he pulled back along the railroad from Dalton, Johnston was relieved to
find Gen. Leonidas Polk waiting for him at Resaca with an additional
10,000 more men. The Confederates filed into the Resaca entrenchments
with Hood on the right, facing north and anchored on the railroad and
the Oostanaula River, Hardee in the center, and Polk on the left,
anchored on the river bridges at Resaca. Forming a "horseshoe", the line
was extremely strong. Sherman's troops, arriving from Snake Creek Gap
and from Dalton, arrayed themselves to conform with Johnston's
fortifications. On the afternoon of May 14, the Federals splashed across
Camp Creek to their front and assailed the Confederate trenches.
McPherson had some success in pushing Polk out of his outer works, and
the Federals began to shell the river bridges from their new vantage
point. Union attacks elsewhere on the line in the center and where it
turned east were met with bloody repulses. At 3:30pm Hood unleashed a
massive counterattack on Sherman's extreme left flank, rolling up
Thomas' lines, but Sherman was able to plug the gap with reinforcements
and Hood was forced back into his trenches. At noon on the following
day, Schofield and Thomas attempted an assault on Hood's positions but
the attack was as unsuccessful as the previous day's had been.
Meanwhile, Federal cavalry had found a ford to the south that would
allow the army to move around Johnston's flank and threaten his railroad
lifeline in the rear. McPherson's troops moved across Lay's Ferry west
of Calhoun on May 15 and Johnston was forced to abandon Resaca.