Wednesday, May 11, 1864

The plan of operations adopted and about to be carried into execution is as follows:
To leave the Fourth Corps (Major-General Howard) and Stoneman’s and McCook’s cavalry to keep up the feint of a direct attack on Dalton through Buzzard Roost Gap as long as possible and, with the remainder of thee armies march through Snake Creek Gap and attack the enemy in force from that quarter. Cars will be run here to supply the daily wants of the troops left here, but the main portion of the supplies will be left at Ringgold, which point will be defended at all costs. In case the enemy should detect the diminution of force here and attack, it has instructions to withdraw in the direction of Ringgold. You will keep a locomotive and construction train at this place, so that in case this retrograde movement becomes necessary to replace them; this that the enemy may not use the railroad to facilitate his movement in pursuit. A few rails should at once be removed from some point east of the tunnel, that can again be put down when we want it done.

At the end of the day, I reported to Halleck:

TUNNEL HILL, GA., May 11, 1864.

Major General H. W. HALLECK, Washington, D. C.:

General Stoneman is just in with his leading brigade of cavalry, and the two others will be up to-night and to-morrow. From appearances Johnston’s main army is still in Dalton. Tomorrow I leave General Howard’s corps here, to cover the Buzzard Roost Gap, which is as strong against the enemy as ourselves, with Generals Stoneman’s and McCook’s cavalry; and with the rest of the army, I shall pass through Snake Creek Gap to where General McPherson now holds it outlet. Johnston will then have to retreat below Resaca, or we shall interpose between him and Georgia. We will have with us ten days’ provisions, and will cover our communication from Ringgold back.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

I wrote to McPherson of my plans to attack at Resaca:

In the Field, Tunnel Hill, May 11, 1864

General McPHERSON, Sugar Valley:

I received by courier in the night yours of 5 and 6.30 p. m. of yesterday. You will also during the night have observed that I had come to the same conclusion, to fight at Resaca with the whole army. You now have your 23,000, and Hooker is in close support, so that you can hold all Joe Johsnton’s army in check should he abandon Dalton. He can’t afford to abandon Dalton for he has fixed it up so nice for us, and he observes we are close at hand waiting for him to quit. He cannot afford a detachment strong enough to fight you, as his army will not admit of it. Strengthen your position, fight anything that comes,and threaten the safety of the railroad all the time. But to tell the truth, I would rather he should stay in Dalton two more days, when he may find a larger party than he expects in an open field. At all events we can then choose our ground and he will be forced to move out of his trenches. I do not intend to put a column into Buzzard Roost Gap at present. See that you are in easy communication with me and all quarters. After to-day the supplies will be Ringgold.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

Later I wrote:
The indications are that Johnston is evacuating Dalton. In that event Howard and the cavalry will pursue, and all the rest will follow your note. I will be down early in the morning. Try and strike him if possible about the forks of the road. Hooker must be with you now, and you might send Garrard to threaten Rome and that flank. I will cause the lines all to be left at once.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

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