General Sherman’s invading army In Georgia held a 2:1 numerical advantage over General Johnston’s Confederate defending forces, but rather than attempting to steamroller them, he elected for a game of cat and mouse, using Generals Thomas and Schofield (Armies of the Cumberland and Ohio) to engage the Rebels frontally, while General McPherson’s Army of the Tennessee sought to outflank them from the west. The effect, by threatening Johnston’s railroad supply line, was to force his repeated withdrawal. When he learned of McPherson’s approach on Resaca he withdrew from Dalton. At Resaca, Johnston made a stand, and repulsed Union assaults, until a division of Union troops crossed the Oostanaula River at Lay’s Ferry, forcing a further Confederate withdrawal. Johnston was now scouting the Oostanaula valley for a defensive position that would mitigate his numerical disadvantage. Neither Calhoun nor Adairsville sufficed, and at Cassville his troops were enfiladed by Union artillery: Johnston withdrew across the Etowah River.
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