May 18th, 1864. General Johnston decided it was time to make another stand and decided to set a trap for General Sherman at Cassville. General Johnston sent Hardee’s Corps from Adairsville south toward Kingston along the main road. He sent all the supply wagon and ambulances down the main road to Kingston as well. This was the bait for the trap. They left an obvious sign that a large number men and material had traveled in the direction of Kingston. Johnston then sent Polk’s and Hood’s Corps on a less traveled road toward Cassville.
When Sherman arrived in Adairsville, he fell for the bait and believed that the majority of the Confederate Army had moved toward Kingston. Sherman then ordered Thomas’s Army of the Cumberland to follow the main road to Kingston and sent McPherson’s Army of the Tennessee on another flanking movement that would take him past Barnsley Gardens. Schofield’s Corps was sent toward Cassville with Hooker’s Corps following along Schofield’s right and slightly behind.
Johnston learned of Sherman splitting his forces and prepared to spring the trap on the next morning at Cassville.