On the morning of October 5, 1864, following a two hour bombardment from Major John D. Myrick´s Confederate artillery on Moore´s he´ll located 1,200 yards to the south, Confederate Major General Samuel G. French sent his adjutant, Major David W. Sanders under a flag of truce with message to the Federal commander and Allatoona:
U.S. Forces, Allatoona
Sir, I have the forces under my command in such a position that you are surrounded and, in order to avoid a needless effusion of blood, I call upon you to surrender your forces at once, and unconditionally. Five minutes will be allotted you to decide. Should you accede to this, you will be held in the most honorable manner as a prisoner of war.
Samuel G. French, Major General, CSA
The Federals, under Major General John Corse, chose not to surrender. Waiting fifteen minutes without a response, Sanders called off the truce and an immediate assault was ordered by General French. Cockerell´s (Missouri) and Young´s (Texas) Brigades attacked from the west, and Sears´ (Mississippi ) Brigade attack from the north.
Maj. Gen. Samuel G. French, C.S.A
Samuel Gibbs French, born in New Jersey and a graduate of West Point, first served in the Mexican War. The devout adherent of the Confederate cause, he served under General J.E. Johnston in the 1864 Georgia campaign. "Two Wars: The Autobiography and Diary of Gen. Samuel G. French, CSA" tells the story of his extensive military career.
Major General John Corse, U.S.A.
John M. Corse, born in Pennsylvania and raised in Iowa, studied at West Point for two years. He attended law school and became a politician. In official records, General Corse's reply to the demand for surrender was a jaunty " we are prepared for the 'needless effusion of blood´ whenever it is agreeable to you.