The towns of Dallas and New Hope Church and Pickett’s Mill Battlefield Historical Site are in Paulding County, GA.
On May 7th, 1864, General Sherman began his campaign to capture Atlanta, Georgia, and on May 24th his troops were skirmishing with General Joseph E. Johnston’s troops near Dallas.
The next day Union forces attacked Confederates near New Hope Church, but were repulsed. On the 26th, after heavy skirmishing, both sides entrenched and on the 27th Union Major General O. O. Howard’s Fourth Corps conducted a poorly planned attack on units of Lieutenant General William J. Hardee at Pickett’s Mill, but were repulsed with serious losses.
With these setbacks, Sherman moved his forces back to the railroad line in Acworth and continued his campaign from there.
The first several chapters of this book cover the major movements of both sides at the start of the Atlanta Campaign, to their arrival in the Dallas area, as well as introducing the reader to the key characters on both sides.
The descriptions of the various unit movements are precise and the book has small but clear maps of the Pickett’s Mill battle and the campaign area of May 23 to May 26.
The book also includes numerous firsthand accounts of the fierce fighting that took place. Important factors that played a part in the Confederate victory at Pickett’s Mill were General Johnston’s knowledge of the Union positions, and Sherman’s lack of knowledge of Confederate troop locations.
As a result the Union regiments attacked piece meal and the Confederates were able to use the heavily overgrown terrain of hills and ravines to their advantage. Confederate leadership and communication was superior to that of the Union as were their tactics, with the most effective commander in the battle being Confederate Major General Patrick Cleburne.
Little is written about the battles that took place in the Dallas, New Hope Church and Pickett’s Mill area and this book helps fill that void. The book is well written and researched and I recommend it to all Civil War readers.
Title: The Battle of Pickett’s Mill
Author: Brad Butkovich
Publisher: The History Press