HDQRS. DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
Camp at Sugar Valley, May 9, 1864-10.30 p. m.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN,
Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:
GENERAL: General Dodge’s command moved up and skirmished with the enemy at Resaca this afternoon. While that was going on one company of mounted infantry, Lieutenant-Colonel Phillips’ regiment, succeeded in reaching the railroad near Tilton Station, but was forced to leave without damaging the track. They tore down a small portion of the telegraph wire. The enemy have a strong position at Resaca naturally, and, as far as we could see, heave it pretty well fortified. They displayed considerable force, and opened on us with artillery. After skirmishing till nearly dark, or getting to it, I decided to withdraw the command and take up a position for the night between Sugar Valley and the entrance to the gap for the following reasons: First. Between this point and Resaca there are a half dozen good roads leading north toward Dalton down which a column of the enemy could march, making our advanced position a very exposed one. Second. General Dodge’s men are all out of provisions, and some regiments have had nothing to-day. His wagon train is between here and Villanow, and possibly some of them are coming through the gap now, but they could not have reached him near Resaca; besides, I did not wish to block up the road with a train. It is very narrow, and the country on either side is heavily wooded. I had no cavalry except Phillips’ mounted men to fell out on the flanks. If I could have had a division of good cavalry I could have broken the railroad at some point. I shall be compelled to rest my men to-morrow forenoon, at least, to enable them to draw provisions. We have lost some 6 men killed and 30-odd wounded, but have inflicted a greater amount of damage to the enemy, and captured about 25 prisoners.
General Kilpatrick is very anxious to make the attempt to cut the railroad. General Garrard is in La Fayette to-night; says his horses are very much fatigued and short of forage; desires to remain there until his forage train comes down from Chattanooga. When I move forward again I would like a division of Hooker’s command to hold the entrance to the gap and the roads at Sugar Valley, thereby enabling me to move forward with my entire command, except train guards.
The news from Grant is glorious.
JAS. B. McPHERSON,
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Tunnel Hill, Ga., May 9, 1864-3.30 p. m.
GENERAL: The dispatch of General Corse has been received,* and I am directed by the general commanding to say to you at all events to keep up with the infantry, if possible. There is not, nor has been, any enemy at La Fayette. It has been patrolled by 400 men for you, and he desires you to hurry to General McPherson. I will add for myself as official that General Grant drove Lee from every position on the 5th and 6th, and on the 7th pursued him ten miles, capturing all his wounded.
I am, with much regard, yours, &c.,
L. M. DAYTON,