Sherman began to receive reports that General Hood had crossed the Chattahoochee River and were moving toward Marietta. Sherman, unsure of where Hood was moving, began sending messages to all points along his supply line and also sent additional troops to Chattanooga. He thought Hood would do one of two things; attack the supply line between Atlanta and Chattanooga or move toward northern Alabama to meet up with General Forrest to attack the supply depots in Tennessee. Sherman also mobilized his troops in Atlanta in an attempt to chase down and engage Hood. He left the XX Corps to garrison Atlanta and move the remaining troops northwest toward Marietta.
Hood was moving toward the northwest as well. He was not moving on Marietta directly and was making a wide move around it and the formidable Kennesaw Mountain. As the Confederate Army was marching, General Stewart’s Corps was the farthest to the right (east) of the column. They marched throughout the day and Stewart’s Corps made camp a few miles south of Lost Mountain. Hood and the remainder of his army camped in area southeast of Dallas near Flint Hill Church.
On the evening of the October 2nd, Hood sent orders to Stewart. His orders were to move his entire Corps, in the morning, to Big Shanty (now called Kennesaw). Stewart was assigned to capture and destroy as much of the railroad as possible and if he was able to take Big Shanty, he was to send a Division to Acworth to do the same thing there. Hood suggested that he should be back in two days to link up with the remainder of the army. These actions, were to set into motion, all the pieces for the Battle of Allatoona Pass.
Sherman has fortified Atlanta extensively and has started to build up supplies and rest his troops. The Confederates are not sitting idle, and Hood has ordered all the Federal prisoners kept at Andersonville to be moved to different prisons out of the reach of Sherman’s forces. Hood then shifts his Army from Love Joy’s Station to Palmetto, which lies along the railroad to West Point and further into Alabama. Hood is resting his troops, building up supplies and making plans for a move to the north to attack Sherman’s supply line.
Confederate President Davis arrives in Palmetto on September 25th. The next morning he begins a review of the troops and is greeted with silence, not cheers for their President. A few soldiers yell out to the President asking for General Johnston to be place back in command, but these remarks fall upon deaf ears. Bringing Johnston back would be like admitting that he made a mistake in removing him.
On the 27th, Davis meets will Hood and all his Corps Commanders and some of the Divisional Commanders. A great deal is discussed including a plan to strike Sherman’s supply and communications lines north of Atlanta, there by cutting him off and forcing him to retreat back to Tennessee, all the while being engaged by Hood. Hood then thinks he can move on the Federals in Tennessee and turn the tide of the war in the western theater and possibly as a whole. Hood also complains to Davis about General Hardee and blames the loss at Jonesboro on him. He ask Davis to remove him. Davis agrees and Hardee readily accepts the offer to command the coastal defenses of Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida. Hardee is relieved to be out from under Hood’s command. On the 28th, Hood receives word from Davis that he may move forward with his plans to on North.
On September 29th and 30th, the Confederate Army of Tennessee begins their next march and crosses the Chattahoochee River near Palmetto and Campbellton with about 40,000 troops. By late in the evening of October 1st, Hoods army has moved about 8 miles from the river crossing in the direction of Marietta. Sherman, who had anticipated this move to the north by Hood a week earlier, had already sent troops to Rome and Chattanooga to help protect those areas from the threat of Hood and from the threat of General Nathan Bedford Forrest, who cavalry that has started operating in the northern part of Alabama and into Tennessee.
General Sherman, having followed Hardee from Jonesboro on the previous day, has formed his troops in a line of battle across from what is left of Hardee’s Corps. Skirmishing continues throughout the day, buy Sherman does not order an assault. Just before breakfast, Sherman receives a dispatch from a courier sent by Slocum in Atlanta advising him that they have entered and secured the City of Atlanta and that the remainder of Hood’s forces have evacuated toward Love Joy’s Station via the McDonough Rd. Sherman, fearing that all of Hood’s forces have reunited, holds off on attacking the Confederates and with his objective “fairly won”, he decides to hold his position a day or two longer and destroy more railroad track, before returning to Atlanta. Slocum’s entire XX Corps has entered the city and is attempting to restore some semblance of order.
General Johnston’s Army of Tennessee now occupies the River Line and they have the Chattahoochee River to their back and the Federals to their front. General Sherman is looking for another route across the river that would allow him to turn Johnston’s Flank and force him from the River Line. The images below are from the southern half of the river line.