November 23rd, 1864

Nov. 23rd, 1864:

The Left Wing of Sherman’s army moves into and occupies the Georgia State Capital of Milledgeville.  At one point, soldiers occupy the state house building and hold a mock session of the legislature.  They have speeches and vote to repeal secession.  General Sherman takes the Governor’s Mansion as his headquarters.  The Governor had taken all the furnishings with him to Macon leaving the mansion empty.  Sherman slept in his bedroll on the floor.

The Right Wing reaches the Oconee River north east of Macon.  After passing through McIntyre and Toombsboro they are delayed at Ball’s Ferry by stiff Confederate resistance.

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The Georgia’s old Capital building in Milledgeville, was built in 1804 with the first meeting of the legislature happening in 1807.  It was here that Federal troops of Sherman’s Left Wing held a mock congress.
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The old State Capital Building is now part of Georgia Military College.  It houses offices, classrooms and the Old Capital Museum. 
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This was the Governor’s Mansion in Milledgeville.  When the Governor escaped from Milledgeville prior to the arrival of the Federals, he made sure to pack everything, including the furniture for his escape.  General Sherman slept here while the Federals were in town.
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The Oconee River at Ball’s Ferry.  The Federals of the Right Wing arrived here on the 23rd and found the Ferry on the east(right side) bank of the river under a Confederate Guard.  The Federals attempted to cross the river up stream and were able to push the Confederates back for a short time.  The Confederates were reinforced and were then able to drive the Federals back across the river.  By the 25th, the main Federal columns of the Right Wing reached Ball’s Ferry.  They were able to attack the Confederates from the front while another Federal force crossed the river upstream and attacked the Confederate flank forcing a retreat.
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This high ground on the east side of the Oconee River at Ball’s Ferry was once occupied by Confederate forces defending the river crossing.

The Battle of Jonesboro, Day 1

August 31st, 1864:

After learning of the impending attack on Jonesboro and the railroad by the Federals, Hood dispatched Hardee’s Corps and S.D. Lee’s Corps to Jonesboro to protect the railroad.

By mid afternoon, both Hardee’s Corps and S.D. Lee’s Corps were in place at Jonesboro.  Hardee deployed with his corps to the left and as he was in overall command of the operations, Cleburne was commanding the corps. Cleburne deployed with Lowery’s Division to the left and Brown’s Division to the Right.  He held Maney’s Division in reserve.  S.D. Lee’s Corps was deployed to the right of the Confederate line.  Stevenson’s Division was on his left adjacent to Hardee’s right and Clayton was on the far right of the Confederate line.  Stovall’s and Higley’s Brigades were held in reserve and were later moved forward to the left of S.D. Lee’s lines.

Hardee’s plan was to have Cleburne advance and wheel to their right(north) and attack the Federal right flank.  Once they were engaged and the Federals shifted troops to protect the flank, their center would be weakened and then S.D. Lee’s Corp’s would initiate a full frontal assault on the Federal Lines.

Howard deployed his Federals on high ground between the Flint River and Jonesboro.  He placed Logan’s XV Corps on the Federal left where they were facing the railroad and the town of Jonesboro.  Ransom’s XVI Corps was deployed to the Federal right in a “refuse” in the line connected with Logan’s right and turned back west toward the Flint River and across it.  Blair’s XVII Corps was held in reserve.

At 3:00pm Hardee ordered the attack to begin.  As the advance began, Lowery’s Division made contact with Kilpatricks Federal Cavalry and was able to push them back rapidly across the Flint River.  Lowery’s Division was moving so fast that they were not able to maintain contact with Brown’s Division.  Brown’s Division struggled to advance through swampy terrain and a deep ravine.  As they were unsupported on their left, Brown’s Division suffered heavy losses from the entrenched Federals on the high ground above the ravine.

