as to protect his right flank and rear from an attack by Sherman.

Not being sufficiently well acquainted with the nature of the country referred to, and not having yet assumed command of my new department, I would not order, but I advised, General Hood not to carry out his first project unless confident of being able to recross the Oostenaula above Rome before General Sherman could concentrate superior forces against him or could endanger his communications. He readily assented to this suggestion. It was also determined that as a succ present buoyant spirit of the Army of Tennessee, a battle should not be fought unless with positive advantage on our side of numbers and position, or unless the safety of the army required it. Under these circumstances, being still unprovided with staff, baggage, and horses, which were left in Virginia when I was ordered to Charleston, and wishing before assuming command to confer with Lieutenant General Richard Taylor relative to the command of his department and to his ability to co-operate with General Hood in the present campaign (being desirous moreover, of arranging matters necessarily connected with the change of base from Jonesborough, Ga., to Jacksonville, Ala.), I repaired to this place for the objects stated, hoping to be able to return to the front in time for a battle, should one occur; but to be certain of doing so, I instructed General Hood to keep me advised of the movements of the enemy. I expect, nevertheless, to rejoin him in a few days.

I desire that until further notice all letters and communications should be addressed to me at this place, whence they will be forwarded to my headquarters, wherever they may be temporarily located.

I remain, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,



General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector-General, Richmond, Va.


In the Field, Gadsden, Ala., October 24, 1864.

GENERAL: I shall leave to-day about 12 m. to join General Hood, who is now en route to the vicinity of Guntersville, on the Tennessee River. At what time and place the army will cross future events will