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New Hope Church, Georgia
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While Grant pursued Lee in Virginia, Sherman was relentlessly hounding Johnston’s army through Georgia toward Atlanta. Johnston was an able strategist and repeatedly maneuvered his army to confront Sherman’s advance. In mid-May, Sherman attempted to turn Johnston’s left flank and gain the road junction at Dallas. Confederate cavalry spotted the movement. Johnston was able to organize a defensive position along the wooded ridges that ran from Dallas to a small Methodist chapel called New Hope Church.
On May 25, the three Union divisions of Hooker’s XX corps advanced, with Butterfield’s division on the left, Geary’s division in the center, and William’s division on the right. Confederate cavalry and skirmishers slowed the Union advance. The Confederate defensive position consisted of entrenchments amidst dense woodland and thick underbrush. The Union soldiers, attacking in three lines, could barely see the Confederate rifle pits ahead of them. The Union troops were exposed to continuous canister fire from rebel artillery and close-range rifle fire. It is a testimony to the courage of Hooker’s soldiers that some managed to advance within thirty paces of the Confederate defenses before being thrown back.
The stage is set, the battle lines are drawn, and you are in command. The rest is history.
May 25, 1864
Battle of New Hope Church
The Battle of New Hope Church was fought May 25–26, 1864, between the Union force of Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman and the Confederate Army of Tennessee under Gen. Joseph E. Johnston during the Atlanta Campaign of the American Civil War. The battle was a result of an attempt by Sherman to outmaneuver Johnston.
Introduction to Wikipedia Article
Wikipedia: Battle of New Hope Church