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Library of Congress

Rocky Face Ridge

Whitfield County, GA  |  May 7 - 13, 1864

By May 7, 1864, Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s army group had crossed southward into Georgia and advanced toward Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s army defending Atlanta. Johnston had entrenched facing west along Rocky Face Ridge mountain between the Western & Atlantic Railroad and Dalton. As Sherman approached, he chose to demonstrate against the position with the Army of the Cumberland and the Army of the Ohio to the north, while he sent the Army of the Tennessee through Snake Creek Gap to hit the railroad at Resaca, cutting Johnston’s retreat and resupply route. The attacks on the heights and at Buzzard’s Roost (Mill Creek Gap) began on May 8 and continued the next day. In the meantime, Maj. Gen. James McPherson’s Army of the Tennessee advanced to Resaca on May 9 where it found Confederates entrenched. Overestimating the number of Johnston’s defenders, McPherson pulled his column back to Snake Creek Gap. On May 10, Sherman decided to join McPherson to take Resaca and pulled the Armies of the Cumberland and Ohio away from Rocky Face Ridge. Discovering Sherman’s movement, Johnston evacuated Dalton and retired south towards Resaca on May 12. The 5-day-long battle along Rocky Face Ridge was the first battle of the Atlanta Campaign.

All battles of the Atlanta Campaign

Rocky Face Ridge
Whitfield County, GA  |  May 7 - 13, 1864
Result: Union Victory
Est. Casualties: 1,437
Union: 837
Confederate: 600
Resaca
Gordon County and Whitfield County, GA  |  May 13 - 15, 1864
Result: Inconclusive
Est. Casualties: 5,547
Union: 2,747
Confederate: 2,800
New Hope Church
Paulding County, GA  |  May 25 - 26, 1864
Result: Confederate Victory
Est. Casualties: 2,065
Union: 1,665
Confederate: 400
Pickett's Mill
Paulding County, GA  |  May 27, 1864
Result: Confederate Victory
Est. Casualties: 2,100
Union: 1,600
Confederate: 500
Dallas
Paulding County, GA  |  May 28, 1864
Result: Union Victory
Est. Casualties: 5,400
Union: 379
Confederate: 1,200
Kennesaw Mountain
Cobb County, GA  |  Jun 27, 1864
Result: Confederate Victory
Est. Casualties: 4,000
Union: 3,000
Confederate: 1,000
Peach Tree Creek
Fulton County, GA  |  Jul 20, 1864
Result: Union Victory
Est. Casualties: 4,250
Union: 1,750
Confederate: 2,500
Atlanta
Fulton County, GA  |  Jul 22, 1864
Result: Union Victory
Est. Casualties: 9,222
Union: 3,722
Confederate: 5,500
Jonesborough
Clayton County, GA  |  Aug 31 - Sep 1, 1864
Result: Union Victory
Est. Casualties: 3,149
Union: 1,149
Confederate: 2,000

Related Battles

Dalton, GA | May 7, 1864
Result: Union Victory
Commanders
Forces Engaged
159,000
Union
99,000
Confed.
60,000
Estimated Casualties
1,437
Union
837
Confed.
600