May 9th, 1864 Crow Creek Valley and Snake Creek Gap

On May 9th, 1864

General McPherson and The Army of the Tennessee, reached Snake Creek Gap on May 9th, thus setting up a flanking movement in an attempt to attack the Confederate rear and stop their retreat from Dalton.  General Sherman had hoped that General Johnston would turn the Confederate Army away from Dalton to attack McPherson and if General Geary had successfully taken Dug Gap he would have been in a position to hit General Johnston’s flank and the remainder of the Union Army could attack the Confederate rear.  What Sherman wanted and what he got, are two different things.  Upon reaching Snake Creek Gap, McPherson was ordered to attack the Confederates holding the town of Resaca.

McPherson sent his skirmishers through the gap and saw a considerable and extensive line of earth works between the gap and Resaca.  He also saw Confederate troops and over estimated their numbers.  He pulled back and did not push the attack.  General Sherman was furious at the lost opportunity to decimate the Confederate Army and possibly end the campaign there and push on to Atlanta with out much of a fight.  Had McPherson attacked, he would only have found a fairly small number of Confederate troops protecting Resaca, some of which were cadets from the Georgia Military Academy in Marietta.  His hesitation allowed enough time for the Confederate Army to send reinforcements to Resaca.

Also on May 9th, General Sherman ordered General Schofield’s, Army of the Ohio, to attack the Confederate line in Crow Creek Valley, just north of Dalton.  The Southern soldiers put up a tough fight and repulsed multiple attempts by the Union Army to take their position.  Rowan’s Ga. Battery was positioned on Potato Hill and the remnants of the Battery and Infantry works are still visible today.  It has been turned into a small park with a trail up the hill to the works.  Here is a link for an article about the new parks.  Dalton Daily Citizen

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Looking north toward the Union line.  This location is about 150 yards north of the Confederate line.  Perhaps there were Confederate pickets in this area.
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The Confederate line, looking north east.  Much of the area has been farmed and developed and few if any remnants of earthworks remain along this line in Crow Creek Valley.
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Looking from the approximate location of Van Den Corput’s Battery near Poplar Springs Church, toward Potato Hill where Rowan’s Battery was located. 
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Infantry Trenches of the Confederate line on Potato Hill
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Remnants of Rowan’s Battery located on Potato Hill.
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Snake Creek Gap, where McPherson’s Army of the Tennessee passed through in an attempt to attack the rear of the Confederates lines at Resaca.

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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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