Civil War in Georgia, Week 15: The Battle of Utoy Creek


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Oct 17, 2012
Middle Tennessee
Civil War in Georgia, Week 15: The Battle of Utoy Creek
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Early August 1864 sketch from outside Atlanta, “The Soldier in Our Civil War.” Stanley Bradley Publishing, New York, 1890.
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Maj. Gen. John Palmer. Library of Congress.
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By Michael K. Shaffer

Recounting his regiment’s experience during the Aug. 5-7 action near Utoy Creek, west of Atlanta, Maj. James T. Holmes with the 52nd Ohio Infantry recalled the Confederate artillery fire, which proved more destructive than any Holmes had experienced before in the Atlanta Campaign. He remembered that, as his regiment sought cover, they “never were shelled so before … but here, they poured them thick and fast upon us.”

A Southern gunner opposite Holmes, one delivering the shot and shell, noted of the day’s action in his diary, “I much prefer … being a cannoneer, as it gives me a chance to try my marksmanship.” This young artillerist, along with the others in Maj. Gen. William Bate’s Division, prepared for yet another Federal assault upon their well-prepared earthworks, as Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman continued his quest to sever all the remaining railroads running into the besieged city of Atlanta.