The Atlanta Campaign was a series of battles fought in the Western Theater of the American Civil War throughout northwest Georgia and the area around Atlanta during the summer of 1864. Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman invaded Georgia from the vicinity of Chattanooga, Tennessee, beginning in May 1864, Johnstons Army of Tennessee withdrew toward Atlanta in the face of successive flanking maneuvers by Shermans group of armies. In July, the Confederate president, Jefferson Davis, replaced Johnston with the more aggressive John Bell Hood, Hoods army was eventually besieged in Atlanta and the city fell on September 2, setting the stage for Shermans March to the Sea and hastening the end of the war. The Atlanta Campaign followed the Union victory in the Battles for Chattanooga in November 1863, Chattanooga was known as the Gateway to the South, grants strategy was to apply pressure against the Confederacy in several coordinated offensives. While he, George G. Meade, Benjamin Butler, Franz Sigel, George Crook, at the start of the campaign, Shermans Military Division of the Mississippi consisted of three armies, Maj. Gen. James B. McPhersons Army of the Tennessee, including the corps of Maj. Gen. John A. Logan, Maj. Gen. Grenville M. Dodge, when McPherson was killed at the Battle of Atlanta, Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard replaced him. Maj. Gen. John M. Schofields Army of the Ohio, consisting of Schofields XXIII Corps and a cavalry division commanded by Maj. Gen. George Stoneman. Maj. Gen. George H. Thomass Army of the Cumberland, including the corps of Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard, Maj. Gen. John M. Palmer, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, and Brig. Gen. Washington L. Elliott. After Howard took army command, David S. Stanley took over IV Corps, however, by June, a steady stream of reinforcements brought Shermans strength to 112,000. Opposing Sherman, the Army of Tennessee was commanded first by Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, the four corps in the 50, 000-man army were commanded by, Lt. Gen. William J. Hardee. When Polk was killed on June 14, Loring briefly took over as commander of the corps but was replaced by Alexander P. Stewart on June 23. But in Georgia, he faced the more aggressive Sherman. Johnstons army repeatedly took up strongly entrenched defensive positions in the campaign, Sherman prudently avoided suicidal frontal assaults against most of these positions, instead maneuvering in flanking marches around the defenses as he advanced from Chattanooga towards Atlanta. Whenever Sherman flanked the defensive lines, Johnston would retreat to another prepared position, both armies took advantage of the railroads as supply lines, with Johnston shortening his supply lines as he drew closer to Atlanta, and Sherman lengthening his own. Johnston had entrenched his army on the long, high mountain of Rocky Face Ridge, the two columns engaged the enemy at Buzzard Roost and at Dug Gap. In the meantime, the column, under McPherson, passed through Snake Creek Gap and on May 9 advanced to the outskirts of Resaca. Fearing defeat, McPherson pulled his column back to Snake Creek Gap, on May 10, Sherman decided to take most of his men and join McPherson to take Resaca. The next morning, as he discovered Shermans army withdrawing from their positions in front of Rocky Face Ridge, Union troops tested the Confederate lines around Resaca to pinpoint their whereabouts
Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman and his staff in the trenches outside of Atlanta
ATLANTA CAMPAIGN, Union advance: Chattanooga to Etowah (May 7–19, 1864).
ATLANTA CAMPAIGN, Union advance: Etowah River to Jonesboro (May 23 – September 2, 1864).
ATLANTA CAMPAIGN: Atlanta and Vicinity (Summer 1864).