Loring's Report: Resaca
to New Hope Church
HEADQUARTERS LORING'S DIVISION,
In the Field, near New Hope Church, June 1, 1864.
In obedience to orders I have the honor to submit the following
memoranda of this division from the time of its arrival at Resaca until
the 31st ultimo: Scott's brigade arrived at Resaca on the 10th of May,
followed by Adams', on the 11th, and Featherston's brigade on the 12th.
Myself and staff arrived with Adams on the 11th. The advance of
McPherson's corps was reported, on my arrival, to be halted four miles
west of Resaca. On the morning of the 13th the enemy resumed his advance
upon Resaca, driving our cavalry slowly before him. Receiving orders
from you to throw forward a brigade to check his advance, Scott's
brigade was moved forward and took position in line on Bald Knob, about
a mile west of town. About 1 p. m. the brigade became warmly engaged,
and held the enemy in check three hours, and could have maintained its
position longer, but was ordered to retire into our line of
intrenchments. It drew off in perfect order and took position on the
right of Vaughan's brigade, Cantey's division. Adams' was drawn up on
the right of Scott's, with Featherston's in rear as reserve. I ordered
breast-works thrown up on both front and rear lines, which the men set
about with great spirit and speedily accomplished. Bouanchaud's,
Barry's, Cown's, and Charpertier's batteries were placed in position on
a high range of hills on line of Cantey's division. The losses occurring
in the division after forming behind the intrenchments resulted from
heavy shelling of the enemy and his sharpshooters, there being no heavy
engagement on the part of the line it occupied. The entire loss of the
division at Resaca up to the time the place was evacuated, on the night
of the 16th, was 184 killed, wounded, and missing.
On the morning of the 18th my division was ordered by the commanding
general to bring up the rear with the assistance of Wheeler's cavalry.
The enemy pushed the rear of the column closely, when Scott's brigade,
with a section of the Pointe Coupee Battery, was ordered to report to
Major-General Wheeler to assist in checking his advance. This brigade,
with the section of artillery, was placed in position two miles and a
half south of Calhoun, and after a slight skirmish drew off safely in
good order and rejoined the division on the march. On arriving at
Cassville the division was placed in position, skirmished with the
enemy, and retired at night with the main body of the army.
On the evening of the 25th instant the division took position near and
to the left of New Hope Church, the line running north and south across
the Dallas road.
On the night of the 27th the division was moved two miles to the right
to its present position, on the line previously occupied by
Major-General Hindman, of Lieutenant-General Hoods' corps. Heavy
skirmishing and at times furious bombardments by night and day from the
enemy have saluted the division on its present line.
On the morning of the 31st ultimo a request was made by
Lieutenant-General hood that this division would co-operate with him in
feeling the position on the enemy to ascertain if he were in full force.
In compliance with this request the line of skirmishers of Scott's and
Featherston's brigades were thrown forward after General Hindman's
skirmishes had advanced forty or fifty yards. When the right of
Featherston's line had advanced 250 yards in a dense thicket of woods,
they came suddenly on the breast-works of the enemy's sharpshooters,
with a line of support in rear of them. Our skirmishers speedily
dislodged them from this position, but were simultaneously opened upon
by a galling fire from the enemy's main work, 150 yards in rear. The
enemy being discovered to be in strong force behind a strong line of
fortifications, our men were ordered to retire, which they did, and took
up position a little in advance of their original line. In this
engagement Featherston's brigade suffered severely for the number
engaged. [33rd casualties]
Scott's loss was slight. Featherston's loss, 24 killed, 98 wounded,
and 4 missing; Scott's loss, 1 killed and 3 or 4 wounded. The entire
loss of the division from the time it arrived at Resaca to the 31st
ultimo is 341 killed, wounded, and missing.
W. W. LORING,
Source: Official Records: Vol.
38, Pt. III, Pg. 874-875.