previous next

Allatoona pass,

A locality in Bartow county, Ga., about 40 miles northwest of Atlanta, having large historical interest because of the important military operations in 1864. The Confederates, retreating from Resaca, took a position at Allatoona Pass. Sherman, after resting his army, proceeded to flank them out of their new position. J. C. Davis's division of Thomas's army had moved down the Oostenaula to Rome, where he destroyed important mills and foundries, and captured nearly a dozen guns. He left a garrison there. Meanwhile Sherman had destroyed the Georgia State Arsenal near

Allatoona pass.

Adairsville. The Nationals proceeded to gather in force at and near Dallas. Johnston was on the alert, and tried to prevent this formidable flank movement. Hooker's corps met Confederate cavalry near Pumpkinvine Creek, whom he pushed across that stream and saved a bridge they had fired. Following them eastward miles, he (Hooker) found the Confederates in strong force and in battle order. A sharp conflict ensued, and at 4 P. M. he made a bold push, by Sherman's order, to secure possession of a point near New Hope Church, where roads from Ackworth. Marietta, and Dallas met. A stormy night ensued, and Hooker could not drive the Confederates from their position. On the following morning Sherman found the Confederates strongly intrenched, with lines extending from Dallas to Marietta. The approach to their intrenchments must be made over rough, wooded, and broken ground.

For several days, constantly skirmishing, Sherman tried to break through their lines to the railway east of the Allatoona Pass. McPherson's troops moved to Dallas, and Thomas's deployed against New Hope Church, in the vicinity of which there were many severe encounters, while Schofield was directed to turn and strike Johnston's right. On May 28 the Confederates struck McPherson a severe blow at Dallas: but the assailants were repulsed with heavy loss. At the same time. Howard, nearer the centre, was repulsed. Sherman, by skilful movements, compelled Johnston to evacuate his strong position at Allatoona Pass (June 1, 1864). The National cavalry, under Garrard and Stoneman, were pushed on to occupy it, and there Sherman, planting a garrison, made a secondary base of supplies for his army. Johnston made a stand at the Kenesaw Mountains, near Marietta; but Sherman, who had been reinforced by two divisions under Gen. Frank P. Blair (June 8), very soon caused him to abandon that position, cross the Chattahoochee River, and finally to rest at Atlanta. [103]

After the evacuation of Atlanta (Sept. 2, 1864), Sherman and Hood reorganized their armies in preparation for a vigorous fall campaign. Satisfied that Hood intended to assume the offensive and probably attempt the seizure of Tennessee, Sherman sent Thomas, his second in command, to Nashville, to organize the new troops expected to gather there, and to make arrangements to meet such an emergency. Thomas arrived there Oct. 3. Meanwhile the Confederates had crossed the Chattahoochee, and by a rapid movement had struck the railway at Big Shanty, north of Marietta, and destroyed it for several miles. A division of infantry pushed northward and appeared before Allatoona, where Colonel Tourtellotte was guarding 1,000,000 National rations with only three thin regiments. Sherman made efforts at once for the defence of these and his communications. Leaving Slocum to hold Atlanta and the railway bridge across the Chattahoochee, he started on a swift pursuit of Hood with five army corps and two divisions of cavalry. He established a signal station on the summit of Great Kenesaw Mountain, and telegraphed to General Corse, at Rome, to hasten to the assistance of Tourtellotte. Corse instantly obeyed; and when the Confederates appeared before Allatoona, at dawn (Oct. 5), he was there with reinforcements, and in command. The Confederates were vastly superior in numbers, and invested the place. After cannonading the fort two hours, their leader (General French) demanded its surrender. Then he assailed it furiously, but his columns were continually driven back. The conflict raged with great fierceness; and Sherman, from the top of Kenesaw, heard the roar of cannon and saw the smoke of battle, though 18 miles distant. He had pushed forward a corps (23d) to menace the Confederate rear, and by signal-flags on Kenesaw he said to General Corse at Allatoona. “Hold the fort, for I am coming.” And when Sherman was assured that Corse was there, he said, “He will hold out; I know the man.” And so he did. He repulsed the Confederates several times; and when they heard of the approach of the 23d Corps, they hastily withdrew, leaving behind them 230 dead and 400 prisoners, with about 800 small-arms. The Nationals lost 707 men. The famous signal of Generall Sherman was subsequently made the title of one of Ira D. Sankey's most thrilling hymns, which has been sung the world over.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
September 2nd, 1864 AD (1)
June 1st, 1864 AD (1)
1864 AD (1)
October 5th (1)
October 3rd (1)
June 8th (1)
May 28th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: