May 15th, 1864: The Battle of Resaca

May 15th, 1864, the Battle of Resaca rages on and General Sherman attempts to out flank the Confederate Army.  Sherman has General McPherson hold the position he gained on the day before at the mouth of Camp Creek at the Oostanaula River.  He then orders Sweeny’s 2nd Division, who is reenforced by Kilpatrick’s Cavalry Division, to attempt a crossing of the Oostanaula River further south at Lay’s Ferry.  Sherman ordered the units on the west side of Camp Creek to hold their lines and ordered Hooker’s and Howard’s Corps, on the north of Resaca, to attack the Confederate lines.

Along the norther Confederate line, Stevenson Division was in place and Capt. Maxillian Van Den Corput’s battery, the Cherokee Georgia Battery, was in place in advance of the main line in an effort to catch the attacking Federals in enfilading fire.  The battery consisted of four 12 pounder Napoleon guns.  This became a hotly contested part of the line.  On the night of the 14th, General Johnston learned that Sweeny had withdrawn from Lay’s Ferry and was not able to cross the river.  He then ordered General Hood to attack the norther part of the Federal line.  This was around 4:00pm,  General Hood ordered Stevenson and Stewart to attack, but by this time in the afternoon Stevenson was already under attack by Hooker’s Corp.  After the attack had begun, General Johnston was informed that Sweeny was attempting to cross at Lay’s Ferry again.  Johnston, fearing that railroad near Calhoun would taken by the Federal troops and his supply line compromised, ordered Hood to cancel the attack.  It was too late and Stevenson was already heavily engaged and suffered significant losses.  One of the major losses was Van Den Corput’s battery, the artillery men were forced from their works back to the main Confederate Line.  The area around the battery became a no man’s land.  During the night, Union soldiers were able to capture the Confederate cannons by digging through the earth berm in front of them and dismantling them and with the aid of ropes, dragged them back the Union lines.

After learning of Sweeny’s crossing and the threat to his supply line, Johnston ordered a retreat from Resaca.
Hood’s line was positioned on the ridge line to the left of the frame and extended just beyond the horizon where it took a 90 degree turn to the east and crossed the railroad.  Four of my 4th Great Uncles were there and were heavily engaged in battle with the Federals.  One of them was wounded and lose the use of his arm and was discharged from service.
Looking east, Hood’s line would follow the ridge to the right of the frame to join with Hardee’s line.
Hwy 136 looking south into Camp Creek Valley toward the Oostanaula River
From Hwy 136 Looking North up the Camp Creek Valley.  I-75 is about 150 yards to the right and cuts right through the heart of the battlefield.  The center of Resaca is about a mile to the right.
From Hwy 136 at Camp Creek.  Looking east toward the Confederate lines and Resaca.
Reconstruction of a common anti personnel barrier used during the war called a Cheval de frise.
Camp Creek and its valley.  The federal lines would have been to the left of the frame and along the ridge line.
Camp Creek, which had to be crossed by the Federals when they attacked the Confederate lines.
West of Resaca and East of Snake Creek Gap.  This would have been the rear of the Federal lines and the main line would have been on the ridge to the right.
Looking North up Camp Creek Valley.  The Federal Lines to the left and the Confederates to the right.
Looking south along Camp Creek.  Confederate earthworks are on the just beyond the creek.

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:

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