Scouts begin to probe Rebel strength south of Ringgold, Georgia. This is the first activity that can be directly associated with the Atlanta Campaign
This is the earliest generally accepted date for the start of the Atlanta Campaign. Rear echelon troop movement begins for the Army of the Tennessee (General John B. McPherson). Union scouts probe troop strength at Tunnel Hill.
Skirmish at the old Stone Church, east
of Ringgold, Georgia. This date is the "official" date of the start of the
Atlanta Campaign, listed as such in the Official Records.
Skirmish at Lee's Crossroads, near Tunnel Hill and near Ringgold Gap.
Skirmishes at Catoosa Springs and Red Clay.
This is one of the generally accepted dates for the start of the Atlanta Campaign. General George Thomas (Army of the Cumberland) [US] begins to move slowly east along the Western and Atlantic Railroad from Ringgold. Union troops in all departments begin to move into position for what will be the final summer of war. Skirmish at Varnell (Prater's Mill)
This is the latest date for the start of the Atlanta Campaign. Army of the Tennessee [US] moves south from Lee and Gordon's Mill along Taylor Ridge, using it to cover McPherson's flanking movement. A division of the Army of the Cumberland [US] attacks Rebel skirmishers at Tunnel Hill.
Fighting commences along Rocky Face Ridge west of Dalton, specifically at Mill Creek and Dug Gap.
Fighting along this spine of high mountains will continue until May 11.
McPherson's Army of the Tennessee runs into stiffer than expected Rebel resistance as he moves towards the Western and Atlantic railroad bridge near Resaca. In hostile territory, the general decides to dig in and await reinforcements. Sherman spends the night at the Clisby-Austin house in Tunnel Hill. Moving south after disembarking at the Red Clay depot, Schofield's Army of the Ohio encounters Joseph Wheeler's Confederate Cavalry near Varnell.
Carter Stevenson awakes to silence. He communicates that his men can find no soldiers immediately west of Rocky Face to Johnston, who orders a cavalry sweep of the area. Wheeler's cavalry find almost no Union soldiers.
Outflanked, with superior numbers to his rear, Johnston withdraws to Resaca.
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Battle of Resaca, Day1 - Almost 100,000 men poured out of Snake Creek Gap west of the tiny Georgia town of Resaca. Fighting occurred along the entire line although the heaviest fighting occurred to the north of the city.
Battle of Resaca, Day 2 - Engagements
continued along lines around Resaca. Hood's Corps [CS] and "Fighting Joe" Hooker's
XX Corps [US] bore the brunt of today's fighting, north of the city. Reports
troops at Lay's Ferry (Oostanaula River) force Johnston to withdraw.
Rome falls. After a small skirmish at Adairsville Johnston sets up at Cassville. Sherman mistakenly ends up at Kingston.
Battle of New Hope Church-- Johnston, forced by Sherman to abandon his stronghold in the Allatoona Mountains, moves to block the Union advance on Atlanta meeting Sherman's Army at a small church some 25 miles northwest of Atlanta.
Spreading their respective lines east from New Hope Church, Sherman and Johnston battle at Pickett's Mill.
After 2 defeats in three days Sherman realized that fighting here was a mistake and moves east towards the railroad. Johnston tries to take advantage of this move by testing Sherman's right flank. Confederate General William Bates runs headlong into McPherson's regulars at Dallas after misunderstanding a signal from his cavalry.
General George Stoneman's cavalry captures Allatoona Pass. Realizing the mistake he made, Sherman orders his men to return to the railroad in Acworth.
Johnston takes a position on Lost Mountain and Pine Top and moves to Brush Mountain to protect the railroad.
U. S. President Lincoln nominated for second term.
After McPherson moves to outflank Johnston, the Confederate General withdraws to Smyrna.
Intense fighting at Ruff's Mill turns Johnston's left flank. Johnston pulls back to the so-called Chattahoochee Line starting late today.
Johnston withdraws to the gates of Atlanta, carefully destroying all bridges over the Chattahoochee River. Skirmish in Alpharetta. Braxton Bragg is traveling to Atlanta to meet with Johnston as a representative of President Davis
Davis informs Robert E. Lee of his decision to remove Johnston, asks Lee about his feelings on Hood as a replacement.
Moving east from Marietta, Georgia,
Sherman's forces spread across the open land north of Atlanta. Replying to
an inquiry about his plans made by President Davis, Johnston says, "As the
enemy has double our number, we must be on the defensive. My plan of operations,
therefore, must depend upon that of the enemy."
President Davis relieves Johnston of command and places John Bell Hood in charge. In a meeting with his men two days later Sherman instructs them to expect an attack at any moment, given Hood's aggressive nature. Sherman had found out about the change in command thanks to the Atlanta newspapers.
Hood attacks and loses at Peachtree Creek. From a point northeast of Atlanta along the Decatur Road (at the corner of present-day Dekalb Avenue and Degress St.) the first artillery shells fall on the city.
A "bald hill" east of the city falls to men under the
command of Mortimer Leggitt. Renamed Leggett's Hill, this rise offers Sherman
an elevated place to fire artillery into the heart of downtown Atlanta. Sherman
believes the city will be quickly abandoned. Forward troops report large-scale
movement of Confederate forces.
The large-scale troop movements is not the retreat of the Army of Tennessee, but the movement of Hardee's Corps on a 15-mile circuitous route to attack the Federal left flank in East Atlanta. General McPherson dies. Confederate loses may exceed 10,000 in this battle.
General George Stoneman leaves for a raid on Macon, Georgia, in an attempt to cut Hood's supply line.
Concerned with Federal troop movement west of the city, Hood attacks and loses at Ezra Church.
Slow encirclement of the city of Atlanta continues with Federals crossing Utoy Creek. Over the next several days heavy skirmishing would occur in this area.
Sherman tires of waiting for Hood to leave Atlanta. Orders go out to six of seven division telling them to begin moving towards the Macon and Western Railroad, the last of the supply lines for Atlanta.
Forward units of Howard's Army of the Tennessee cross the Flint River and take high ground west of Jonesborough, Georgia.
Battle of Jonesborough--Day
1. Georgia native, General William "Old Reliable" Hardee moves to Jonesborough to protect the Macon and Western Railroad and launches an attack against Howard. Hood withdraws S. D. Lee from the "diversion."
Battle of Jonesborough--Day 2. Defending the small city of Jonesborough, Hardee bears the brunt of a massive assault, but Atlanta is about to be abandoned. With his communication and rail line cut, Hood realizes he can no longer hold the city of Atlanta and retreats to Lovejoy Station (now Lovejoy in Clayton County).
Henry Slocum's XX Corps moves into Atlanta, accepting the surrender of the city from Mayor James Calhoun.
Sherman wires Washington "Atlanta is ours, and fairly