150 Years Ago Today: Snake Creek Gap and Crow Creek Valley

On May 9th, 1864

     General McPherson and The Army of the Tennessee, reached Snake Creek Gap on May 9th, thus setting up a flanking movement in an attempt to attack the Confederate rear and stop their retreat from Dalton.  General Sherman had hoped that General Johnston would turn the Confederate Army away from Dalton to attack McPherson and if General Geary had successfully taken Dug Gap he would have been in a position to hit General Johnston’s flank and the remainder of the Union Army could attack the Confederate rear.  What Sherman wanted and what he got, are two different things.  Upon reaching Snake Creek Gap, McPherson was ordered to attack the Confederates holding the town of Resaca.
     McPherson sent his skirmishers through the gap and saw a considerable and extensive line of earth works between the gap and Resaca.  He also saw Southern troops and over estimated their numbers.  He pulled back and did not push the attack.  General Sherman was furious at the lost opportunity to decimate the Confederate Army and possibly end the campaign there and push on to Atlanta with out much of a fight.  Had McPherson attacked, he would only have found a fairly small number of Confederate troops protecting Resaca, some of which were cadets from the Georgia Military Academy in Marietta.  His hesitation allowed enough time for the Confederate Army to send reinforcements to Resaca.
     Also on May 9th, General Sherman ordered General Schofield’s, Army of the Ohio, to attack the Confederate line in Crow Creek Valley, just north of Dalton.  The Southern soldiers put up a tough fight and repulsed multiple attempts by the Union Army to take their position.  Rowan’s Ga. Battery was positioned on Potato Hill and the remnants of the Battery and Infantry works are still visible today.  It has been turned into a small park with a trail up the hill to the works.  Here is a link for an article about the new parks.  Dalton Daily Citizen

My first day of Principle Photography

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.