Confrontation at Cassville, May 19th, 1864

May 19th, 1864.  General Johnston knew that Sherman had taken the bait and that General Schofield’s Corps was moving toward Cassville.  Johnston deployed Polk’s Corps across the road that Schofield was traveling and deployed Hood along what would be Schofield’s left flank.  At some point in the morning, Union Cavalry, that was attempting to damage the railroad, came across the end of Hood’s Line and attacked.  The numbers of soldiers involved were small, but it was enough of a surprise for Hood that he reformed his lines to meet what he thought was a threat and all but abandoned the attack on Schofield.  Johnston eventually ordered Polk and Hood to fall back and reform on a ridge about a mile away.  The Union Army formed a line in the area that the Confederates had just moved from.  They now stood facing each other with the village of Cassville between them approximately at the center of the lines.  During the evening, Hood and Polk called for a meeting with Johnston to discuss what they thought would be their inability to hold their lines, due to the position of the Federal Artillery.  It would induce and enfilading fire on their lines and there was not a sufficient amount of cover.  Johnston relented to their argument, even though he did not agree.  He ordered a retreat and the next day they were across the Etowah River.
The Confederates used this ridge as part of their lines.
Looking from the Confederate lines toward the ridge line that was the Federal line.
Looking north west across the open ground toward the Federals lines that would have been in the tree line in the distance.
Most of the soldiers buried here at the Cassville Cemetery died in the many hospitals in the town and not during the brief engagement here during the Atlanta Campaign.
This Methodist Church is a period structure that survived the war.
This former Presbyterian church is a period structure that survived the burning of Cassville in the fall of 1864 and was used as a hospital by Federal troops.
This church, built in the early 1900’s stands on the site of a previous church that was spared destruction by the Federals and was used as a stable by Federal troops during their time in Cassville.
General Sherman learned that the Confederate Army was not in Kingston as he had originally thought and learned of their positions at Cassville.  The Federal 23rd Corps, under the command of General Schofield, marched along this road and across Two Run Creek on their way to Cassville.

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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