On May 8th, 1864 General Sherman sent General Geary’s 2nd Division of General Hookers XXth Corps. to Dug Gap. His intent was to have Geary’s 2nd Division create a diversion and prevent Confederate Scouts from descending the wagon road through Dug Gap and scouting westward for the movements of the Union Army. General Sherman did this to screen the movement of General McPherson’s Army of the Tennessee as they moved south on the western side of Rocky Face Ridge toward Snake Creek Gap. McPherson’s task was to attack the Confederate rear and block their retreat from Dalton. The battle at Dug Gap was a successful diversion and McPherson made it to Snake Creek Gap unseen by the Confederate Army.
During the battle of Dug Gap the Confederates were outnumbered 10 to 1, but they held the high ground and used the natural rock formations of the ridge for cover and concealment. Southern soldiers also constructed a stacked stone wall to use as cove in addition to the natural rock formations being used. About 1200′ of this wall still exist today. During the battle it was reported that the Southern soldiers were rolling large boulders down on the advancing Federal troops. The Federal troops were upset by this and called it a cowardly act and not “Fair Play”. The Confederate soldiers here were from the 1st and 2nd Arkansas and Breckenridge’s dismounted Cavalry. Geary’s 2nd Division suffered roughly 357 casualties to the Confederate’s 50.
Palmer’s XIV Corps of the Army of the Cumberland was also heavily engaged at Mill Creek Gap. This is where I-75, US 41 and the Rail Road move through Rocky Face Ridge. The Western and Atlantic Railroad went through here as well. Confederate engineers had previously flooded a portion of this area to prevent and slow the Federal advance. The attack here was also a diversionary tactic to draw attention away from General McPherson’s movement towards Resaca via Snake Creek Gap.
Well, it’s done, I made it through my first day of photography for the “War Was Here” project. I was up at 4:30am this morning and was in the Dalton area before 6:30am. I was so focused on making images that I didn’t make any video. I will try to make a video tomorrow. I learned that with the proper planning and location scouting, things go really fast. I finished at each of the locations much more quickly than I thought I would. Below you will find list of the locations I made it to today.
1. Crow Creek Valley, where General Stevenson’s line crossed Crow Valley Road
2. Potato Hill, where an artillery battery helped push back the Union Army
3. Poplar Springs Church, a battery was on the hill behind the cemetery and also offered a good view of potato hill just to the east.
4. Fort Fisk, located on the side of Rocky Face Ridge, this was another artillery battery protecting Mill Creek Gap
5. Mill Creek Gap, where the railroad goes through the gap in Rocky Face Ridge
6. Dug Gap, where the Confederate soldiers used the rock formations and boulders on the ridge as cover during a battle. They also built a stacked stone wall after the lines stabilized the evening of the battle. It is still there and made for some great images
7. The Huff House, where General Johnston had his headquarters during the winter of 1863 and into the spring of 1864.
8. The Blunt House, where the first Mayor of Dalton lived. It was used as a hospital after the family evacuated during the Federal advance.
9. The Hamilton House, General Joseph M. Lewis, commander of the famed Kentucky Orphan Brigade, made his headquarters here during the winter of 1863 and spring of 1864.
Not a bad days work. Hope I made some really good images. I will find out later this week when I start editing and organizing the images. I filled a memory card today so I will have a lot of work to do. Tomorrow is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Tunnel Hill. I plan on being there to photograph the battlefield, train tunnel and the Clisby -Austin house. I will try to get to the “Old Stone Church” in Ringold if I have time.