RESACA, Georgia, May 16, 1864 a.m.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, Washington, D. C.:
We are in possession of Resaca. It is a strongly fortified position, besides being a strong natural position. We saved the common road bridge but the railroad bridge is burned. The railroad is good to this point, and our cars will run here today. Our columns are now crossing the Oostenaula; General McPherson at Lay’s Ferry, General Thomas here, and General Schofield about Newtown. We will pursue smartly to the Etowah. Generals Stoneman’s and Garrard’s cavalry are trying to get in rear of the enemy, and I hope will succeed. Our difficulties will increase beyond the Etowah, but if Johnston will not fight us behind such works as we find here, I will fight him on any open ground he may stand at. All well and in high spirits. We have about 1,000 prisoners and 8 guns.
Railroad track finished and cars in. Columns are well across Oostenaula, and I will aim to reach Kingston tomorrow, and the Etowah on the third day. I take it for granted Rome will fall as a consequence.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Resaca, Ga., May 16, 1864
Major-General HALLECK, Washington, D. C.:
The number of wounded at Resaca is; Army of the Cumberland, 1,675; Army of the Tennessee, 700; Army of the Ohio, 1,000. Total wounded, 3,375. The above will fully cover the entire number of wounded, and the proportion of serious wounds is smaller than usual. The number of dead not yet reported, but will not exceeded the usual proportion. The names of killed and wounded officers will reach you through army commanders.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding
I have asked Thomas to send a division down the road to Rome to cooperate with Garrard’s cavalry. Thomas will send Jeff Davis’s division. Johnston’s army is in full retreat, probably across the Etowah River. We will need several days to repair the railroad bridge here and then determine how to cross Etowah.
I had Dayton draft the following orders:
SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS, HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISS., Numbers 8.
In the Field, Resaca, Ga., May 16, 1864
The enemy having retreated south, the following general plan will be pursued until he is beyond the Etowah River:
I. Major-General Thomas will pursue substantially by the line of the railroad to Kingston and Etowah bridge, keeping his forces well in hand at all times, but using two or three roads when available.
II. Major-General McPherson will move substantially by the Rome road, keeping up communication with the center.
III. Major-General Schofield will get over on the old Federal road from Spring Place to Cassville, or other road in that neighborhood.
IV. The repairs of the railroad and telegraph lines must be pushed forward with all possible rapidity, but troops must not wait for them.
V. Commanders of armies and the cavalry divisions will forward all prisoners of ward to Resaca, there to be delivered to the provost-marshall of the Department of the Cumberland, and sent to the rear. Provost-marshals will be particular in making and sending the proper record of prisoners; deserters and refugees from the enemy will be likewise rendezvoused, and kept separate from prisoners, and disposed of according to known orders.
VI. The provost of the Department of the Cumberland will make arrangements to receive at Resaca all prisoners collected by the above orders, and send them to the proper depots of prisoners at the North with as much expedition as possible.
VII. The regiments of dismounted Indiana cavalry now at the Camp of Instruction in Nashville, are hereby assigned to the Department of the Cumberland, and the commanding general of that department and army will give all the necessary orders for their proper employment.
VIII. Major-General Thomas is charged with the duty of guarding all railroads to our rear, including all the country north of the Tennessee, and the post and bridge at Decatur, Ala., and Major-General McPherson may call forward to his army the effective corps and regiments now at and around Huntsville as soon as he can, leaving only small guards till they are relieved by detachments of the Army of the Cumberland, and his non-effective force, under suitable officers, will be left at any suitable point to the rear, say Stevenson or Bridgeport.
IX. Major-General McPherson will collect a force of about 4,000 or 5,000 men out of the militia and garrisons of Paducah and Columbus, Ky., and place them at some suitable point ont he Tennessee River, about Eastport, to serve as a threat to North Alabama, and as a support to General Washburn’s operations in Mississippi.
By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp