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Shermanís unsuccessful attempts to dislodge Johnston from the Kennesaw Line convinced him to explore alternatives to direct assaults on the rebel entrenchments. A break in the weather and improved conditions on the roads in the area provided the opportunity the Federal commander had been waiting for and, on July 2, Schofield and McPherson had repositioned themselves to interpose between Johnston and Atlanta on the Confederate flank. Realizing that his position was now untenable, Johnston withdrew that same day, eventually forming a new line of defense on the north side of the Chattahoochee River. However, less than a week had elapsed before Sherman once again flanked his opponent out of his positions, crossing the river five miles north of Johnstonís position at the mouth of Sope Creek. Johnston was forced to retire to works behind Peachtree Creek where he prepared to counterattack Sherman as he came up on Atlanta. At long last Johnston thought he saw an opportunity to fight the decisive battle of the campaign. However, on the evening of July 17th Johnston received a telegram from Richmond relieving him of command. President Jefferson Davis was frustrated with Johnstonís repeated withdrawals and his apparent unwillingness to fight the invaders. Influenced by a stream of criticisms of Johnstonís performance by his advisor, Braxton Bragg, and John Bell Hood, Davis finally decided to turn command of the Army of the Tennessee over to Hood. When he heard of the change, Sherman was elated. Schofield, who had attended West Point with Hood told Sherman, "Heíll hit you like hell, now, before you know it." Aggressive, even foolhardy action from the commander of a force that was numerically inferior was just what the Union command wanted. As Schofield had predicted, the Federals didnít have long to wait. On July 20th Hood launched an uncoordinated set of attacks, roughly following Johnstonís original plans, near Peachtree Creek. However, all of the Confederate assaults were repulsed with severe losses. Hood immediately planned a second thrust, this time to the east against McPherson who was approaching Atlanta from Decatur. As Hardee arrayed his battle lines in preparation to attack McPherson, Confederate Gen. William Walker was killed by Federal pickets. The Confederates fiercely attacked, and within hours had broken through the Federal line and were threatening their opponentsí rear. Gen. McPherson attempted to coordinate a defense but rode into a gap in his lines and was surrounded by rebels. Instead of surrendering, he waved and rode off, only to be shot dead from his horse. Sherman and his commanders rallied their broken troops, and, in a maelstrom of the most intense fighting of the campaign, were successful in recapturing their trenches and in beating off the Confederates who retired to their entrenchments around Atlanta. In three days Hood had lost almost 13,000 men, crippling his army, and Shermanís army now closely invested Atlanta and began to shell the city at close range.

 
Alfred Iverson Grave
Andrews' Raiders Hanging Site
Atlanta Cyclorama
Battle Begins
Battle of Ezra Church
Clement Evans Grave
Fort Walker
Georgia State Capitol
Georgia State Capitol Museum
Hood's Observation Point
John B. Gordon Grave
John B. Gordon Statue
Joseph Johnston Headquarters
Lion of Atlanta
Locomotive "Texas"
March to the Sea
Margaret Mitchell's Grave
McPherson Death Site
Oakland Cemetery
Tanyard Park
W. H. T. Walker Death Site
Westview Cemetery
Wm. Ambrose Wright Grave

    
  

(10-02) Tanyard Park (part of the battlefield for the Battle of Peachtree Creek)


(September 2013) Enlarge Battle Memorial
Courtesy of Tim Barclay, GA

Panorama (Tanyard Park)
Tanyard Park Marker 1     Marker 2     Marker 3
Marker 4     Marker 5     Marker 6

(10-02) Enlarge Spot where Gen. W. H. T. Walker was killed
 
Gen. Walker Marker 1
Marker 2     Marker 3
Sketch (Walker)

 
    
 

(10-02) Close-up Spot where Gen. McPherson was killed
 
Panorama (McPherson death site)
Marker (Death of McPherson)    
Marker (Historic Ground - 1864)
Sketch (McPherson Death Site)
Sketch (McPherson)

 

(10-02) Entrance to Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta. Oakland was a 6 acre graveyard when it was founded in 1850 by the City of Atlanta. By 1867, the cemetery had grown to 88 acres and was the final resting place of nearly everyone who died in Atlanta in that era

     

(10-2012) Enlarge Historical Marker: Battle of Atlanta Began Here. Clay St. and Memorial Drive, Atlanta. View looking south from Clay St.
 
Paul Stanfield Photo

 

(10-2012) Enlarge After being held in reserve the head of Sweeny's 2nd Division halted here to await further orders (see marker in previous photo). View looking south from the historical marker on Clay St.
 

Paul Stanfield Photo

      
   

(10-2012) Enlarge View from the marker looking east along Memorial Dr.
 
Paul Stanfield Photo

   
  
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