S.D. Lee, who had only been in command of a Corps for about a month, ordered an all out assault at the first sounds of rifle fire from Cleburne.  His inexperience caused him to attack too quickly and before the Federals could shift troops to the flank that was under attack.  So, when Lee’s Corp attacked, they engaged the fully fortified and full strength lines of Logan’s Corps.  Lee’s Corps over ran the Federal skirmishers, but were repeatedly repulsed by the Federal main line.  Lee suffered heavy losses.

While the Battle of Jonesboro ensued.  Schofield’s XXIII Corps and Stanley’s IV Corps reached the Western and Atlantic railroad south of Rough and Ready.  After a short skirmish with some Confederate Cavalry, they began destroying the railroad.

Hood, still not convinced that this was the main attack and thinking it was only a diversion, was anticipating an attack on Atlanta.  Without knowing the status of the battle in Jonesboro.  Hood orders S.D. Lee’s Corps back to Atlanta thinking he is going to be attacked.  Around midnight, Lee’s Corps, beaten, crippled, and worn out begins the long march back to Atlanta.

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General Hardee marched his Corps (CS) to Jonesboro from train stop called Rough and Ready (now called Mountain View, located east of the Atlanta Airport between I-75 and I-285).  Looking south along what was the Macon & Western Railroad. 
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Hardee’s Corps (CS) marched down what is now US Hwy 41 and followed it south towards Jonesboro.
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In the early morning hours, lead elements of Hardee’s Corps (CS) marching south, encountered a Federal picket line at a bridge over a creek near Chambers’ Mill.  The decision was made not to engage in a night fight and Hardee’s Corps (CS) turned left (east) onto a farm road that is now Battle Creek Rd.  They continued their march east then when reaching the road to Morrow’s Station, which ran parallel to the Macon & Western Railroad, they turned south and entered Jonesboro.
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Logan’s 15th Corps of General Howard’s Army of the Tennessee (US) was positioned along this high ground between Jonesboro and the Flint River to their rear.  Today, Hynds Springs Road follows what was the Federal line manned by Harrow’s Division of Logan’s 15th Corps.
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Corse’s Division of Ransom’s 16th Corps, Army of the Tennessee (US), joined the right of Harrow’s Division at a point near a deep ravine and formed a refused line back to the west and across the Flint River.  The line was hear along what is now Magnolia Dr.  The deep ravine that hampered Cleburne’s (CS) advance on the Federals, proved to be a tactical advantage for Corse’s Division.
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To Harrow’s left was Hazen’s Division of Logan’s 15th Corps (US).  Their lines connected at the intersection of Hwy 138 and Hynds Spring Rd.  A Strip mall now stands where Hazen’s soldier had there trenches.  S. D. Lee’s(CS) assault on the Federal lines happen here and against Harrow’s Division aligned along Hynds Springs Rd.
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This heavily wood area is the deep ravine that is marked on battlefield maps and greatly hampered the assault of Hardee’s Corps which was under the command of General Cleburne.  The Confederates suffered greatly in the deep ravine.
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Looking north up Hwy 41 from Veterans Pkwy.  The Confederate assault came from camera right moving to the left. 
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Cleburne, commanding Hardee’s Corps, moved from his works here to attack the refused angle of the Federal line.  In order to do so he wheeled his forces to the right and move to the north.  This area at Fayetteville Road and W. Mill St. is the approximate location of the pivot point where Clerburne’s line joined S.D. Lee’s line.
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Positioned to Cleburne’s (CS) right was S. D. Lee’s Corps(CS).  They moved from their lines in this area along Fayetteville Road and North Ave., to assault the Federal 15th Corps.  Looking north along Fayetteville Road the Confederates moved from right to left (east to west).
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During Cleburne’s assault on the refused Federal line, several brigades of Lowrey’s Division(CS) encountered Kilpatricks Cavalry (US), protecting the Federal right flank.  Those Confederate brigades were able to drive Kilpatrick back across the Flint River at this point.  The loss of these brigades to driving back Kilpatrick, reduced the number of soldiers for the main assault on the Federal line and along with the deep ravine encountered by the remainder of Cleburne’s command, prevented a successful Confederate assault.

