This morning, Sherman has accepted the resignation of Palmer, who will be on a train back to Chattanooga by the afternoon, and the Federals had formed up their lines and everyone was in place to attempt an advance across Utoy Creek towards the railroad in East Point. With Palmer’s resignation, Robert W. Johnson, a division commander within the XIV Corps, was appointed Commander of the XIV Corps and placed under the command of Schofield. Displeased with the performance of the XIV Corps on the previous day, Schofield had moved his XXIII Corps to the right of the XIV Corps. The XXIII Corps is now the Federal right flank and the XIV Corps is the left flank with Logan’s XV Corps in support to their left. Palmer’s Corp was fanned out in an arch following the current Beecher Road south to Benjamin E. Mays and making a slight turn to the west, just north of Cascade Road. Palmer’s right ended near Willis Mill Road. Schofield’s left was adjacent to Palmer’s right with Cox’s Division along Cascade Road and stretching out west. Hascall’s Division of Schofield’s Corps turn south making a 90 degree turn to the east and was facing the end of the Confederate line at the Confederate left flank. Just west of Cascade Springs Nature Preserve.
The battle began when Cox’s Division moved south and Hascall’s Division moved east to press the Confederate flank. The 11th Kentucky Regiment (Federal) of Cox’s Division was at the front of the advancing line and made first contact with the 4th Kentucky (CS), who were posted as skirmishers in front the famed Kentucky Orphan Brigade. This action happened in the area of the waterfall in what is now Cascade Springs Nature Preserve. Cox’s attack was repulsed and he suffered a severe loss. He reformed for another attempt, but was repulsed a second time after which he withdrew from the assault. Hascall was hindered by the South Fork of Utoy Creek and made minimal gains in his assault. He did reach the rear of an artillery battery, which withdrew to the east to another position on high ground from which they still had a commanding view.
The XIV Corps, now commanded by Johnson, has sat idle most of the day and did not make an attempt to attack until late afternoon and he only attacked with one division. He gained no headway and retired before anything larger than a skirmish developed.
The Confederate left flank was manned by Bate’s Division along a ridge line just south of Sandtown Road (Cascade Road). S. D. Lee’s Division connected to Bate’s right at the Sandtown Road east of what is now Beecher road. Bate’s left flank was open and vulnerable to attack and on the night of the 6th, Hood ordered Bate’s Division to withdraw from the area back to the Confederate main defensive line.
The Federal assault cost them approximately 800 lives and numerous wounded, while the Confederates lost only 18 soldiers while defending their heavily entrenched and fortified lines.
The conflict between General’s Sherman, Palmer and Schofield continued throughout the day. Palmer sent multiple letters arguing back and forth with Sherman. Palmer’s final letter said “I will call upon you tomorrow morning and present a formal application to be relieved.” While they bickered back and forth, Federal units were still trying to get in line for the move toward East Point. For the remainder of the day Palmer agrees to relay orders from Schofield to his XIV Corps. Baird’s Division advances south toward Utoy Creek and encounter the Confederate skirmishers. They take about 140 prisoners. They then turn towards the east and encounter an artillery barrage. They decide not to advance and assault the Confederate works as they assume they will be repulsed. Davis brings his division up along side Baird’s and comes to halt as well. Schofield is not happy about the assault coming to a halt. He orders Johnson’s Division of Palmer’s Corps to swing around the right and attack the Confederate left flank. Johnson waits until early evening to begin his movement, which he calls a “reconnaissance”. He moved a short distance and then calls it off since it is too late in the day to do much good. He falls back to the rear of Davis. Schofield and Sherman are both displeased with the performance of Palmer’s XIV Corps. Palmer will resign in the morning and for a time Johnson will command the XIV Corps.
During the night of the 5th, Hood orders the defensive lines extended further south and west to protect the railroad in East Point. The line extended about 1.25 miles from the existing defensive lines, down a ridge line the paralleled the Sandtown Road (Cascade Road), and overlooked the North Fork of Utoy Creek. The far left of the line ended in the area of the current Cascade Springs Nature Preserve.
With the failure of Sherman’s plan to use Cavalry to destroy the railroad south of Atlanta and cut off the Confederate supply line, Sherman has decided to begin moving a portion of his forces toward the railroad junction at East Point. This is where the railroad from Macon and the railroad from West Point, which leads into Alabama, meet and form a single line coming into Atlanta. If Sherman’s forces can destroy this junction and control it, they will be able to cut off the supplies flowing into Atlanta.
With this in mind, Sherman has sent Schofield and his Army of the Ohio to advance on East Point via the Sandtown Road (Cascade Road). Sherman has attached Palmer’s XIV Corps of the Army of the Cumberland under Schofield and has ordered Palmer to report to and follow the commands of Schofield. The advance was delayed for nearly the entire day as Palmer refused to report to or follow the commands of Schofield. He felt that he was senior to Schofield. They advanced no further than the North Fork of Utoy Creek. The day was wasted through bickering between the Generals and nothing of real tactical importance was accomplished other than a few probes of the Confederate lines, which had be extended as fast as the Union could attempt to turn their flank.