The Battle of Brown’s Mill

July 30th, 1864:  The Battle of Brown’s Mill

On the 29th, McCook’s Cavalry made it to Love Joy’s Station where they were supposed to meet General Stoneman and destroy as much of the railroad as possible.  When McCook arrived, Stoneman was not there, so McCook began to destroy the tracks.  Stoneman had been given permission by Sherman to head south towards Macon and Andersonville after destroying the tracks, in an effort to free the Union Prisoners.  Stoneman, who was looking to pull off some heroic venture to improve his reputation, decided that McCook could handle the detail at Love Joy’s Station and went straight for Macon.

McCook ended up fighting a fairly heated skirmish at Love Joy’s Station and the began to retreat back towards the west in an attempt to cross the Chattahoochee and return to the safety of the Federal lines.  General Wheeler and his Confederate Cavalry were hot on his trail and were engaged in a running skirmish with McCook’s rear guard.

On the morning of the 30th, the front of McCook’s column came into Newnan along what is now E. Broad St. near the train depot.  Their path was blocked by a train load of Confederate soldiers that were waiting for the tracks in Palmetto to be repaired.  The same tracks that McCook had destroyed a couple of days before.  Both sides were surprised by the appearance of the other and a small firefight ensued.  Being blocked in the front by the train and having Wheeler coming up on his rear, McCook began moving south of town looking for a clear path to the river where he could avoid a fight.  Wheeler’s forces entered town and split up in an effort to hit McCook from the front and rear.

The two forces finally met about three miles south of Newnan near Brown’s Mill along the Millard Farm Road and what is now Old Corinth Road.  McCook’s troopers were driven from the road and into the woods where they dismounted and fought on foot.  There was a fair amount of back and forth with Wheeler’s troopers pushing the Federal back and then McCook’s troopers counter attacking and pushing the Confederates back.  At one point the 8th Iowa even captured the lead elements of Ross’s Texans(CS) as they had just dismounted to assault the Federal line.  The 3rd Texas was able to cut their way through the 8th Iowa and rescue General Ross and the others that had been captured.  The fighting was intense and Wheeler soon received about 1400 reinforcements that had marched out of Newnan.  McCook, thinking he was surrounded, shouted “Every man for himself!”  McCook suffered heavy casualties and lost several officers and Brigade Commanders.  He decided to split his forces and they cut their way out of Wheelers trap and made off for the river in different directions.  A large number of his troopers were captured over the next few days as the Confederate Cavalry continued their pursuit.  McCook, lost about 100 troopers to the fight and another 1300 were captured and sent to prison camps.  Wheeler lost about 50 troopers.

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The Newnan Depot was built in 1850 and was recently renovated into a special events facility after spend many years as an abandoned decaying structure.  Confederate soldiers bound for Atlanta as replacements, were stranded here in Newnan while waiting for the railroad tracks in Palmetto to be repaired.  When McCook’s troopers rode into town they rode straight into these stranded soldiers and small firefight ensued.
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General McCook(US) skirted his column of cavalry around to the south of Newnan in an attempt to make a crossing at the Chattahoochee River, but General Wheeler(CS) was closing in quickly.  Here, at Brown’s Mill Battle Field Historic Site, a park with historical markers and walking path has been created to preserve the remains of the battlefield.  In this image the Confederates under Wheeler’s command would have attacked from the north (right of frame) toward the south (left of frame).  The Federal line was along the right side of the image just out of frame.  When Wheeler attacked they pushed the Federals back to the left of the image.
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Looking east across a portion of the battlefield.  The Confederates pushed McCook back from the through this area.  This area is preserved as part of the park.  After Wheeler received reinforcements of Infantry from the stranded soldiers at the train depot, he was able to surround McCook on three sides.
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A small branch of Sandy Creek winds through the battlefield.  Brown’s Mill was located on a larger portion of the creek south of this point.  For the most part the terrain was mixed with open areas and heavily wooded areas.  The 4th Indiana was positioned here moving up to the right towards Millard Farm Road to hold the Federal Left Flank.
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Buena Vista, Newnan Ga.  After the Battle of Brown’s Mill, General Wheeler retired to this home for the evening and established his Headquarters here while he directed the continued pursuit of the fleeing Federals.
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75 College St. Know as College Temple, was originally part of school that was started in 1853.  The school was comprised of seven buildings and as the raged on, it was pressed into service as a hospital for thousand of soldiers both Union and Confederate, that found their way to Newnan.

