The Battle of Ezra Church was the third of three desperate Confederate attacks on the forces of Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, which were closing in on Atlanta. The battle lines formed an irregular V extending southeast from the northwest corner of the Happy Haven Nursing Home grounds (Battle Hill Sanitarium), on the Union right, through those grounds and the Frank L. Stanton School grounds, and on across Mozley Drive, at Racine Street, to the intersection of Archer Street and Laurel Avenue. There it turned sharply northeast along old Chapel Road (obliterated save for a few yards north from this site), recrossed Mozley Drive, passed east of Ezra Church (which occupied this site), and crossed the ACL RR west of Chappell Road. The left of the battle line rested some 200 yards north of the railroad. Although heavy fighting occurred here along the old Chapel Road, and at the strong salient formed by the point of the V, at Archer and Laurel, the most determined Confederate attackes were directed at the right of the Union position, entrenched on Battle Hill, and all along the line extending from the nursing home grounds to the Frank L. Stanton School.
Almost three months of fighting had preceded the Battle of Ezra Church. After 70 days of slow retreat from Dalton (88 miles north of Atlanta), forcing Sherman's men to fight for every mile, Gen' Joseph E. Johnston's Confederate Army of Tennessee (Hardee's, Hood's and Stewart's corps, and Wheeler's cavalry corps) had crossed the Chattahoochee River at Bolton late on July 9th and retired toward Atlanta.
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