Buzzard Roost, May 10, 1864-10.30 a. m.
General McPHERSON, Sugar Valley:
GENERAL: I have yours of last night and have talked to Captain Audenried. I regret beyond measure you did not break the railroad, however little, and close to Resaca, but I suppose it was impossible. We find in Buzzard Roost Gap an almost impassable obstacle; the spurs on either side run down to a stream Mill Creek, and are all escaped and rifle-pitted with batteries on the upper plateau. The ridge itself is very rocky, not unlike Lookout Mountain. I doubt if we can force a passage, but we may render it equally impassable to the enemy, and leaving a comparatively small force here can rapidly, and by night, if necessary a comparatively small force here can rapidly, and by night, if necessary, march through Snake Creek Gap, and hold the point near Resaca, where the Dalton road comes in. I wish you to select near the debouch a strong impregnable position, such as this country abounds in, and fortify and strengthen it by fallen timber and rifle-pits. I have sent one of Hooker’s divisions to you; you should post them in support, with one regiment on the mountain to the east of the gap, not far from the letter “M” or “O” in the word “mountain” east of Villanow. This would prevent the occupation of this mountain, by which the pass would be made dangerous from sharpshooters. I suppose you have already done this or if not that Hooker will do it by Thomas’ order, at my suggestion. I want that road kept open and all unnecessary wagons to be kept to the rear.
Kilpatrick has been ordered to report to you, and Garrard left at Villanow to cover your rear and trains from the direction of Summerville and Rome. I am expecting Stoneman’s cavalry to-day from the north and they will enable me to threaten Dalton by the north and east. Garrard has moved so slow that I doubt if he has the dash we need in a cavalry officer. I may re-enforce Kilpatrick from him the moment I know he is at Villanow. If any occasion calls for that cavalry, and you find there is no danger from the direction of Summerville, order it to you. Hold on a day or so and I will, as soon as all things are ready, come down. Hold on a day or so and I will, as soon as all things are ready, came down. Hooker is near Trickum and could get to your rear in twelve miles’ march. Williams’ division should have marched all night, but Corse reported he met it at sunrise this side of Villanow. It must now be in the gap.
Order Blair as soon as he makes up his two divisions to hurry forward to you via Chattanooga. He had better march, as you said that a railroad in the end saves but little time in moving troops. Besides it will take all our road to supply us. Depot now at Tunnel Hill, the roads to which are good. Do you think Johnston knows your strength? Should he attack you fight him to the last and I will get to you. In the mean time I will so maneuver here that he will not detach against your own force. Let me hear from you fully.
Major-General, Commanding.