August 30th, 1864

August 30th, 1864:

Having left the area of Red Oak and Fairburn, the Federal army advances on Jonesboro and the Western & Atlantic Railroad.  Howard’s Corps is the first one to cross the Flint River.  Howard’s troops come under fire as they approach the Flint River.  The Confederates are trying to delay them and as the retreat across the river toward Jonesboro, they set fire to the bridge.  The men of Logan’s XV Corps dash across the burning bridge, some providing cover fire and others putting out the flames and saving a usable portion of the bridge.  They purse the Confederates to the edge of the city and then fall back to high ground between the river and Jonesboro.  They dig in on the eastern side of the river in an area that is now Hynds Springs Road near the intersection of 138.

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Logan’s 15th, along with Ransom’s 16th and Blair’s 17th Corps of the Army of the Tennessee, commanded by General Howard (U.S.), marched from Fairburn to Jonesboro on this road.  This view is looking west towards Fairburn.  This is Hwy 138 at the Flint River.
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As Howard’s Army of the Tennessee reached the Flint River, they engaged in a skirmish with the Confederates.  The Confederates set the bridge on fire and soldiers from Logan’s Corps sprinted across the burning bridge to provide covering fire for other soldiers to begin putting out the flames on the bridge.  They pushed the Confederates back towards town and then the Federal troops entrenched along the ridge line that Hynds Springs Road follows.  This view is looking east towards Jonesboro from the Flint River bridge on Hwy 138.
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Bethsaida Baptist Church sits along Bethsaida road.  At the time of the war, this was the main road from Fairburn to Jonesboro.  As the Army of the Tennessee (U.S.) left the destroyed railroad in Fairburn and Shadnor Church, the 15th, 16th, and 17th Corps all converged on this road.  They skirmished constantly with Confederate Cavalry during their march to Jonesboro.  The church was used as temporary headquarters by the Federals during their march and the church pews were used as feed troughs for the horses.
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On their march from Red Oak, Baird’s Division of the 14th Corps split off from the other two divisions to march along a different road traveling in the same direction.  This was common practice as roads were much smaller and the shear volume of soldiers and wagons could quickly bottle neck on a small road.  Baird moved his Division along what is now Flat Shoals Road and made a right hand turn onto what is now Riverdale Road heading south towards Jonesboro to link up with the remainder of the 14th Corps.  As the division was making its turn to the south, two divisions, Wood’s and Kimball’s, of the 4th Corps (U.S.) were halted at this cross roads on their march to Rough and Ready.  The 4th Corps ended up camping here around the crossroads and the farm and home of John A. Mann, which was located a few hundred feet down the road.  This view is looking south down Riverdale Road in the direction the Federals marched towards Jonesboro.

The Battle of Atlanta

July 22, 1864

After an arduous night march of 16 miles, Hardee’s Corps was getting into position on the Federal left flank.  The attack that was supposed to begin at dawn, but was delayed due to the distance of the night march and then further delayed when Walker’s and Bate’s Divisions had to work around the swampy terrain at Terry’s Mill Pond.  Just after 12:00pm, Hardee ordered Walker and Bate to attack the Federal left flank.  Bate’s Division was on the Confederate right, east of Sugar Creek and Walker’s Division was on the west side of Sugar Creek.  As Walker’s Division made their way past the mill pond, Walker moved to the front of his lines to see what lay ahead of his column.  As he raised his field glasses, a round from a Federal sharpshooter killed him instantly.  After the disarray and confusion that followed, Brig. Gen. H. W. Mercer assumed command of the Division and carried out the attack.  Walker fell near the intersection of Glenwood Ave. and Wilkinson Dr.  A monument dedicated to his memory stands there today.

The Federals that Walker and Bate were attacking were elements of the 2nd and 4th Divisions of Dodge’s XVI Corps.  They were entrenched in the area of Memorial Drive and Clay Street.  With part of the line extending into what is now Alonzo Crim High School.  This was a tactically advantageous position on high ground overlooking Sugar Creek valley.  They were also supported by several artillery batteries.

