The Battle of Ezra Church - The Preliminary Operations
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Lat34North
N 33° 45.202 W 084° 26.211
16S E 737413 N 3737762
Quick Description: The Battle of Ezra Church - The Preliminary Operations (two plaques) historic markers are located at the east end of Mozley Park, on Martin Luther King Dr, Atlanta, GA.
Location: Georgia, United States
Date Posted: 11/3/2009 12:21:15 PM
Waymark Code: WM7K55
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member GA Cacher
Views: 2

Long Description:

The Battle of Ezra Church July 28, 1864 - The Preliminary Operations

The Battle of Ezra Church was the third of three desperate Confederate attacks on the forces of Maj. Gen. Wm. T. Sherman, which were closing in on Atlanta. The battle lines formed an irregular V extending southeast from the northwest corner of the happy Haven Nursing Home grounds (Battle Hill Sanitarium), on the Union right, through those grounds and the Frank L. Stanton School grounds, and on across Mozley Drive, at Racine Street, to the intersection of Archer Street and Laurel Avenue. There it turned sharply northeast along old Chapel Road (obliterated save for a few yards north from this site, recrossed Mozley Drive, padded east of Ezra Church (which occupied this site), and crossed the ACL RR west of Chappell Road. The left of the battle line rested some 200 yards north of the railroad. Although heavy fighting occurred here along the Old Chapel Road, and at the strong salient formed by the point of the V, at Archer and Laurel, the most determined Confederate attacks were directed at the right of the Union position, entrenched on Battle Hill, and all along the line extending from the nursing home grounds to the Frank L. Stanton School.

The Preliminary Operations

Almost three months of fighting had preceded the Battle of Ezra Church. After 70 days of slow retreat from Dalton (88 miles north of Atlanta), forcing Sherman´s men to fight for every mile, Gen. Joseph E. Johnston´s Confederate Army of Tennessee (Hardee´s, Hood´s and Stewart´s Corp, and Wheeler´s cavalry corps) had crossed the Chattahoochee River at Bolton late on July 9th and retired toward Atlanta.

Plaque 2

The city was encircled by 12 miles of fortification which Sherman later deemed "unassailable". Johnston was confident that he could hold Atlanta "forever", but he did not intend to become besieged. He had watched for a time when Sherman´s wings might be separated beyond mutual support. Now he sensed that the right wing – Maj. Gen. Geo. H. Thomas´ Army of the Cumberland (4th, 14th and 20th Corps) – would cross the river north of Atlanta and move south over Peachtree Creek while the left wing – Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson´s Army of the Tennessee (15th, 16th and 17th Corps.) – would cross upriver and approach from the east. While they were separated, he planned to smash Thomas at Peachtree Creek, then mass his army against McPherson. To delay McPherson while he defeated Thomas, he posted Hood´s Corps east of Atlanta. Hardee´s and Stewart´s corps remained north of Atlanta to attack Thomas at Peachtree Creek. On the 17th, Johnston announced his plans; but that night he was replaced by Gen. John B. Hood, a far less able commander. As Johnston had foreseen, Thomas moved to cross Peachtree Creek while McPherson crossed upriver (at Roswell) and approached from the east. On the 20th, Hood ordered Hardee and Stewart to attack Thomas. Although their men fought valiantly, without Johnston´s leadership matters became confused. When the Battle of Peachtree Creek ended, Hood has lost 4,796 officers and men, killed, wounded and missing. Thomas had lost but 1,779. On the 21st, McPherson was within artillery range of downtown Atlanta. Leaving Stewart to hold the city, Hood sent Hardee´s Corps southeast of Atlanta where, about noon on the 22nd, it struck McPherson left. Later, Hood´s Corps attacked McPherson´s right. Both attacks attained temporary successes, but when dark ended the Battle of Atlanta Hood´s reported loss was 8,499, the Union loss 3,722. McPherson himself lay among the dead. Maj. Gen. O.O. Howard was assigned to succeed him. Immediately, the Army of the Tennessee was shifted from the left to the right of Sherman´s lines to attempt to cut the railroads near East Point. Before noon on the 28th, Dodge´s 16th and Blair´s 17th Corps were in position along Chappell Road, facing Atlanta. Logan´s 15th Corps, which was the bear the brunt of the fighting, was about to become engaged in the Battle of Ezra Church.

Georgia Historic Commission - Georgia Civil War Centennial Commission

Type of Marker: Park

Marker #: None

Date: None

Sponsor: Georgia Historic Commission - Georgia Civil War Centennial Commission

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