Apparently, the presence of Patrick Cleburne's Division, in which Great Grandfather Nathan Oakes was serving, in front of the Dalton garrison had a direct influence on its commander's decision to surrender. In his report, the Federal commander stated, "the division of Cleburne, which was in the rear of the rebel general... was over anxious to fight."
By October 13th, Hood learned that Sherman had reached Resaca and was moving on Dalton. Hood knew the terrain well having fought here in May. It was a good strategic position from which to battle Sherman. However, on October 14th, Hood pulled back southwest to Villanow. On the 15th-16th, he pulled his army further back, about 9 miles south of LaFayette, below Pigeon Mountain. His men traipsed over the ground on which they had been victorious in the Battle of Chickamauga almost a year before. Great Grandfather Oakes bivouacked with Cleburne’s Division on the same campground it had occupied the night before that famous battle.
At LaFayette, Hood will alter his plans yet again. He will withdraw to northeastern Alabama, effectively giving up any pretense of defending Georgia. After tearing up Sherman's rail line as far as Tunnel Hill, he will move his army through Snake Creek and other gaps, over the earlier battleground at Rocky Face Ridge, then southwest to Gadsden, arriving there on on the 20th.
*The First Battle of Dalton (not to be confused with the Battle of Rocky Face Ridge near Dalton) was fought between February 22 and 27, 1864. The Second Battle of Dalton was a Confederate cavalry action led by Joseph Wheeler against the Federal garrison here on August 14 & 15, 1864, ending in Wheeler's defeat.
Sources: Autumn of Glory, Thomas Lawrence Connelly; Patrick Cleburne: Confederate General, Howell & Elizabeth Purdue; Stonewall of the West, Craig L. Symonds; Hood's Campaign for Tennessee, William R. Scaife; Official Records, Vol. 39, Pt. 1