Cleburne’s and Maney’s Divisions had moved up Flat Shoals Road and were heading toward the left flank of the Federals that were entrenched along Flat Shoals in the area between Glenwood and the intersection of I-20 and Moreland (Bald Hill, aka Leggett’s Hill).  They attacked the left flank of Blair’s XVII Corps that was held by Smith’s 4th Division.  Cleburne’s attack was fast and furious.  His troops drove the Federals back to the north to Bald Hill and in the process they captured eight cannons and the entire 16th Iowa Infantry Regiment.

During this time, General McPherson was riding toward Dodge’s Corps to asses the situation and was traveling on a ridge line (McPherson Ave.) trying to find a way to close the gap between Logan and Blair.  The Confederates were flooding into the gap in McPherson’s lines, and as McPherson searched for a way to close the gap, he was shot and killed by the attacking Confederates.  One of McPherson’s aides was with him, and when the shots rang out, his horse took off and slammed into a tree, thus breaking his watch at 2:02pm, the time of McPherson’s death.

Late in the afternoon, Hood, who was observing the battle from a house adjacent to what is now Oakland Cemetery, ordered his former Corps, now commanded by Cheatham, to attack the Federal front.  Cheatham’s Corps left their works and moved east toward the Federal line.  The right of Cheatham’s Corps was attacking Bald Hill from the west and Maney’s Division of Hardee’s Corps was attacking from the south west.  Even with their combined effort, they were unable to push the Federals off of Bald Hill.  On Cheatham’s left, Clayton and Brown’s divisions were more successful.  Manigault’s Brigade of Brown’s Division, used the cover of a deep railroad cut in the area of the current Inman Park Marta Station and the CSX railroad.  They came under artillery fire, but were able to out flank the battery and capture the guns.  This action broke the Federal line and Manigault wheeled to the left and began to “roll up” the Federal line.  He captured 8 cannons in the process, four of which were 20 pounder Parrott rifles.  Stovall’s Brigade, which was aligned to the left of Manigault, was attacking the Degress Battery (located off of Battery Place) from the front when Manigault hit the flank.  As the line broke, soldiers from both Brigades stormed the works and captured the battery.  The 42nd Ga. Volunteers, who were part of Stovall’s Brigade, took part in this assault.

General Sherman, who was observing the battle from the Augustus Hurt house at the present day Carter Library, witnessed the Confederate assault that broke part of the lines of Logan’s XV Corps.  He personally directed artillery fire from five concentrated batteries, toward the attacking Confederates.  He had the artillery rounds falling to their front to prevent them from moving forward and attacking, as well as toward their rear to prevent reinforcements from supporting the assault.  This artillery fire and a Federal counter attack of eight Brigades, pushed the Confederates back to their works and restored the Federal line.

Hood had also dispatched General Wheeler and his Cavalry to Decatur to attack McPherson’s wagon train.  Wheeler found several regiments of Federal infantry posted south of Decatur.  At 1:00pm, Wheeler dismounted two of his divisions and assaulted the Federals.  He pushed them north across what is now Agnes Scott College and then across the railroad tracks to the Decatur Square.  The wagon train was detoured from Decatur after Wheeler started his assault.  Wheeler pushed the Federals through the square and through the old city cemetery.  The Federals then formed a new line along what is now North Decatur Road.  Before Wheeler could attack the new Federal line, he was recalled back to Atlanta to support the attack on Bald Hill.

The battle was over by the time darkness had fallen, the Confederates had returned to their works and had suffered nearly twice the number of casualties as the Federals.  The Federals reformed their lines and will shortly begin the “Siege of Atlanta”.