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73 College St. Know as College Temple, was originally part of school that was started in 1853.  The school was comprised of seven buildings and as the raged on, it was pressed into service as a hospital for thousand of soldiers both Union and Confederate, that found their way to Newnan.

 

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The Battle of Ezra Church

July 28th, 1864:

After learning of the flanking movement being conducted by Howard’s Army of the Tennessee, Hood ordered S.D. Lee’s Corps and A. P. Stewart’s Corps to move out the Lickskillet Road in an effort to check the Federal advance and try to roll up their right flank.

Howard began deploying his units on the 27th in an effort to reach the railroad at East Point.  He started his line of battle somewhere along what is now Chappell Road south of North Ave.  His line followed the high ground along Chappell Road to the south.  On the morning of the 28th, Howard began deploying the remainder of his army along the ridge and continuing south down Chappell Road.  The Federal line then began to curve to the right (southwest) near the intersection of Ezra Church Drive and Chappell.   The line continued its curve through what is now Mozley Park.  Ezra Church was located in the park on a grassy hill between MLK Blvd. and the ball fields of the park.  Federal units used Church Pews and wood from the church to construct barricades to fire from.  The line continued to curve southwest until it reached the point of Laural Ave. and Archer St.  This was the salient in the Federal line.  From this point it turned in a northwesterly direction.  It would have crossed West Lake Ave, passing over part of Anderson and Verbena and ending on the hill where the current Sadie G. Mays Rehab Center (Nursing Home) is located.  This would have been the extreme right of the Federal line that surrounded Atlanta as well as Howard’s right.  This hill was called Battle Hill.

Lee’s Corps formed up for battle in the area along the front portion of the current Westview Cemetery.  Brown’s Division formed up on the left with Brantley’s Brigade forming on the far left.  Clayton’s Division formed on the right with Holtzclaw’s Brigade at the right.  Stewart’s Corps formed to the rear of Lee along the Lickskillet Road (formerly Gordon Road and now called Ralph David Abernathy Blvd.).  An artillery battery was located in what is now the Westview Cemetery on a hill behind the Alms House (poor house).  The Alms House was located in the area just south of Westview’s original entry gate.

In the early afternoon the Confederate attack began.  Their movement was screened by thick woods in the area and in some locations they were within 50 yards of the Federal line before they were seen.  Brantley’s Brigade on the Confederate left attacked Lightburn’s Brigade on the Federal right in the area of Battle Hill.  They were successful at first and were able to take the hill for a short time, but were forced to retreat when several regiments from the reserves of the XV and XVI Corps arrived.  Sharp’s Brigade, who held the center of Brown’s Division, advanced on the Federal line through the area of what is now the West Lake Marta Station.

Clayton’s Division of Lee’s Corps was advancing on the Federal line just east of the salient and in the area of Ezra Church.  Their repeated assaults were constantly repulsed by the Federals who had the high ground and in some locations had begun to dig in and build barricades.  Around 2pm, part of Stewart’s Corps began to advance in support of Lee’s Corps.  They concentrated their force  in the same area of Clayton’s Brigade, but Stewart was also unsuccessful in his attack.  Stewart was wounded in the fighting on a hill on the south side of MLK Blvd between Federal Drive and Gordon Terrace.  Stewart was about to send additional units into the fight when he was wounded and carried from the field.  Walthall, one of Stewart’s Divisional commanders assumed command and instead of sending in more soldiers, he began to withdraw from the area.

