Sherman's Atlanta Campaign Facts

Sherman's Atlanta Campaign Facts
The Atlanta Campaign was a major military offensive led by Union general William T. Sherman in the Western Theater of operations in the spring and summer of 1864. As the name indicates, the city of Atlanta was the primary objective of the campaign, but several important battles were fought before and after Atlanta's capture by Sherman. The campaign began with the Battle of Rocky Face Ridge on May 7-13, 1864 near the Tennessee-Georgia state line. The result was a Union victory, which allowed the Union Army to begin its steady march southeast to Atlanta. Although the casualty count was roughly equivalent for the Union and Confederate armies during the campaign, the population of the Confederate states was less so the Confederates suffered higher proportional losses. Many historians believe the capture of Atlanta raised the morale of the Union Army and was a factor in President Lincoln's reelection that year. After the campaign, Confederate general Hood led his army into middle Tennessee, while Sherman continued on in a southeasterly direction in his infamous "March to the Sea."
Interesting Sherman's Atlanta Campaign Facts:
The Confederate forces were led by general Joseph E. Johnston until middle July and then by general John B. Hood for the remainder of the campaign.
In most of the early battles, Johnston tactically retreated in the face of Sherman's numerically superior army.
Sherman commanded the Army of the Cumberland, the Army of the Ohio, and the Army of the Tennessee. Johnston and then Hood commanded the Army of Tennessee.
Although the Union Army was numerically superior, their numbers were not overwhelming and the Confederates had the advantage of preparing defensive networks.
The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain on June 27 was the only significant frontal assault Sherman ordered during the campaign. The Union Army suffered heavy casualties and had to temporarily retreat.
The usually confident and aggressive Sherman employed a number of flanking maneuvers against the conservative Johnston, forcing him to engage in retreat after retreat.
Confederate President Jefferson Davis replaced Johnston with Hood on July 18, believing the latter's more aggressive tactics would be a match for Sherman.
Hood launched several counter-attacks, including at the Battle of Peachtree Creek on July 20, but was repulsed after heavy fighting.
The Battle of Atlanta took place on July 22. Although a Union victory, the Confederate forces retreated behind defensive networks and held the city until September 2.
Union general James B. McPherson was killed at the Battle of Atlanta, making him the second highest ranked Union general to die in the Civil War. General Hood was deeply troubled by McPherson's death as the two were close friends from their West Point days.
The Battle of Jonesboro, fought on August 31 and September 1, was the last major battle of the campaign. The Union forces won the battle but were also able to draw the Confederate forces away from Atlanta, allowing them to capture the city.
Both sides suffered over 30,000 in casualties during the campaign.


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