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After receiving the order from General Hardee (CS) to attack, General W. Walker commanding his division of Hardee’s Corps rode to the front of his lines to observe the terrain and deploy his troops in Sugar Creek Valley.  He was shot off his horse and killed by a Federal picket.  General Mercer assumed command and continued the attack.
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Sugar Creek Valley:  Bate’s Division of Hardee’s Corps(CS) was deployed on this, the eastern side of Sugar Creek and Walker’s Division, now commanded by Mercer, was deployed to the western side of the creek.  They advanced up the low valley to assault the federal lines along present day Memorial Drive and Clay Street.  The Dekalb Memorial Park now occupies what is left of Sugar Creek Valley.
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Alanzo A. Crim High School now occupies the spot where the Blodgett’s Missouri Battery H was positioned in the Federal lines that were occupied by Federal troops from Rice’s and Mersey’s Brigades of Sweeny’s Division(US).  Rice’s Brigade was facing east and engaged with Bate’s Division as they moved up the east side of Sugar Creek and Mersey’s Brigade was facing south and bearing the brunt of the assault from Walkers Division(commanded by Mercer).
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The Federal lines of Rice’s Brigade were positioned on this high ground here at Memorial Drive near Clay street.  They were facing east, toward the camera position, and were engaged with Bate’s Division (CS)
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While Bate’s and Walker’s Division’s constituted the right flank of Hardee’s assault on the Federal lines, Maney’s and Cleburne’s Divisions were the left flank.  Maney’s Brigades advanced on the Federal lines and moved through what is now Brownwood Park, to assault the Federals on the high ground just north of Flat Shoals Rd.
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Cleburne’s Division was advancing on the west side of Flat Shoals Rd, to the right of Maney’s Division, when they encountered the far left of the Federal flank.  Cleburne’s men were able to turn the Federal left, General Smith Division, and then were able to assault the rear of the Federal lines to their west.  In the process of that assault, Cleburne’s troops were able to capture eight artillery pieces that belonged to the 2nd Illinois and 2nd U.S. Artillery.
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With an attack on two sides, General Smith(US), fell back with his Division under heavy fire.  They made a retrograde movement to form a line on the east flank of Bald Hill, also called Leggett’s Hill.  Leggett’s hill once occupied the intersection of I-20 and Moreland Ave.  The fighting here was fierce, with the Leggett’s Division and what was left of Smith Division, taking fire on their position from their front, their left flank, and their rear.
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In the late morning, just before the noon start to the Confederate attack, General McPherson, along with Generals Logan and Blair, as well as their staff officer, stopped for lunch.  They stopped in a grove of oak trees on the south side of the rail road near the location of Whitfoord Ave and La France.  After finishing their meal and sending a dispatch to General Dodge to destroy the rail road, the generals heard the first shots of the Confederate assault.  Logan and Blair rode off to command their respective corps and McPherson and his staff road towards the sound of the gun fight.  While moving along what is now McPherson Ave., General McPherson was shot and killed by Confederates of Cleburne’s Division as they exploited a gap in the Federal lines.  This image is of reenactors at a memorial service on the 150th anniversary of the Generals death.
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Several hours after the main Confederate assault by Hardee’s Corps(CS), General Hood(CS), threw Cheatham’s Corps into the attack and thus extended the Confederate line of attack further north and across the railroad.  Here in this images is Edgewood Ave. Clayton’s Brigade of Cheatham’s Corps(CS) moved east through here to attack the Federal positions at the Troup Hurt House. 
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Dekalb Ave. at the Inman Park Marta Station.  Here, Manigault’s and Sharp’s Brigades of Brown’s Division Cheatham’s Corps (CS) moved east on the north side of the rail road tracks to assault the Federal lines.  Sharp’s Brigade was able to exploit the cover provided by the deep railroad, where the Marta station now sits, and push through the small gap in the Federal lines where he wheeled to the right to attack the Federal flank south of the railroad and capture 2 artillery pieces of Battery A 1st Illinois Artillery.  Manigault wheeled to the left and captured the 4 remaining guns of the battery and continued to move north up the Federal line.  The Federal line broke and Manigault along with Stovall’s Brigade were able to continue the assault.
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This old stone church, now a private residence, sits on the site of the Troup Hurt House.  This site was a land mark on the battlefield and the site of the Federal lines as well as the four 20 pounder Parrott rifles of the Degress Battery H, 1st Illinois Artillery.  Manigault’s along with Stovall’s Brigade, were able to break the Federal lines here and capture the Degress Battery.  They were able to hold the position for some time before they too were routed out by a Federal counter attack.
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General Hood(CS) was the commander of the Confederate Army of Tennessee and upon ordering Cheatham’s Corps to attack the Federal lines, he took up a position on the second floor of the Williams home, to watch the battle unfold.  The Williams home once stood in this area of what is now Oakland Cemetery.
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The Carter Center now sits where the Augustus Hurt House once stood.  This was the location of General Sherman’s headquarters during the Battle of Atlanta.  Generals Howard and Schofield also made their command post here as well.  After his death, General McPherson’s body was brought here before being send back to Ohio for burial.  From here, Sherman ordered a counter attack on the Confederates and personally directed artillery fire against the Confederates in the area of the Troup Hurt House.
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As part of the Federal counter attack, Logan’s 15th Corps(US), moved west astride the railroad.  Here, just on the south side of the railroad at Moreland Ave. and Caroline st., Lightburn’s Brigade advanced west toward the area of the Troup Hurt House.
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Dekalb Ave. at Moreland Ave.  Upon establishing their lines in the area of the Troup Hurt House and the railroad cut just west of this location, the Federals set up a signal station in a large pine tree in this location.  After the Federal lines broke, the station was abandoned and when the Federal counter attack was successful, the station was put back in to use. 

