July 13th, 1864

July 13th, 1864:

Over the last several days and continuing into the next several days, General Sherman is resting his troops and changing their positions in preparation for an assault on Atlanta.  He is trying to deceive General Johnston into believing the attack will come from the west.  To do this, he has sent Stoneman’s Cavalry on a raid towards Newnan to destroy the Railroad that connects Atlanta with Alabama.  Stoneman’s Cavalry cross the Chattahoochee near Campbelton and skirmish with Confederates along the way.  They are unsuccessful and fall back to Villa Rica before returning to the Federal lines along the Chattahoochee.  During this time, Sherman is shifting several Corps from his right flank to the left flank at the river crossing in Roswell.  The Federal soldiers crossing at Roswell will be shifted to the east of Atlanta.  While both armies rest from the rigors of the campaign, there is a great deal of fraternization between the soldiers stationed along the Chattahoochee.  There are many documented accounts of trading, usually the Confederates trading tobacco for coffee, as well as other goods and small items.  There are accounts of Regimental bands on both sides having competitions and serenading the troops on the opposite side of the river.  For some soldiers, this is the first time the have been able to have a bath in weeks.  Even General Sherman himself, takes a bath in the river.

For General Johnston, this is a time of uncertainty, President Davis has sent Braxton Bragg, former Commander of The Army of Tennessee, to ascertain the tactical situation in Atlanta and to find out what Johnston plans to do.  Davis is considering replacing Johnston and is relying on advice from Bragg as to who the replacement of Johnston should be.  This decision would have great bearing on the outcome of the campaign.  They met at Johnston’s Headquarters which was established at the Dexter Niles house along the Atlanta road between the Chattahoochee river and the city.

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Well preserved Federal earthworks near Roswell, Ga.  These were part of the bridge head established by General McPherson’s Army of the Tennessee (US).  These works were manned by the 2nd Division of the XV Army Corps.
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Stones,stacked by Federal soldiers fortifying their positions, are still in place 150 years later at their bridge head near Roswell.
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Remnants of a Federal trench located on a ridge overlooking the Chattahoochee river near Cochran Shoals.  This site is located with an office park.
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After crossing the Chattahoochee at Powers Ferry, the IV AC (US), established a bridgehead on the high ground above the river.  Northside Drive now runs along this same ridge and several home owners have the remains of Federal earthworks in their front yards.
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Remains of a Federal trench along Northside Drive, manned by the IV AC(US), after crossing the Chattahoochee River.
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Remnants of an artillery battery that was maned by elements of the IV Army Corps (US).  Now located near the intersection of Northside Drive and River View Drive in the side yard of private residence.
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Site of the Cagle house where General O.O. Howard established his Headquarters and along with General Sherman and other officers, had a meeting to plan their next moves in the campaign.  That meeting was depicted in the sketch below that appeared in Harper’s Weekly in September of 1864.
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Sketch of General Sherman and other officers at the Cagle house, this sketch appeared in a September issue of Harper’s Weekly.
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Site of the Dexter Niles house where General Johnston (CS) established his headquarters after retreating across the Chattahoochee River upon learning of Federal crossing north of his River Line position.  It was here that he would be relieved of command and General John Bell Hood would be command of the Army of Tennessee.
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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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