Dalton in Whitfield County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
“...my situation was a desperate one...”
—Atlanta Campaign Heritage Trail —
A new Confederate plan called for Hood's army to march north toward the Ohio River, hoping Sherman's armies would follow. Hood would first attempt to disrupt Sherman's supply line, by striking the Western & Atlantic Railroad near Marietta, Georgia, and wrecking the line northward to Dalton.
The Confederate offensive began in late September 1864. Federal garrisons along the Atlanta to Chattanooga rail line had been strengthening their defensive fortifications. In Dalton, construction of a small earthen fort overlooking the railroad depot began in mid-September. "Fort Hill" and surrounding entrenchments were occupied by about 750 soldiers assembled from several units. The largest unit was the 44th United States Colored Troops ("U.S.C.T."), a newly recruited 600-man black regiment commanded by Colonel Lewis
Confederate cavalry appeared in Dalton on October 12, and by the following day the bulk of the Army of Tennessee was on hand. ON the 13th Hood sent a message to Johnson demanding the garrison's surrender, adding that "if the place is carried by assault, no prisoners will be taken." After learning that more than 20,000 Confederates with 30 cannon were withing 1,500 yards of his fort, Johnson reluctantly capitulated. In his official report, Johnson wrote, "I knew full well that I was in his power, and that my situation was a desperate one (and) that I could not hold out fifteen minutes...."
On October 14 the Confederates marched the captured Federal garrison west to Villanow, Georgia, where they were separated. Officers were paroled and a handful of white enlisted men were imprisoned. But the 44th U.S.C.T. enlisted soldiers were robbed, brutally treated and largely re-enslaved. Several were shot for not obeying directives, while other escaped and made their way to Chattanooga.
Erected by Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Georgia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 34° 46.346′ N, 84° 57.813′ W. Marker is in Dalton, Georgia, in Whitfield County. Marker is on Fort Hill Terrace east of Fort Hill Circle, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 104 Fort Hill Terrace, Dalton GA 30721, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. African-American Soldiers in Combat (within shouting distance of this marker); Western and Atlantic Railroad Depot (approx. 0.2 miles away); Joseph E. Johnston Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); Tristam Dalton (approx. General Cleburne’s Proposal to Arm Slaves (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Huff House (approx. 0.4 miles away); George Whitefield (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Blunt House (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dalton.
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on April 2, 2018. This page originally submitted on July 31, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 315 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 31, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.