Tall Woodgrain Header

Atlanta Campaign

You are here


In the spring of 1864, General Ulysses S. Grant ordered five offensive movements, the largest of which was against the Confederate capital at Richmond and the major rail hub and supply depot of Atlanta.  Grant assigned the vital task of capturing Atlanta to General William T. Sherman.  To capture Atlanta, however, Sherman’s army of more than 100,000 men would first have to defeat or get through General Joseph E. Johnston’s army of 60,000.  Sherman set out on May 7 to face off against General Johnston.


The campaign’s opening encounter occurred on May 8 at Rocky Face Ridge with the two armies hardly disengaged for the next three months.  Thrusting and parrying, they met at Resaca, New Hope Church, Pickett’s Mill, Dallas, Kolb’s Farm, and Kennesaw Mountain.  Eventually, Johnston was driven into the defenses of Atlanta.


Frustrated with Johnston, President Jefferson Davis replaced him with General John Bell Hood.  Less than one week later Hood launched two attacks on Sherman at Peach Tree Creek on July 20 and Bald Hill (known as the Battle of Atlanta) on July 22. Both were repulsed with heavy losses. Hood suffered another considerable loss at Ezra Church one week later. 


The two armies settled into a state of siege until Sherman moved south of Atlanta to cut the remaining rail lines supplying the city.  Hood dispatched troops to counter the move but they were defeated during the Battle of Jonesboro, forcing Hood to abandon the city to the Federals on September 2.  Sherman’s success opened the door for his most famous operation—the March to the Sea and the capture of Savannah, Georgia.

Battlefields Today
Many battlefields are already preserved and restored to their 18th and 19th Century state. Many are also open to visitors by national, state and local battlefield park organizations. For information on how to visit the site of one of America's early battles, visit our Battlefields Section.
Atlanta Campaign - May 26, 1864
Civil War
Historical Map
HISTORICAL MAP | The West Point atlas of the Civil War
Atlanta Battle Hero
Civil War
Despite the defeat at Peach Tree Creek, Confederate Lieut. Gen. John Bell Hood still had hopes of...
Atlanta Campaign Battle App Square
Civil War
Download FREE | Explore the Atlanta and North Georgia’s Civil War battlefields with the Civil War...