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By Ronald H. Bailey

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M. only an hour of day- remained. McPherson stepped down from the stump and decided not to risk an assault. After dark, his men lit bonfires to mask the withdrawal. Then the entire army marched back Snake Creek Gap and bivouacked there. Only an 18-man detachment of mounted infantry from the 9th Illinois had reached the railroad. They swung north of Resaca and to managed to cut the telegraph wires, but not the before being driven rails, McPherson later off. " During the night, in fact, three Confederunder John Bell Hood did arrive at the outskirts of Resaca.

Confederate casualties were per- haps one number. fifth that But the demonstration also proved effective. While Geary kept the Confederates occupied at Dug Gap, McPherson's Army of the Tennessee was marching unmolested from Villanow, a half dozen miles to the southwest. McPherson's leading ele- ments reached the western entrance to Snake Creek Gap that night just about the same time Geary's brigades were withdrawing down Rocky Face. Incredibly, the Confederates guard ed this six-mile-long defile, like its at Resaca.

Confederate line through a glass while his Joseph Johnston passed that after- noon at his headquarters in Dalton quite unaware of the threat to his rear. He was From the beginning of the campaign, Johnston had expected the main Federal tack on Dalton to come down at- the open ave- nue of Crow Valley along the East Tennessee & Georgia Railroad, and he had concentrat- ed the bulk of his forces there. prised when He was sur- the Federals kept popping up not only on the north but on the west as well, along the length of Rocky Face Ridge.

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