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Battle of Peachtree Creek

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The Battle of Peachtree Creek was fought in Georgia on July 20, 1864, as part of the Atlanta Campaign in the American Civil War. It was the first major attack by William T. Sherman's Union army on the defenses of Atlanta. The main armies in the conflict were the Union Army of the Cumberland, commanded by Maj. Gen. George Henry Thomas, and the Confederate Army of Tennessee, commanded by Gen. John B. Hood. Peachtree Creek was the first battle fought by Hood as commander of the Army of Tennessee.

Retreating from Sherman's advancing armies, Gen. Joseph E. Johnston had withdrawn across Peachtree Creek, just north of Atlanta. Johnston had drawn up plans for an attack on part of Thomas' army as it crossed the creek. On July 17, he received a letter from Confederate President Jefferson Davis relieving him from command. The political leadership of the Confederacy was unhappy with Johnston's lack of aggressiveness against the larger Union army and so they replaced him with Hood. In contrast to Johnston's conservative tactics and conservation of manpower, Hood had a reputation for aggressive tactics and personal bravery on the battlefield (he had already been maimed in battle several times). Hood took command and launched the attempted counter-offensive. The Confederates were late to their starting positions but nonetheless unleashed a harsh assault on the Union troops that had crossed the creek. The Union center was driven back, but ultimately held and the Confederate troops were forced to call off the attack at sunset. Estimated casualties were 6,506 in total: 1,710 on the Union side and 4,796 on the Confederate.

The battlefield is now largely lost to urban development. Tanyard Branch Park occupies what was near the center of the battle and contains several memorial markers. Peachtree Battle Avenue commemorates the battle.

See also

Battle of Atlanta

References

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