July 4th, 1864

July 4th, 1864:

The Federal troops continue to chase the Confederates and soon, as they approached Smyrna, they begin to encounter resistance from Confederate Skirmishers.  They were pushed back to their main lines and the Federals began to entrench.  Elements of Howard’s and Palmer’s Corps of the Army of the Cumberland advanced on the portion of the Confederate Smyrna Line near Smyrna Camp Ground, roughly the center of the Confederate line.  They were engaging seasoned troops of Cleburne’s Division and suffered heavy losses.  The second portion of the attack was made by Dodge’s Corps of the Army of the Ohio, they attacked the Confederate Left near Ruff’s Mill.  There was a salient in the Confederate line near this point that was their target.  This is where Hood’s and Hardee’s Corps met.  Elements of Dodge’s Corps pushed the skirmishers of Stevenson’s Division out of their rifle pits and back to their main works, but suffered heavy losses during the assault.  These attacks gained no ground for the Federals and only confirmed that the Confederate army was still in the line enforce.

The main Federal advantage gained this day, was Blair’s Corps being able to work its way around and behind the Confederate left flank.  At that point they were closer to Atlanta than the main body of the Confederate Army.  Blair’s movement seriously threatened Johnston and in the late night hours of July 4th and early morning hours of July 5th, Johnston fell back from the Smyrna Line to the last line of defense west of the Chattahoochee River, known at Johnston’s River Line.


 The Smyrna Market Village now occupies the former location of the Smyrna Camp Ground, which was used as a meeting site for the Methodist Church as well as other denominations.
Looking north west at the recreation of an old train depot.  The railroad tracks are just out of frame to the right and the Confederate line crossed the tracks in this general area.  Smyrna Campground would have been to the left just out of the frame.
Looking south along the railroad tracks that head into Atlanta.  Notice the reconstructed depot to the right.  The Confederate lines crossed the tracks in this general area.
 Looking north west from Smyrna up the railroad tracks that travel out of Marietta.  Notice Kennesaw Mountain in the distance approximately five miles away.
Looking from the Confederate line towards Kennesaw Mountain approximately 5 miles away.  The Confederate line at Smyrna followed the low ridge line that the current Concord road follows and then takes a turn to form a salient angle that followed high ground along what is now N. Cooper Lake Road.
Concord Road, the Confederate line followed this high ground. 
This is all that remains of Ruff’s Mill.  Now on private property, this brick structure dating back before the civil war was spared by the Federal Troops as it was a grist mill they could use for food production.
The Concord Covered Bridge was destroyed by the Federal troops on July 4th, 1864.  It was rebuilt in the late 1870’s.  The stacked stone pier in the middle of the bridge is all that remains of the original structure. 

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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