May 11th, 1864, General Johnston receives word in the early morning that the Union Army is massing for an attack on Resaca via Snake Creek Gap. He telegraphs General Polk, who is Rome on his way form Louisiana to Dalton, and directs him to Resaca to assume command and re-enforce the troops already there. He then sends General Hood from Dalton to Resaca and has General Cleburne prepare to move from Dug Gap to Resaca. He then directs General Cheatham to prepare to withdraw from Rocky Face Ridge and replace Clerburne at Dug Gap. Upon arrival at Resaca, General Hood finds that there is no attack imminent and there are no Federal troops within four miles of Resaca. He Telegraphs General Johnston and informs him of such. All the previous troop movements toward Resaca are put on hold.
Union observers, on the Northern part of Rocky Face Ridge, have seen part of Cheatham’s Corp start to move away from the lines at Buzzards Roost. Sherman is notified and he immediately orders the line at Buzzards Roost probed. There are enough Southern Soldiers still in the lines to repulse the attempted Reconnaissance by Force. The Union troops go to ground and must wait until nightfall to pull back. Sherman informs McPherson that he will be at Snake Creek Gap in the morning and that he is planning to have the majority of the Army follow his route to and through Snake Creek Gap. Sherman orders McPherson to strengthen his defenses in the gap. Sherman also orders Schofield’s troops to begin pulling back from Crow Creek Valley.
General Polk arrives in Resaca and with General Hood, they observe the deployment of troops and assess the situation. In the evening they go to Dalton by train to meet with General Johnston and make plans for the retreat from Dalton and the defense of Resaca. General Polk overnights with General Hood at Hood’s headquarters. General Polk, who is also the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana, baptizes General Hood.