The Battle of Utoy Creek day 2

August 6th, 1864:  The Battle of Utoy Creek

This morning, Sherman has accepted the resignation of Palmer, who will be on a train back to Chattanooga by the afternoon, and  the Federals had formed up their lines and everyone was in place to attempt an advance across Utoy Creek towards the railroad in East Point.  With Palmer’s resignation, Robert W. Johnson, a division commander within the XIV Corps, was appointed Commander of the XIV Corps and placed under the command of Schofield.  Displeased with the performance of the XIV Corps on the previous day, Schofield had moved his XXIII Corps to the right of the XIV Corps.  The XXIII Corps is now the Federal right flank and the XIV Corps is the left flank with Logan’s XV Corps in support to their left.  Palmer’s Corp was fanned out in an arch following the current Beecher Road south to Benjamin E. Mays and making a slight turn to the west, just north of Cascade Road.  Palmer’s right ended near Willis Mill Road.  Schofield’s left was adjacent to Palmer’s right with Cox’s Division along Cascade Road and stretching out west.  Hascall’s Division of Schofield’s Corps turn south making a 90 degree turn to the east and was facing the end of the Confederate line at the Confederate left flank.  Just west of Cascade Springs Nature Preserve.

The battle began when Cox’s Division moved south and Hascall’s Division moved east to press the Confederate flank.  The 11th Kentucky Regiment (Federal) of Cox’s Division was at the front of the advancing line and made first contact with the 4th Kentucky (CS), who were posted as skirmishers in front the famed Kentucky Orphan Brigade.  This action happened in the area of the waterfall in what is now Cascade Springs Nature Preserve.  Cox’s attack was repulsed and he suffered a severe loss.  He reformed for another attempt, but was repulsed a second time after which he withdrew from the assault.  Hascall was hindered by the South Fork of Utoy Creek and made minimal gains in his assault.  He did reach the rear of an artillery battery, which withdrew to the east to another position on high ground from which they still had a commanding view.

The XIV Corps, now commanded by Johnson, has sat idle most of the day and did not make an attempt to attack until late afternoon and he only attacked with one division.  He gained no headway and retired before anything larger than a skirmish developed.

The Confederate left flank was manned by Bate’s Division along a ridge line just south of Sandtown Road (Cascade Road).  S. D. Lee’s Division connected to Bate’s right at the Sandtown Road east of what is now Beecher road.  Bate’s left flank was open and vulnerable to attack and on the night of the 6th, Hood ordered Bate’s Division to withdraw from the area back to the Confederate main defensive line.

