Just The Facts

Cast of Characters

97n/20/huty/7055/20  General William T. Sherman

Sherman was an aggressive and creative military leader for the Union army in the western theater.  He challenged conventional warfare of the time period through his invasion of Georgia.  The Atlanta Campaign and March to the Sea provided great momentum for the Union Army which ultimately led to the war’s end.



Lincoln Documents President Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln was President of the United States during the Civil War and was up for reelection in November of 1864.  The lengthy, costly, and deadly war was wearing on the public and his reelection was not certain.  After receiving the Republican Party nomination, Lincoln’s chances for victory were greatly helped by Sherman’s successes in Georgia.  He won the election and the Union won the war within months of his second inaugural.



Joseph_Emerson_Brown   Georgia Gov. Joseph Brown

Georgia’s Governor Brown favored secession and states’ rights but often challenged Confederate President Jefferson Davis.  He was reluctant to commit Georgia’s forces to the Confederate Army wanting to instead maintain the security of the state through his Home Guard.  Sherman reported the conflicts between Brown and Davis to President Lincoln.



Lt._Gen._John_B._Hood  General John Bell Hood

Confederate General John Bell Hood was responsible for defending Atlanta from Sherman’s Union Army advance.  He was not successful in holding off the aggressive attack of Sherman and Atlanta was lost in the early fall of 1864.



448px-George_Henry_Thomas_-_Brady-Handy  General George Thomas

Union General Thomas played a crucial role in Sherman’s March to the Sea.  When Sherman left Atlanta to head towards Savannah, he charged Thomas with circling back to the north to eliminate any further threat from the Confederate Army.  Had Thomas not succeeded , Sherman’s aggressive movements through Georgia might have been foiled.


1864 Timeline of Events

 May 5-7         Tunnel Hill, GA
Strategic location of the Western & Atlantic RR tunnel.  Clisby-Austin
home served as Sherman’s Headquarters as he planned for the Atlanta

May 8-11        Buzzards Roost/Mill Creek Gap, GA
General George Thomas’s Army of the Cumberland tested the Rebel defenses with limited gains. Foreseeing little prospect for success through frontal assaults, Sherman sent General James McPherson’s Army of the Tennessee southwest, in search of a way around the Confederate defenders. On May 9, elements of Major General George Thomas’s Army of the Cumberland attacked Johnston’s main line of defense at a gap in the mountains, known locally as Buzzard’s Roost Gap. Meanwhile, McPherson moved his army to an unprotected gap in the mountains farther south at Snake Creek. Leaving Thomas to demonstrate before the main Confederate line, Sherman moved the remainder of his forces south through the Snake Creek Gap, threatening to disable the Western and Atlantic Railroad behind Johnston’s lines. In danger of being outflanked and having his supply line severed, Johnston withdrew twelve miles to Resaca, Georgia.  Although the Rebel defenders were able to rebuff Thomas’s army at the Battle of Buzzard’s Roost, the engagement accomplished Sherman’s objective of holding the Confederates in check as he successfully outflanked Johnston’s army.
(from www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com)

May 8-13        Dalton, GA

May 13-15     Resaca, GA
May 16            Calhoun, GA
May 17            Adairsville, GA
May 18-19     Cassville, GA
June 6             Acworth, GA
June 7-8        Republican Nominating Convention
June 27          Kennesaw Mountain, GA
July 18-20     Peachtree Creek, GA
July 28            Ezra Church, GA
August            Atlanta, GA
Aug. 29-31    Democratic Convention nominating McClellan
Aug. 31           Jonesboro, GA
Nov. 8             Lincoln Wins Reelection

Sherman Split forces for March to the Sea from Atlanta to Savannah (Nov. -Dec. 1864)

Sherman’s Left Wing

Nov. 17          Conyers, GA
Nov. 18          Covington, GA
Nov. 18          Social Circle, GA
Nov. 20          Madison, GA
Nov. 23          Milledgeville, GA
Nov. 25          Sandersville, GA
Dec. 4             Waynesboro, GA
Dec. 7             Ebenezer Church, GA

Sherman’s Right Wing

Nov. 16          McDonough, GA
Nov. 17          Jackson, GA
Nov. 22          Griswoldville, GA
Dec. 3             Millen, GA
Dec. 13           Fort McAllister, GA

Dec. 20-21     Savannah, GA