May 14

Battle of Resaca

May 14, 1864 - Dalton, Resaca, Atlanta

It was the first major battle of the Atlanta Campaign during the Civil War. The Battle of Resaca began 75 miles northwest of Atlanta on this day in 1864.

Joe Johnston’s Confederate Army of Tennessee had wintered in Dalton after its defeat at Chattanooga the previous November. Sherman moved south into Georgia in May with 110,000 men, his sights set on Atlanta. Johnston was outnumbered and on the defensive. When the armies first met a week earlier at Dalton, Sherman launched a diversionary attack head-on against Johnston while sending other men south to Resaca on the Western & Atlantic Railroad, hoping to cut the Confederate supply line and trap Johnston’s army. The armies battled at Resaca for two bloody days before Sherman again flanked Johnston and moved further south toward Atlanta.

It was clear now that the Confederates could slow Sherman down but couldn’t stop him, putting Atlanta and ultimately the Confederacy at great risk after the battle that began on May 14, 1864, Today in Georgia History.