After being repulsed by the Federals multiple times and the coming nightfall, the Confederates pulled back to their jumping off point and began to dig in.  Some of the works are still visible in a section of Westview Cemetery.  This was the third defeat for Hood in his short time as the commander of the Confederate Army of Tennessee.  While they did not defeat the Federals, they did prevent their move on East Point, at least for the time being and as fast as the Federals tried to go around the Confederate flank, the Confederates were just a little faster in building earthworks and extending their line.

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Anderson Ave. between Calloway Dr. and Verbena St. Taken from the high ground looking south toward Verbena St.  Federal Soldiers of M.L. Smith’s Division of General Logan’s 15th Corps(US).  We are looking in the direction of the on coming Confederate attack of General Brown’s Division, who was positioned on the left of General S. D. Lee’s Corps(CS).
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Verbena St. looking west toward Penelope Dr. about 75 yards west of Anderson Ave.  The Federal lines occupied the high ground here and at this approximate point the Federal line made a sharp turn to the north as to protect their flank.  This was the far right of the Federal Lines.
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Sadie G. Mays Health and Rehabilitation Center.  This area, on Anderson Ave. just east of the intersection with Verbena, was known as Battle Hill.  This area saw the heaviest fighting and multiple attacks by the Confederates of Brown’s Division.  At one point the Federals were pushed back from their works, but soon counter attacked with reinforcements and drove the Confederates and were able to reform their original line and extend the flank.  Late in the afternoon, after Brown’s Division had suffered heavy losses from their repeated assaults on the Federals, they were retired and Walthall’s Division of General Stewart’s Corps(CS) was brought forward with fresh troops to continue the assault.
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Looking west in the area in front of Battle Hill.  Anderson Ave.and Verbena St. are to the right side of the image.  The Confederates of Brown’s Division and later Walthall’s Division crossed this are in their repeated attempts to take the Federal lines.  The Confederates would have been attacking from the left side of the image to the right.
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Laurel Ave. looking north toward the intersection with Archer St.  This high ground was occupied by the Federals of Harrow’s Division of the 15th Corps(US).  This spot is as far south as the Federal lines came during the battle and here the line formed a salient angle moving off to the north west (left) and to the north east (right).  From this point back to the north east, there was a gap in the Federal line of approximately 100 yards.  This gap was due to the heavily wooded terrain at the time.  As the attack began, the Federals recognized the vulnerability of the gap in their lines and quickly brought up several regiments of reserves to fill the gap.
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Looking south down Laurel Ave.between Archer St. (to the rear of the camera position) and Mims St.  The Confederate attack came straight at the Federal lines through here.  As you look into the distance you can see the terrain begins to take on a upward slope.  Clayton’s Division(CS), which was formed up to the right of Brown’s Division(CS), used the low ridge to hide their movements from the Federals.  They were able to form up and deploy for battle while using the concealment that was offered by the  ridge line.  The woods in this area were so thick, that the Confederates were able to get within 50 yards of the Federal lines before they were seen.
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M.L.K. Jr. Dr. across from the intersection with Federal Dr.  General A. P. Stewart was wounded on this high ground here as he was commanding his Corps in the Battle.  He was about to send in his General Loring’s Division into the assault, but before he could give the order, General Stewart was struck in the head with a “Spent” bullet and was carried from the field.  He was able to return to his about two weeks later.  General Walthall then assumed command of the Corps and ordered his Division to retire from battle and did not send Loring’s Division into the attack.
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Mozley Park, the site of Ezra Church, name sake of the battle.  The Federal lines came to this point and started to turn in a generally north eastern direction.  Wangelin’s Brigade of Wood’s Division, 15th Corps(US) was positioned here at the church and extended just to the east.  Williamson’s Brigade of the same Division was positioned at the church and extended just to the north east.  They used the church pews and wood from the church to fortify their position and fend off the attacking Confederates of Clayton’s Division.
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Ezra Church Drive.  The hill top in this image was part of the Federal line.  From here the Federal line move south west(left) along the high ground toward Ezra Church and north east along the high ground toward what is now Chappell Road where it turned more in a more northern direction and followed the high ground.
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Chappell Road at Joseph E. Boone Blvd.  Looking south along Chappell Rd you can still recognize some of the high ground that the Federals occupied.  The 4th Division of the 17th Corps, commanded by General Giles A. Smith(US), held the Federal line in this area.  There was very little, if any, action in this area.
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Chappell Road at North Ave.  The high ground here held the far left end of the Federal lines for the Battle of Ezra Church.  This area was occupied by Federal troops of the 3rd Division of the 17th Corps under the command of General Leggett.
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Overlook Atlanta Apartment Homes, locate where Chappell Rd dead ends into Donald Lee Hollowell Pkwy.  At the time this was called Davis hill and was occupied by the 2nd Division, commanded by Brig. General James D. Morgan, of General Palmer’s 14th Corps(US).  Prior to the Battle of Ezra Church, General Sherman had ordered the 2nd Division to reinforce the right flank of Howard’s Army of the Tennessee on their movement towards East Point.  The 2nd Division became lost in the heavily wooded area and were eventually ordered to return to their works at Davis hill.  There was also a gap of about 1000′ in the Federal lines between Davis Hill the left of the lines at Ezra Church near North Ave and Chappell Rd.
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Westview Cemetery, a marker describes the Battle of Ezra Church.  Putnam Darden’s Mississippi Battery was stationed near here on the hill behind the Alms House (poor house) that served as a battlefield landmark.  This battery support Brown’s assault on the Federal lines near Battle Hill.
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The original main entrance, now closed, to Westview Cemetery, sits on the site of what was once the Alms House (poor house).  This was a known battlefield landmark and Brown’s Division of S.D. Lee’s Corps, formed their lines of battle in the area as they prepared to assault the right side of the Federal line.
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Confederate earthworks inside Westview Cemetery.  After Confederate forces failed to force the Federals out of the lines, they fell back to this area along high ground in what is now Westview Cemetery.  This position was later captured by Federal troops and during the time period called “The Siege of Atlanta”, they place an artillery battery here on the high ground and began shelling the city.
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The lone headstone near the wood line marks the grave of a Confederate officer named Lt. Edward Clingman who died in the Battle of Ezra Church.  There is a small section of Confederate earthworks in the woods behind the headstone. 

