General Sherman and his staff departed from Kingston on the morning of the 12th and began their journey to Atlanta. They reached Cartersville around noon where they sat on a porch at the telegraph operators office to rest. Sherman received a dispatch from General Thomas in Nashville. Sherman replied with “Dispatch received-all right”. As Sherman ended his message the telegraph line linking him to Chattanooga and the remainder of the Federal Army, was cut. Sherman and his forces were now cut off and on their own until they reached the coast. Just below Cartersville they stopped to watched the last trains cross the bridge over the Etowah River, and then crossed the river and continued south. They traveled about 20 miles for the day and camped near Allatoona.
The Federal troops in the outpost there had been protecting and garrisoning locations throughout North Georgia, were ordered to march toward Atlanta as quickly as possible and to destroy the railroad and make the country “untenable” for the enemy. Bridges, mills, homes, barns, and other buildings were burned and food as well as livestock were taken. What they could not carry, they destroyed.
June 6th, 1864 General McPherson, with his Army of the Tennessee, established a line just south of Acworth at Proctors Creek. General Sherman joins him there. It has been one month since the start of the campaign. Massive amounts of men and material have been moved a great many miles over the last month. The Union Army now controls the railroad from Acworth on up to Chattanooga and beyond. As soon as the bridge over the Etowah is repaired, the flow of desperately needed supplies will resume.
May 20th, 1864: General Johnston and the Confederate Army withdrew from Cassville and on the evening and night of the 20th they crossed the Etowah River and began heading in the direction of Allatoona Pass. General Sherman decided to rest his army and they stayed on the north side of the river for the next three days, where they were resting and restocking supplies. Having traveled through this area as a young officer, General Sherman knew the dangers of approaching the Confederate Army, at the heavily fortified Allatoona Pass. He formulated a plan to leave his railroad supply line and move southwest toward Dallas and try to out flank Johnston and take Marietta before the Confederate Army could get there.