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Atlanta in Fulton County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

The Battle of Ezra Church / The Preliminary Operations

July 28, 1864

 
 
The Battle of Ezra Church / The Preliminary Operations Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 10, 2019
1. The Battle of Ezra Church / The Preliminary Operations Marker
Inscription.  
The Battle of Ezra Church

The Battle of Ezra Church was the third of three desperate Confederate attacks on the forces of Maj. Gen. Wm. 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. heavy fighting occurred here along the old Chapel Road. and a the strong salient formed by the point of the V, at Archer and Laurel, the most determined Confederate attacks, were directed at the right of the Union position, "entrenched on Battle Hill, and all along the line extending from
The Preliminary Operations con't Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 10, 2019
2. The Preliminary Operations con't Marker
the nursing home grounds to the Frank L. Stanton School.

The Preliminary Operations

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.

The Preliminary Operations, Cont.

The city was encircled by 12 miles of fortifications which Sherman later deemed "unassailable". Johnston was confident that he could hold Atlanta “forever", but he did not intend to become besieged. He had watched for a time when Sherman's wings might be separated beyond mutual support. Now he sensed that the right wing – Maj. Gen. Geo. H. Thomas Army of the Cumberland (4th, 14th and 20th corps) – would cross the river north of Atlanta and move south over Peachtree Creek while the left wing Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson's Army of the Tennessee (15th 16th and 17th corps) – would cross upriver and approach from the east. While they were separated, he planned to smash Thomas at Peachtree Creek, then mass his army against McPherson. To delay McPherson while he

The Battle of Ezra Church / The Preliminary Operations Markers are the first two on left. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 10, 2019
3. The Battle of Ezra Church / The Preliminary Operations Markers are the first two on left.
defeated Thomas, he posted Hood's Corps east of Atlanta. Hardee's and Stewart’s corps remained north of Atlanta to attack Thomas at Peachtree Creek: On the 17th, Johnston announced his plans; but that night he was replaced by Gen. John B. Hood, a far less able commander. As Johnston had foreseen Thomas moved to cross Peachtree Creek while McPherson crossed upriver (at Roswell), and approached from the east. On the 20th, Hood ordered Hardee and Stewart to attack Thomas. Although their men fought valiantly, without Johnston's leadership, matters became confused. When the Battle of Peachtree Creek ended, Hood had lost 4,796 officers and men, killed, wounded and missing. Thomas had lost but 1,779. On the 21st, McPherson was within artillery range of downtown Atlanta. Leaving Stewart to hold the city, Hood sent Hardee's Corps southeast of Atlanta where, about noon on the 22nd, it struck McPherson's left. Later, Hood's Corps attacked McPherson's right. Both attacks attained temporary successes, but when dark ended the Battle of Atlanta Hood's reported loss was 8,499, the Union loss 3,722. McPherson himself lay among the dead. Maj. Gen. O.O. Howard was assigned to succeed him. Immediately, the Army of the Tennessee was shifted from the left to the right of Sherman's lines to attempt to cut the railroads near East Point. Before, noon on the 28th, Dodge's 16th and Blair’s
Nearby map of The Battle of Ezra Church marker. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 10, 2019
4. Nearby map of The Battle of Ezra Church marker.
17th corps were in positions along Chappell Road, facing Atlanta. Logan 15th Corps, which was to bear the brunt of the fighting, was about to become engaged in the Battle of Ezra Church.
 
Erected by Georgia Historical Commission, Georgia Civil War Centennial Commission.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Georgia Historical Society/Commission marker series.
 
Location. 33° 45.202′ N, 84° 26.213′ W. Marker is in Atlanta, Georgia, in Fulton County. Marker is on M.L.K. Jr Drive SW east of Wellington Street SW, on the left when traveling east. Located in Mozley Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1565 MLK Jr Drive SW, Atlanta GA 30314, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Union Dispositions (here, next to this marker); The Confederate Attack (here, next to this marker); Battle Hill (was here, next to this marker but has been reported missing. ); Site of Ezra Church (was a few steps from this marker but has been reported missing. ); Battle of Ezra Church (a few steps from this marker); The Federal Salient (was approx. ¼ mile away but has been reported missing. ); Clayton's Div., Lee's A.C. (approx.
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¼ mile away); a different marker also named Clayton’s Div., Lee’s A.C. (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Atlanta.
 
Also see . . .  Wikipedia article on the Battle of Ezra Church. (Submitted on November 29, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 

More. Search the internet for The Battle of Ezra Church / The Preliminary Operations.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 29, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 29, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 57 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 29, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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