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. 

The Battle of Peachtree Creek

July 20th, 1864:

As Hood prepares for his first tactical engagement since taking command of the Confederate Army of Tennessee, he is hoping that General Thomas’s Army of the Cumberland has been unable to prepare any earthworks since crossing Peachtree Creek.  Hood is also having to keep an eye on McPherson and Schofield as they advance from Decatur toward Atlanta.  The attack is planned for 1:00pm, but for various reasons it does not commence until 4:00pm.

Hood has deployed Stewart’s Corps (formerly commanded by the late Lt. Gen. L. Polk) to his left.  Stewart’s Corps consist of French’s Division on the far left connecting to the Western and Atlantic Railroad near Casey’s Hill in the current Crestlawn Cemetery and extending east and connecting to Walthall’s Division, which sits astride Howell Mill Road.  Walthall’s right extends toward the east and connects with Loring’s Division between Howell Mill and Northside Drive.  Hood had deployed Hardee’s Corps to the center.  Hardee had placed Maney’s Division to the left of his line followed by Walker’s Division in the center and Bate’s Division to the right.  Hardee held Cleburne’s Division in reserve.  Hood, fearing an attack by McPherson on the east side of Atlanta, placed Cheatham on the far right of the Confederate line.  Cheatham is commanding Hood’s former Corps.  Hood’s plan is to attack “en echelon”.  Starting with Bate’s Division on the right attacking first and then each subsequent Division attacking one after the other.  This was done in an effort to turn the enemy flank and push them back to Peachtree Creek and the Chattahoochee River.

Thomas had most of his army across the creek by noon.  Palmer’s XIV Corps had been placed on the right and had been able to entrench as they had been across the creek earlier.  Hooker’s XX Corps was forming up in the center and Howard’s IV Corps was forming on the left.  Newton’s Division of Howard’s Corps held the far left.