The Federal assault cost them approximately 800 lives and numerous wounded, while the Confederates lost only 18 soldiers while defending their heavily entrenched and fortified lines.
Remnants of Federal earthworks manned by Cox’s Division of Schofield’s 23rd Corps(US).  This was near the far left of Cox’s Division as well as the left of the 23rd Corps before it abutted the right of the 14th Corps(US) commanded by Johnson.  Byrd’s Brigade of Cox’s Division held this area.
Utoy Creek at the bike path inside Lionel Hampton – Beecher Hills Park.  When Cox’s Division(US) advanced on Bate’s Division(CS), which held the ridge just south of the Sandtown Road (Cascade Road), they crossed in this area.  The earthworks the stepped off from were in the previous image and are located a few hundred yards north (right of frame) of the creek on the ridge.
Utoy Creek at Peyton Road.  The right of Cox’s Division(US) crossed the creek in this area as they advanced on the Bate’s Division(CS) which held the Confederate left flank.
Hascall’s Division of Schofield’s 23rd Corps(US) advanced south and then made a 90 degree to the east to attack the end of the Confederate left flank which was exposed and vulnerable.  Hascall’s Division was greatly hampered by the thickets of woods and underbrush on the South Fork of Utoy Creek.  Hascall eventually reached the Confederate line with minimal affect, but did cause an artillery battery to withdraw to another position.
A small water fall inside Cascade Springs Nature Preserve.  It was in this area that the first contact of the Battle of Utoy Creek happened.  The skirmishers of the Federal 11th Kentucky Reg.(US) engaged the the pickets of the 4th Kentucky Reg.(CS) of the famed Confederate Kentucky Orphan Brigade commanded by General Joseph Lewis.  There are several accounts in diaries or letters of soldiers bathing in the creek the day before the battle.
A Confederate artillery battery inside the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve.  The battery here was commanded by Capt. Houston King and was named the Missouri Horse Artillery Battery.   As Hascall’s Division advanced across the South Fork of Utoy Creek, he forced the battery to withdraw to another position that was more defensible.
Confederate earthworks inside the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve.  Lewis’s Kentucky Orphan Brigade of Bate’s Division(CS) held the position on the left end of the Confederate line.  As Cox’s Division(US) attacked the strong entrenchments of the Confederates, they were quickly repulsed.  Cox’s formed his lines for another assault which was subsequently repulsed with heavy losses.  After the second attempt failed to take the Confederate line, Cox withdrew his Division back to their starting point.
A dead tree across the top of Confederate earthworks gives scale to their current depth.  These works work manned by Lewis’s Kentucky Orphan Brigade of Bate’s Division (CS).  Realizing the fault of the exposed left flank, General Hood ordered the Corps commander, General S. D. Lee to withdraw Bate’s Division back to the main Confederate line on the night of the 6th.
Smith’s Brigade of Bate’s Division held this ridge line here south of the Sandtown Road, now Cascade Road.  This view is looking from Cascade Rd. (formerly Sandtown Rd.) to the south and up at the ridge line on Woodland Terrace.  Byrd’s Brigade of Cox’s Division(US), which constituted the left of Cox’s Division, attacked Smith’s Division along this ridge line where they met stiff resistance from the heavily fortified Confederate positions.
Looking west along Cascade Road, formerly Sandtown Road.  The Confederates of Bate’s Division(CS) held the high ground south(left) of the road and in this area Byrd’s Brigade of Cox’s Division(US) crossed the road to attack Smith’s Brigade of Cox’s Division(CS).
Known as Cascade Mansion, this home, now a special events facility, was built by Dr. William Poole, who later became a Confederate surgeon in the 57th Ga. Infantry.  Construction began in 1860, but due to the war, it was not completed until 1870.  During the Battle of Utoy Creek, General Bate’s(CS) used the partially finished home as his headquarters while commanding his troops.  After the Battle of Utoy Creek and during the “Siege” of Atlanta, it was used a Union hospital.
Utoy Church, now known as Temple of Christ Pentecostal Church, is one of the oldest Churches in Fulton Co. as is its cemetery.  It was established in 1824 and moved to this location in 1828.  Heavily remodeled and with multiple additions, it still stands where it did in 1828.  During the battles that took place around Atlanta, it was used as a hospital.  During the Battle of Utoy Creek it was again used as a hospital and the Confederate defensive lines crossed the property in the north west corner.
When I visited the Church and Cemetery on the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Utoy Creek, I found that someone had placed new Confederate flags at the headstones of the unknown soldiers that had died here during the battle.  Being such an old cemetery, there are grave markers indicating the graves of soldiers who served as far back as the Revolutionary war and the Spanish American War.
While I am sure there were other Jewish Confederate soldiers, this was the only Jewish Confederate grave stone that I came across in my nearly year long journey following Sherman through Georgia.  I have been in a great many cemeteries along the way and seen many Confederate graves, but this was a first.
Greenwood Cemetery.  The Confederate lines that extended south west of the Atlanta’s inner defensive line, crossed through the high ground and hills inside what is now Greenwood Cemetery.  Clayton’s Division of General S. D. Lee’s Corps(CS) was positioned along this line.  They were located to the right of Bate’s Division and were engaged in skirmishing with the Federal 14th Corps(US) Commanded by General Johnson.
Just inside the wood line of the western part of Greenwood Cemetery you can find remnants of the Confederate earthworks that were manned by Clayton’s Division(CS) and who repulsed a halfhearted attack by the Federal 14th Corps(US).  My ancestors who were in the 42nd Ga. in Stovall’s Brigade were positioned in this area.
 Remains of the Confederate line the extended south and west from Atlanta’s inner defensive line to protect the railroad in East Point.  These works are located in a wooded part of John A. White Park.

