Battle at Rocky Face Ridge
of Rocky Face Ridge
- The first major battle of Gen. William T.
Sherman's Atlanta Campaign was fought in Whitfield County at
a long mountain known as Rocky Face Ridge. The Battle of Rocky
Face Ridge was a series of Union attacks on Confederate defenders
at two passes through the mountain. The main gap was Mill Creek
Gap (also known as Buzzard's Roost Pass), which led to Dalton,
Ga. on the eastern side of the mountain.To the south was a smaller
and more difficult pass known as Dug Gap. Confederate forces
under Gen. Joseph E. Johnston were well entrenched to defend
each pass. [Click here
to view map.]
- On May 8, a portion of Sherman's forces stormed
Dug Gap. Two advances were thrown back under heavy fire by the
Confederates, and Union commanders decided against further attempts
to take the pass by sheer force of manpower.
of Dug Gap
- On May 8, Sherman also launched a major attack
on Confederate defenders of Mill Creek Gap (Buzzard's Roost).
Again, the Confederates held. Serious fighting continued through
May 11, when Sherman pulled out most of his army and headed south
in an effort to take Resaca and outflank Johnston. On May 12,
Gen. Joseph E. Johnston pulled Confederate forces out of the
pass and headed south to defend Resaca. Early on the morning
of May 13, the remaining Union forces marched through Mill Creek
Gap unopposed and headed south in pursuit of Johnston's army.
of Mill Creek Gap
- The battles of Dug Gap and Mill Creek Gap
-- collectively known as the Battle of Rocky Face Ridge -- ended
inconclusively. Until they withdrew to Resaca, the Confederates
held the passes in the face of Union attacks. But the confrontation
soon shifted to the south end of Rocky Face Ridge and the little
town of Resaca.
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