Late in the morning Hood received word from Wheeler, who commanded the cavalry attempting to hold the east side of Atlanta, that he was out numbered by McPherson and Schofiled who were moving toward the Atlanta from Decatur.  Hood decided to shift his entire army to the east by a mile in order to support Wheeler should he need it.  The orders were given and the movements were made, but through miscommunication and human error the shift to the right (east) was nearly two miles.  This cost the Confederates time and delayed their attack until 4pm.

When the attack finally began, Bate’s Division was the first to move forward and should have been the first to make contact, but the terrain in their front had not been reconnoitered prior to the assault.  Because of this they did not know where they were going and did not know where the enemy was.  They ran into a heavy thicket and swampy area that greatly hindered their progress as they were attempting to find Newton’s Division.

By 4:30pm the “en echelon” advance had made its way down the line to Loring’s Division.  In the area between present day Northside Drive and Walthall Street, Scott’s Brigade of Loring’s Division made one of the most successful assaults of the day.  They captured the colors of the 33rd New Jersey as well as part of the regiment.  They continued pressing their assault and nearly turn Geary’s flank, but the lack of support on either of Scott’s flanks, forced him to fall back.

The day was filled with heavy, fierce fighting on both sides.  By late afternoon, Loring believed he could exploit a gap in the Federal lines between Newton and Geary.  He asked Hardee for reinforcements and as Hardee was about to send Cleburne’s Division to assist Loring, he received an order from Hood to send a Division to the east of the city to support Wheeler.  Hardee sent Cleburne’s Division to Wheeler, thus preventing another push forward to the Federal lines.  The day ended with many dead, dying and wounded still on the battlefield.  The high priced neighborhoods of the area now stand in stark contrast to the harsh reality of the battle that took place there 152 years ago today.

