Battle of Dug Gap, May 8th, 1864

On May 8th, 1864 General Sherman sent General Geary’s 2nd Division of General Hookers XXth Corps. to Dug Gap.  His intent was to have Geary’s 2nd Division create a diversion and prevent Confederate Scouts from descending the wagon road through Dug Gap and scouting westward for the movements of the Union Army.  General Sherman did this to screen the movement of General McPherson’s Army of the Tennessee as they moved south on the western side of Rocky Face Ridge toward Snake Creek Gap.  McPherson’s task was to attack the Confederate rear and block their retreat from Dalton.  The battle at Dug Gap was a successful diversion and McPherson made it to Snake Creek Gap unseen by the Confederate Army.

During the battle of Dug Gap the Confederates were outnumbered 10 to 1, but they held the high ground and used the natural rock formations of the ridge for cover and concealment. The Southern soldiers also constructed a stacked stone wall to use as cove in addition to the natural rock formations being used.  About 1200′ of this wall still exist today.  During the battle it was reported that the Southern soldiers were rolling large boulders down on the advancing Federal troops.  The Federal troops were upset by this and called it a cowardly act and not “Fair Play”.  The Confederate soldiers here were from the 1st and 2nd Arkansas and Breckenridge’s dismounted Cavalry.  Geary’s 2nd Division suffered roughly 357 casualties to the Confederate’s 50.

Palmer’s XIV Corps of the Army of the Cumberland was also heavily engaged at Mill Creek Gap.  This is where I-75, US 41 and the Rail Road move through Rocky Face Ridge.  The Western and Atlantic Railroad went through here as well.  Confederate engineers had previously flooded a portion of this area to prevent and slow the Federal advance.  The attack here was also a diversionary tactic to draw attention away from General McPherson’s movement towards Resaca via Snake Creek Gap.

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Natural rock formations used by the Confederates as cover during the Battle of Dug Gap.
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A long section of the stone wall continues up the ridge line.
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A section of the stone wall that has been less disturbed by visitors to the remote park.
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Stones placed on the wall by Confederates on May 8th, 1864.
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Author: Clint Brownlee

My name is Clint Brownlee and I am a Photographer in Woodstock, Georgia with over 20 years of photographic experience in many different aspects of photography. I have photographed everything from weddings, special events and portraits to published materials, but my passion has always been Fine Art and Nature Photography. I have had a several shows at the Mason Murer Fine Art Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia and The Roswell Visual Arts Center in Roswell, Georgia. I now sell through my website: www.clintbrownleephotography.com

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