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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

May 08, 1864

Battle Of Rocky Face Ridge Began

A series of engagements known collectively as the Battle of Rocky Face Ridge began north and west of Dalton, Georgia. Rocky Face was a long north-to-south mountain ridge four miles west of Dalton. General Joseph E. Johnston’s Confederate forces were dug in on the mountain, in particular protecting Buzzard Roost (also known as Mill Creek) Pass, through which the Western & Atlantic Railroad ran. Though taking a secondary pass known as Dug Gap, Union forces under General William T. Sherman were originally unable to dislodge the Confederates from the main pass.

Meanwhile, General James McPherson had taken part of the Union force southward to cross through Snake Creek Gap intending to disable the railroad at Resaca and blocking any Confederate retreat.