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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

January 22, 1865

Johnston Again Appointed to Oppose Sherman

While the precise date is uncertain, at some point this week Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston was appointed the task of trying to oppose Union General William T. Sherman’s march through South Carolina, and ultimately North Carolina. Unfortunately for Johnston, he had few troops - compared with Sherman’s powerful force - so there was little he could do to stop the march. Johnston had been in command of the Confederate army for the first part of the Union invasion of Georgia. He had skillfully withdrawn his army from Dalton to Atlanta in a series of maneuvers, while inflicting some damage to the Union forces, particularly at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. But Confederate authorities grew weary of his retreats and replaced him with the aggressive General John Bell Hood - who led the Confederate army into several disastrous attacks, including the Battle of Atlanta.