July 18th, 1864

July 18, 1864:

General Joseph E. Johnston is officially relieved of command of the Confederate Army of Tennessee.  President Davis promote Lt. General John. B. Hood to be the new commander of the Army of Tennessee.  Davis advised Johnston the he was relieved of command due to his inability to stop the Federals from reaching Atlanta and that he did not have confidence that he could prevent the Federals from capturing Atlanta and destroying the Army of Tennessee.  Johnston was very well liked among his troops and many were in disbelief.

This change in command has come at a crucial time as the Federals have just crossed the Chattahoochee River.  The Army of the Cumberland crosses at Pace’s Ferry and Power’s Ferry and are advancing toward Peachtree Creek.  General McPherson’s Army of the Tennessee, has crossed the river at Roswell and has been moving south through Dunwoody toward the Augusta Railroad line near Decatur.  They reach it on the 18th and destroy about four miles of it in between Stone Mountain and Decatur, in an attempt to disrupt the supplies, and possibly reinforcements, coming from the east. McPherson then turns west and moves towards Decatur.

Wheelers Cavalry had been skirmishing with the Federals approaching Peachtree Creek for several days, but today they burn the bridges over Peachtree Creek at Moore’s Mill, Howell’s Mill, and on Ridgewood Road.  They then move south east to intercept McPherson’s Army of the Tennessee near Decatur.

The pieces are nearly in place for the first of two major battles to happen on the outskirts of Atlanta.  Soon the two armies will clash in the Battle of Peachtree Creek and then two days later at the Battle of Atlanta.

