November 10. -Moved to within half a mile of South Florence and went into camp.
November 13. -Crossed the Tennessee and camped at Florence.
Numbers 110. Report of Lieutenant General Stephen D. Lee, C. S. Army, commanding army corps.
COLUMBUS, MISS., January 30, 1864.
COLONEL: I have the honor to offer the following as my official report of the operations of my corps during the offensive movement commencing at Palmetto Station, Ga., September 29, 1864:
It is impracticable now, in consequence of the movement of troops and my temporary absence from the army to obtain detailed reports from my DIVISION commanders.
As a corps commander I regarded the morale of the army greatly impaired after the fall of Atlanta, and, in fact, before its fall the troops were not by any means in good spirits. It was my observation and belief that the majority of the officers and men wee so impressed with the idea of their inability to carry even temporary breast-works that, when orders were given for attack and there was a probability of encountering works, they regarded it as recklessness in the extreme. Being impressed with these convictions they did not generally move to the attack with that spirit which nearly always insures success. Whenever the enemy changed his position temporary works could be improvised in less than two hours, and he could never be caught without them. In making these observations, it is due to many gallant officers and commands to state that there were noticeable exceptions, but the feeling was so general that anything like a general attack was paralyzed by it. The army having constantly yielded to the flank movements of the enemy, which he could make with but little difficulty by reason of his vastly superior numbers, and having failed in the offensive movements undertaken prior to the fall of Atlanta, its efficiency for further retarding the progress of the enemy was much impaired, and besides, the advantages in the topography of the country south of Atlanta were much more favorable to the enemy for the movements of his superior numbers than the rough and mountainous country already yielded to him. In view of these facts it was my opinion that the army should take up the offensive, with the hope that favorable opportunities would be offered for striking the enemy successfully, thus insuring the efficiency of the army for future operations. These opinions were freely expressed to the commanding general.
My corps crossed the Chattahoochee River on September 29, and on October 3, 1864, took position near Lost Mountain to cover the movement of Stewart's corps on the railroad at Big Shanty and Allatoona.
On October 6 I left my position near Lost Mountain, marching via Dallas and Cedartown, crossing the Coosa River at Coosaville October 10, and moved on Resaca, partially investing the place by 4 p. m. on October 12. The surrender of the place was demanded in a written communication, which was in my possession, signed by General Hood. The commanding officer refused to surrender. As he could have easily escaped from the forts with his forces and crossed the Oostenaula River, I did not deem it prudent to assault the works, which were strong and well, manned, believing that our loss would have been severe.