The Battle of Utoy Creek in SW Atlanta, part of the Battle of Atlanta

Bill Grubbs

Cadet
Joined
Sep 16, 2020
Where to start. The Battle of Utoy Creek is so obscure, I lived within a 12 minute drive of it and didn't know it for 60 years! I probably even played in Utoy Creek in the 60's.
Here is the problem: The Union got their butts kicked. Sherman would not allow a loss to be reported. Sherman's instructions were to report a loss as "a heavy demonstration". That was a code phrase, according to Perry Bennett, who I met with recently.
28 US brigades were defeated by 2 CSA divisions. Perry estimated the Union casualties as 1000 on the first day.
The Feds tried to flank the CS line but were led into a small "box canyon". It was a trap and there was a massacre. I was told the Feds ran low
on ammunition and bayonet fighting took place. Relic hunting is forbidden but you might just trip over something if you aren't careful.
There is a thread on here with some great pictures and I can't find it at the moment.

I took a poor picture of a board Lt Col Bennett had prepared which showed the units involved. He said he would send me a copy. I'd like to fill in the blanks of all the units that fought in the battle. Names I have:
Schofield, Thomas, Howard (Union XXXX)
Palmer, Logan (Union XXX)
Johnson, Baird, Cox, Davis, Hascall (Union XX)
18 Union X with Woods the only one I can read at this time.
Hardee, S. D. Lee (CSA XXX)
Clayton, Bates, Cleburn (CSA XX)
Lewis, Ross, Lowry, and about 11 other (CSA X)

More to come

9-15-2020-16-small.jpg


9-15-2020-15-small.jpg
 
Last edited:

Bill Grubbs

Cadet
Joined
Sep 16, 2020
Thomas had reported that Howard had almost reached the RR in East Point. Well, he was wrong. As Perry Bennett explained to me, there is an acoustic anomalie which made the trains sound much closer than they were.
 

James Brenner

Private
Joined
Nov 10, 2016
Location
North Canton, Ohio
Here's an extract from a letter CPT David Bard, 104th OVI, wrote home concerning the battle. "The charge was made the 6th of this month and was a bloody affair. To get a good understanding of it you must understand something of the line we encountered. It was earthworks with abatis (fallen timbers with ends of branches sharpened) and a ditch with sharpened stakes in front inclined outward from works at an angle of 45 degrees. We made three charges and were repulsed each time and left many of our killed and wounded close up under their works and were forced to let them remain remain there subject to the indignities of the enemy. The next day a charge was again made and works carried and the men recovered. Some of the wounded had suffered terribly laying in the hot sun. One of the 100th men of our Brig. was shot through both thighs and lay on the field within 20 ft. of the enemies lines. He says that after dark a rebel came out and prayed with him, went back to bring a physician, and while gone another one came out and stole his hat. He begged him to leave the old one he had on to keep the flies off with. The Reb did so but was hardly gone when another Reb came and stole the old one. Before our men found him every article of clothing had been stolen. All the dead and many of the wounded were thus robbed. Our men swear bitter vengeance on them for this cruelty."

Friend Alice, The Civil War Letters of Captain David D. Bard, 7th and 104th Regiments, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, 1862 - 1864. Kent: Scholar of Fortune, 1994.
 

Lubliner

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee
@Bill Grubbs thank you for posting that map of Atlanta. I haven't seen one like it before; excellent detail. You have gathered a goodly amount of sources concerning this particular battle. Are you familiar with the Official Records at the Cornell University site?
Lubliner.
 

Bill Grubbs

Cadet
Joined
Sep 16, 2020
I just ran across a video lecture by Lt Col Perry Bennett in which he talks for an hour about the Battle of Utoy Creek. The talk takes place at the park. Too bad it is audio only, but still a good and knowledgeable speaker sharing his vast knowledge of the battle. Lt Col Bennett, Mr. Utoy Creek, may know more about this event than just about anyone. Here is the youtube link:
 

Wade Moore

Cadet
Joined
May 7, 2020
He gave a very interesting talk, I wish there was video!

From my reading of the Atlanta Campaign this battle was initially planned to be a major effort but in the end it was an attack by one or two brigades. Lt Col Bennett's description on the historical markers and the Wikipedia article match that pretty well.

He mentions in the video that he is writing a book on the battle. Do you know if he is still working on it? I love reading detailed accounts of individual battles.
 

Bill Grubbs

Cadet
Joined
Sep 16, 2020
I'm pretty sure he is actively working on the book. He will only share stories that are easily found. He has access to some rare maps and would only tell us about them. The 'blue map' is one of them. He is a smart detective and can see what is going on in the big picture. I'm not sure how he markets his books.
 

Texas Johnny

Private
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Location
Texas
When I was a young kid, late 1950s, my family lived on Edgewater Drive in SW Atlanta. I would find minie balls in our yard, that is what started me in collecting CW artifacts. We use to play in and around Utoy Creek (which we all called "Big Creek") just through the woods from our house. I would tag along with older kids who had an old surplus WWII mine detector and find various artifacts, what they didn't want to carry out of the woods they would give to me and I would tote out the "treasures," most of which I still have today. Wonderful fun memories for a big eyed boy like I use to be.
 

James N.

Colonel
Forum Host
Annual Winner
Featured Book Reviewer
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Location
East Texas
Where to start. The Battle of Utoy Creek is so obscure, I lived within a 12 minute drive of it and didn't know it for 60 years! I probably even played in Utoy Creek in the 60's.
Here is the problem: The Union got their butts kicked. Sherman would not allow a loss to be reported. Sherman's instructions were to report a loss as "a heavy demonstration". That was a code phrase, according to Perry Bennett, who I met with recently...
By that definition, I suppose Pickett's Mill had also been another heavy demonstration! (Actually, I'm not sure Pickett's Mill got reported at all.)

Welcome to the forums from the host of the Stonewall Jackson Forum!
 
Last edited:

Bill Grubbs

Cadet
Joined
Sep 16, 2020
By that definition, I suppose Pickett's Mill had also been another heavy demonstration! (Actually, I'm not sure Pickett's Mill got reported at all.)

Welcome to the forums from the host of the Stonewall Jackson Forum!
I messed up starting this thread. It seems I didn't express myself well. My apologies.
 

Similar threads

Top