October 4th, 1864

October 4th, 1864:

On the 3rd, Stewart’s Corps marched on and took Big Shanty and the garrison there, they began destroying the railroad.  Loring’s Division was sent to Acworth and Walthall’s Division went to Moon Station about two miles north of Big Shanty.  Upon arriving at Acworth, Loring’s Division camped just outside of town.

On the morning of the 4th, the acting commander of the Federals in Acworth, attacked  Loring.  The Federals had been up all night and were preparing for the Rebels to attack at first light, when they did not attack, the Federals did.  The attack was a surprise to many of the men, but once the Confederates reorganized after the initial assault, they were able to surround the town and force the Federals to surrender.  The Federal prisoners were rounded up and sent on their way, meanwhile the Confederates began to destroy the railroad.  In all they were able to destroy about eight miles of track running north from Big Shanty.

Around noon on the 3rd Stewart received an order from Hood, directing him to send two of his Divisions back toward the main Confederate Army and send French’s further north to Allatoona Pass to destroy the tacks and fill in the railroad cut.  After that they were to march to New Hope Church and link up with the other Divisions of the Corps.  If French was able to determine if the garrison at the bridge over the Etowah was small, he was to attack and destroy the bridge if possible.

Having marched all the previous day and having spent all night and the morning destroying the railroad, French’s Division began marching north toward Allatoona.  They were the furthest Division of their Corps, but were ordered their straight away.  They had 8 miles to march, Loring’s Division, also the largest of the Corps, was only 4 miles away, but had been ordered to return back to the Confederate Army.

Sherman’s forces were also on the move.  They were making their way toward Marietta and had already crossed the Chattahoochee by the the end of the day.  Sherman also sent word to General Corse, who was in garrison at Rome, to move his division to Cartersville and to be ready to offer support when needed.  Late in the afternoon, Sherman changed his orders to Corse and ordered him to Allatoona.

French’s Divison was on the move to Allatoona by foot and Corse was moving a greater distance, but had the advantage of using the railroad.  It was essentially a race, yet the racers did not know they were racing.

Downtown Acworth, recaptured Oct. 4th 1864 by the Confederates for a short time.   
Looking north, towards the direction of Allatoona Pass, along the railroad in Acworth.  The Confederates destroyed 8 miles of track from Big Shanty(Kennesaw) and Acworth.
Looking south down the railroad in Big Shanty (Kennesaw), towards Marietta.
Downtown Kennesaw (Big Shanty).  The Confederates briefly captured Big Shanty and destroyed the railroad north towards Acworth.  Wildman’s Dent Myers Civil War shop is located here as well as the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History.  The museum houses the “General”, the locomotive stolen by Andrews Raiders in the Great Locomotive Chase.
Looking north along the railroad tracks in Kennesaw (Big Shanty).

October 2nd, 1864

October 2, 1864

Sherman began to receive reports that General Hood had crossed the Chattahoochee River and were moving toward Marietta.  Sherman, unsure of where Hood was moving, began sending messages to all points along his supply line and also sent additional troops to Chattanooga.  He thought Hood would do one of two things; attack the supply line between Atlanta and Chattanooga or move toward northern Alabama to meet up with General Forrest to attack the supply depots in Tennessee.  Sherman also mobilized his troops in Atlanta in an attempt to chase down and engage Hood.  He left the XX Corps to garrison Atlanta and move the remaining troops northwest toward Marietta.

Hood was moving toward the northwest as well.  He was not moving on Marietta directly and was making a wide move around it and the formidable Kennesaw Mountain.  As the Confederate Army was marching, General Stewart’s Corps was the farthest to the right (east) of the column.  They marched throughout the day and Stewart’s Corps made camp a few miles south of Lost Mountain.  Hood and the remainder of his army camped in area southeast of Dallas near Flint Hill Church.

On the evening of the October 2nd, Hood sent orders to Stewart.  His orders were to move his entire Corps, in the morning, to Big Shanty (now called Kennesaw).  Stewart was assigned to capture and destroy as much of the railroad as possible and if he was able to take Big Shanty, he was to send a Division to Acworth to do the same thing there.  Hood suggested that he should be back in two days to link up with the remainder of the army.  These actions, were to set into motion, all the pieces for the Battle of Allatoona Pass.

150 Years Ago Today: June 17th, 1864

June 17th, 1864,
     Heavy skirmishing continued along the Lost Mountain, Mud Creek, Brushy Mountain Line.  Heavy engagements happened in the area of Latimer’s Farm, now the Marietta Country Club.  Calvary actions were also happening continuously on both flanks.  General Johnston begins planning to move to his next defensive position at Kennesaw Mountain.  General Sherman, who has become frustrated, begins to contemplate a direct assault on the Confederate lines as opposed to a flanking movement.

150 Years Ago Today: June 11th, 1864

June 11th, 1864
     Both armies have endured nine straight days of rain.  It slows down General Sherman’s advance to a snail like pace as the wagons are mired down in the mud.  General Johnston’s troops are nearly swimming in their trenches. 
     On this day, Sherman’s armies have located the Confederate line about two miles south of Big Shanty.  It stretches from Brushy Mountain on the Confederate right, across the Western & Atlantic Railroad, all the way to Lost Mountain on the Confederate left.  The line is 10 miles long and is stretched pretty thin.  The Confederate Army has also fortified Pine Mountain, which sits in advance of the main line at roughly the center. 
     The railroad bridge over the Etowah River has been repaired and the first train, a railroad repair train, pulls into Big Shanty.  This is welcome news to General Sherman, his supply line is now up and running and he will no longer be so dependent on wagon trains traveling muddy roads for his supplies.

150 Years Ago Today: June 4th, 1864

June 4th, 1864
     The Confederate forces are moving toward their prepared lines that stretch from Lost Mountain to the railroad just south of Big Shanty.  Once General Sherman learns of General Johnston’s retreat from the Dallas – New Hope line, he orders General McPherson to move from New Hope Church toward Acworth.  In most places along the line, the Federal troops never hear or see the Southern soldiers leave.  They wake up to a deserted battlefield after the Confederates leave under the cover of darkness.

150 Years Ago Today: Along the Dallas – New Hope – Pickett’s Mill line

June 3, 1864
    General Schofield advances to the crossroads at the Allatoona Church, the current intersection of Hwy 92, Dallas – Acworth Hwy, and Cedarcrest Rd.  His lead division moves slowly for fear of Confederate attack and being separated from the main body of the Federal army.  They take the entire day to advance and when they reach the crossroads, they discover the Confederates are gone.  General Sherman’s route to Acworth and the railroad now stands unopposed. 
     General Johnston issues orders to the Confederate army to fall back from the main line and move to the newly prepared lines the stretch from the railroad south of Big Shanty, west to Lost Mountain.