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Knipe’s and Robinson’s Brigades of William’s Division of Hooker’s 20th Corps, were positioned along the high ground to the right of this image taken along Norfleet Rd.  To the left of the image is a deep ravine that had to be traversed by the attacking Confederates.  This area was the western most portion of the Federal line that came under direct assault during the Battle of Peachtree Creek.
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This deep ravine now sits between Norfleet Rd. to the right, where the Federals were positioned on high ground, and Springlake Dr.  Reynold’s Brigade of Walthall’s Division of Stewart’s Corp(CS) attacked through this deep ravine and pushed forward attempting to push Knipe’s and Robinson’s Brigades back.  After a failed second attempt under enfilading artillery fire and with only the support part of Selden’s Alabama Battery, Reynold’s was forced to withdraw from the assault.
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Near the intersection of Collier Road and Howell Mill, at the south western end of the ravine, the Selden’s Alabama Battery was placed in support of Reynold’s assault.  While directing the placement of the battery Major William C. Preston was killed in action by Federal fire. Major Preston is the “Willie” Preston featured in Mary Chestnut’s “A Diary From Dixie”
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Bobby Jones Golf Course at the Bittsy Grant Tennis Center.  The right of Geary’s Division of Hooker’s 20th Corps was positioned along the high ground of this ridge on the golf course.  O’Neal’s Brigade of Wathall’s Division(CS) was on the right of Reynold’s Brigade and pushed through at shallower portion of the ravine and attempted to exploit a gap between Williams and Geary.  Geary’s line was pushed back until his right met Williams left forming a re-entrant angle in the Federal line.  O’Neal split the Brigade with half swinging left to attack Williams and the other half swinging right to turn Geary’s right flank.  Fierce fighting ensued and with lack of numbers and artillery support, O’Neal eventually withdrew.
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Bittsy Grant Tennis Center.  Looking toward the Confederate lines.  O’Neal’s Brigade would have crossed this area in their assault on Geary’s and Williams lines.
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Tanyard Creek Park, a historian and reenactor gives a lecture to a tour group on the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Peachtree Creek.  General Loring’s Division of Stewarts Corps(CS), came across this ground moving from the background toward the camera position to attack elements of Geary’s and Ward’s Divisions (US), which were positioned behind the camera on the high ground near present day Collier Rd.
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Tanyard Branch in Tanyard Branch Park.  Heavy fighting ensued here as Loring’s Division(CS) pushed hard in their attack on elements of Geary’s and Ward’s Division’s(US).
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Eastern portion of Tanyard Creek Park.  Portions of Featherston’s Brigade, Loring’s Division (CS), advanced through this area, crossing the creek (camera right),under heavy fire from Geary’s (US) artillery and moving towards the high ground along present day Collier Road. 
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Ardmore Road looking toward Collier Road.  The right of Featherston’s Brigade advanced down the slope for their trenches nearly a mile behind the camera position, to attack Coburn’s and Wood’s Brigades of Ward’s Divison  (US).  Featherston’s Brigade drove back the Federal skirmishers and pushed passed the barricades the skirmishers used to assault the main line.  They gained some ground but were forced back to the abandoned barricades as they were counter attacked along their front and flank.
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28th St. at Wycliff Rd. looking toward’s Peachtree Street.  28th St. dead ends into Ardmore where the previous image was made.  The Old Montgomery Ferry Road crossed through this spot and intersected Peachtree Road slightly south of Palisades Rd.  Brig. General Clement H. Stevens (CS) was killed in action here as he ordered the withdraw of his Brigade.  Steven’s Brigade was part of Walker’s Division of Hardee’s Corps.
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Battle of Peachtree Creek memorial.  This memorial, shaded by Oaks and Magnolias, rest on a small knoll between Peachtree Road and Piedmont Hospital.  Kimball’s Brigade of Newton’s Division, Howard’s 4th Corps (US) was positioned here on this high ground astride Peachtree Road.  They were assaulted by Walker’s Divisions of Hardee’s Corps (CS).
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Dale Way Park now sits on the battlefield once crossed by Bate’s Division of Hardee’s Corps (CS).  Bate’s Division was the far right of the Confederate assault on the Federal lines at Peachtree Creek.  Bate’s was the first to move from his works to begin the assault with each successive Division move forward one after the other.  Bate’s assault was delayed as the whole Confederate line had been shifted to the right by nearly two miles.  Initially, the line was supposed to move only a mile to the right in order to be in position to reinforce Wheeler’s Cavalry east of Atlanta should McPherson and Schofield attack.  Miscommunication lead to shift of two miles and as such, when Bate’s made his advance on two Brigades of Newton’s Division (US), he did so across terrain that had not been reconnoitered.  Bate’s advance was slow due to heavy thickets and swampy areas in the Clear Creek Valley.
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WSB TV, West Peachtree St. near Inwood Cir.  The Confederates outer defensive line of Atlanta was placed on the high ground here and extended westward along various hills and ridges to present day Crest Lawn Cemetery where it terminated at Casey’s Hill along the Western Atlantic Railroad.  Walker and Bate’s Divisions both started their assault on the Federals from this defensive line.  This view is looking south toward the Confederate line.
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West Peachtree at Inwood Cir.  WSB TV.  Looking north toward Federal Positions from the Confederates outer defensive line of Atlanta.  Walker’s and Bate’s Divisions(CS) would have advanced down this slope crossing the area that is now Buford Hwy and I-85 and then moving up through what is now the Brookwood Hills neighborhood, to assault part of Newton’s Division (US) that were positioned along the high ground in the area of present day Brighton Road.

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 21, 1864

November 21, 1864:
    Parts of the Right Wing of Sherman’s army pass through Gordon and move on east to Irwinton.  Their column stretches out for miles as they choke the roads.  The Left Wing continues to move closer to Milledgeville.  Sherman remarks in his memoirs that they on made 8 miles on this day in a hard, cold, windy day.  That night an uncommon early season snow storm blanketed the army with snow.  The southern civilians accuse the yankees of bringing the cold weather with them.
    General Hardee, in command of the Confederate forces in Georgia, is in Macon where he has been preparing to defend the city.  His scouts have reported that the Federal columns have turned away from Macon and have started on a move eastward.  Hardee now realizes that the Federal objective is most likely Augusta or Savannah.  General Hardee begins to shift his troops as well as Wheelers cavalry to the east in an effort to slow down the Federal Advance.