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:

7 thoughts on “The Battle of Utoy Creek day 2”

  1. Thanks for all your hard work on this. I just came across your website today via a link from Lisa Land Cooper on Facebook. I grew up in SW Atlanta and went to elementary school at Cascade Heights Elementary and at Venetian Hills Elementary, which is across the street from Utoy Church. I had an aunt and uncle that lived next to Venetian Hills and I can remember as a child walking through the cemetery. A childhood friend, Marc Stewart, who is now a retired naval aviator, lived on Woodlawn Terrace at the top of the hill from the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve and he has quite a few artifacts from the battle that he collected in his yard – minie balls, belt buckles, buttons, bayonets, etc. I think the naturalist who led the effort to preserve Cascade Springs was a childhood friend and neighbor, Terry Sutton. I am really enjoying your site and looks like I will spend quite a few hours over the next few days browsing through it.


    1. Russ,
      Thank you for you kind comments. It has been a labor of love to do this project. I am now currently putting it into book form and looking for publishers. If a publisher does not pick it up, I will self publish. My parents grew up in that area as well. My dad lived on Peyton Road just a couple of hundred yards from the creek. He and his buddies collected lots of artifacts from the creek. I will be posting updates about the book as I get information. I did realize, when I converted the blog into a word doc, that some of the images changed. It appears that when images in a new post had the same file name as an image in an old post, the old image would be changed to the new one. Guess I should have changed my file names or set up my camera to sequential numbering. I will try and correct them all as I find them.



  2. Clint, below is a link to Marc Stewart’s web site. He did a nice painting of the Battle of Utoy Creek that was used by the Georgia Civil War Commission. He also has lots of nice paintings of military aircraft, some are on display at the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola. He lives in Newnan. I have talked to him once of the phone a few years ago and have a print of the Utoy Creek painting. He is very knowledgeable about the history of the Cascade Heights/Utoy Creek area. He told me about many of the entrenchments which you photographed, which I have never seen until I saw your photos here. I lived near Campbellton Rd south of Adams Park the golf course and used to play in some old earthworks as a child but did not realize it until I became an adult and began to work on genealogy and Civil War history as a hobby. I will look forward to you publishing your book, you can be sure I will order a copy.


  3. Hello Clint. I have a keen interest in Utoy Creek. My 2nd great uncle Joseph Robinson served in the 104th Ohio, company B. I am a member of the 104th facebook community. I am also a member of the Scottsdale Civil War roundtable, where until two years ago, I was a board member, wrote the newsletter The Grapeshot and maintained the website. I really have enjoyed your journey through the battlefield sight. Back in May of 2018 I was able to tour Kennesaw Mountain, but due to time constraints I was not able to visit Utoy Creek. Your photos give me a better understanding of the terrain. I do have one question: you referred to Byrd’s brigade of Cox’s Division. Cox had 4 brigades. The 1st was James Reilly, the 2nd was John Casement, the 3rd was Isreal Stiles and the 4th was Richard Barter. I’m confused as who Byrd was?
    Thank You
    Brad Cox
    480 216 0785


    1. Hey Brad, thanks for the comment and question. I am on the road at the moment working and will be out for the next 9 days, so I don’t have access to any of my resource materials. I would have to look back at the OR’s or the order of battle for that day. Sometime unit commanders were not present for one reason or another, illness, leave etc and another officer would assume command for a short time. I think this had to do with Palmer resigning that morning. Robert Johnson was given command of the XIV Corp. I think that caused sort of a trickle down effect of command changes within the XIV Corp. When possible, I tried to list whoever was in command on that given day if I was able to figure it out. That may be the case here, but I honestly can not remember. I have not looked at that information since I wrote it in 2014. I could also be a typo or a mistake on my part as well. If I can remember, I will try to look for the info when I get home next week. If you don’t hear from me, send me a reminder after the first of the year. If you come to Atlanta again, let me know, I’ll walk some some battlefields with you.


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