Background post: The character of the country was very rough, uneven, and heavily wooded.
Here are a few more photographs of the 15mm Battle of Utoy Creek, a fight in early August 1864 during the final weeks of the Atlanta Campaign.
Union troops reach a rural intersection and head toward the distant Confederate lines, where men from John Bell Hood’s army have dug in behind earthworks. It will be bloody work, and the Rebels will hold their position after repeated attacks.
The Atlanta Campaign was brutal, with William T. Sherman‘s armies suffering a combined 31,000 casualties, while Joseph E. Johnston and his controversial successor, General J. B. “We should have gone to the raht!” Hood, taking 35,000 casualties, men the South could not readily replace, unlike the North.
Utoy Creek was typical of the bloodshed – not a decisive fight, nor one that had immediate consequences, but it served to drain much needed manpower from the Confederate defenders and ultimately Atlanta would fall through the repeated hammering of Sherman’s forces.
After failing to envelop Hood’s left flank at the Battle of Ezra Church, Sherman still wanted to extend his right flank to hit the railroad between East Point and Atlanta. He transferred John Schofield‘s Army of the Ohio from his left to his right flank and sent him to the north bank of Utoy Creek. Although Schofield’s troops were at Utoy Creek on August 2, they, along with the XIV Corps, Army of the Cumberland, did not cross until August 4. Schofield’s force began its movement to exploit this situation on the morning of August 5, which was initially successful.
Schofield then had to regroup his forces, which took the rest of the day. The delay allowed the Confederates to strengthen their defenses with abatis, which slowed the Union attack when it restarted on the morning of August 6. The Federals were repulsed with heavy losses and failed in an attempt to break the railroad. On August 7, the Union troops moved toward the Confederate main line and entrenched. They remained there until late August.