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Peachtree Creek, once a strategic obstacle for the advancing Federals, now sits nestled between neighborhoods and park.
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Moore’s Mill at Peachtree Creek.  The original wooden bridge would have been located to the left of the current bridge.  After encountering the advancement of Federal troops, Confederate skirmishers were forced across the bridge and burned it in an attempt to stall the Federal advance.
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Another bridge across Peachtree Creek, here at Howell’s Mill, was burned by Confederate skirmishers in an attempt to slow down the Federals as they moved on Atlanta.
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As General McPherson’s men moved from Roswell they passed through Dunwoody where they split their columns to take advantage of multiple roads in an effort to move faster.  Here along Johnson Ferry Road at Nancy Creek, Dodge’s 16th Corps, on the right of McPherson’s Army of the Tennessee(US), linked up with General Cox’s 3nd Division of the 23rd Corps, Army of the Ohio.  They camped here along the creek for a night before proceeding to Decatur. 
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Part of Dodge’s 16th Corps camped here at Ashford Dunwoody Road and Nancy Creek.  Now a large athletic complex covers their camp.
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Logan’s 15th Corps and Blair’s 17th Corps moved down what is now N. Shallowford Road. They camped along Nancy Creek in the area of I-285 and N. Shallowford Road.
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Nestled in a small copse of trees off of Peachtree Road in Brookhaven, the Solomon Goodwin House is the oldest structure in Dekalb County and also the oldest inside the “Perimeter (I-285).  The oldest portion was built in 1831 and expanded to it’s current size in the 1840’s.  The home was a landmark on maps at the time and both Hascall’s and Cox’s Divisions of the 23rd Corps, Army of the Ohio, passed by here on their movement south.  There are still dents in the mantel from rifle butts. 
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Now the clubhouse for the Peachtree Golf Club, the Samuel House Plantation was a landmark for the advancing Federals.  Cox’s 3rd Division of the General Schofield’s 23rd Corps, Army of the Ohio, camped here on the plantation grounds.  General Schofield, along with General Sherman were accompanying the Division, made their Headquarters here.
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Browning’s Court House was another area landmark on McPherson’s route to Decatur.  Originally located at the intersection of Lavista Road and Fellowship Road, it has been moved to property owned by the county in order to preserve the structure.  Logan’s 15th Corps moved to this point to support elements of Garrard’s Cavalry as them moved to destroy the railroad tracks in nearby Stone Mountain.
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The railroad in Decatur looking east towards Stone Mountain and on to Augusta.  This was McPherson’s goal.  He was charged with destroying the railroad in order to prevent supplies and reinforcements from reaching Atlanta from the east. 

150 Years Ago Today: November 14th, 1864

November 14th, 1864
     General Sherman and his staff moved south from Marietta, towards Atlanta.  Along the way the roads were nearly impassable due to the numbers of soldiers marching south to the city.  The railroad had been completely destroyed.  They pulled up the rails and then made fires with the cross ties.  The rails were placed onto of the fires and the rails were heated red hot and then bent or twisted into an unusable shape.  Sherman and his staff crossed the Chattahoochee River on a wagon bridge near the railroad bridge that had been destroyed earlier in the day.  When General Sherman reached Atlanta, he established his headquarters at the Lyons House.
     By the end of the day, nearly all of Sherman’s army was in or on the outskirts of Atlanta.  They had been organized into two different wings.  The Left Wing and the Right Wing.  The Right Wing was commanded by Major General O.O. Howard and was composed of the 15th Corps, commanded by Major General P.J. Osterhaus, and the 17th Corps, commanded by Major General F. P. Blair.  The left wing was under the command of Major General H. W. Slocum and was composed of the 14th Corps, commanded by Major General Jefferson C. Davis (not to be confused with Confederate President Jefferson Davis) and the 20th Corps under the command of Brigadier General A. S. Williams.  Brigadier General Judson Kilpatrick was in command of a Cavalry Division that was to operate as a separate unit operating independently and in support of the two wings.
     Having sent all the sick and injured, as well as nearly all the non combatants. Sherman fielded and army that consisted of 55,329 infantry, 5,063 Cavalry, 1,812 Artillery.  A total of 62,204 soldiers.  They carried all they needed with them and were to forage off the surrounding country side.  This is such an impressive number of men and material to move in coordination with each other, on foot, horseback and by wagon.  Many accounts exist of how well fed everyone was during most of the march due to the region being fairly untouched by the war until now.  Some accounts report that by the end of the march in December, that their livestock was in better condition than when they started out from Atlanta. 

150 Years Ago Today: July 4th, 1864

July 4th, 1864:
     Yesterday, General Sherman entered Marietta and established his headquarters in the Kennesaw House and ordered his forces to continue the pursuit of the Confederates and attempt to engage them no matter what the cost of men and material.  They must press their advantage while the Confederates are retreating.
     The Federal troops continued their chase and soon, as they approached Smyrna, they began 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. 
  They 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, The River Line.