Why Not Consider Peachtree Creek, Bald Hill and the Battle of Atlanta a Single Battle?

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JeffBrooks

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Why do we not consider the three engagements fought north and east of Atlanta in 1864 on July 20 (Peachtree Creek), July 21 (Bald Hill) and July 22 (the Battle of Atlanta) a single three-day battle?
 
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JeffBrooks

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Ya got me there. Were they geographically spread out considerably more than, say, the three days of Gettysburg?
Not by much. I think the main center of fighting at Peachtree Creek is about five miles from the main center of fighting at the Battle of Atlanta, whereas the area of fighting on the first day at Gettysburg is about three-and-a-half miles from the Round Tops.
 

Battalion

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The number of casualties would place them in a major battle category...

Peachtree Creek..........1900.........2500
Bald Hill........................700...........300
Atlanta........................4500.........5500
Total.....................7100.......8300

New Hope Church.......1665...........350
Pickett's Mill.................1600...........500
Dallas...........................2400.........3000
Total......................5665......3850
 

Battalion

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According to this map the distance between the town of Gettysburg and the Round Top is about 5 miles. But the position of the forces still extend beyond that range-

gettysburg_map1.jpg
 
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Sewsaalot34

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Well, let's see. I was born in Atlanta right after WWII. The house we lived in was built right on part of the battle field on DeKalb Ave. Less than 1.5 miles from the location of the Degresse Union Battery when my ancestor was shot ( died 3 days later) in Manigault's Division charge on the battery.

As I grew up in the area, I was taught in school to call this the BATTLE FOR ATLANTA. Why? Because the city was behind fortifications and it was a siege. It was to TAKE the city, as in a BATTLE FOR TAKING A CITY.

Perhaps this was JUST An Atlanta thing. Also note that MOST battle sites were not even marked officially in Atlanta or Decatur ... till the centennial of the event of the WAR BETWEEN THE STATES was closing in.. in the 1950s , as I recall.

The SCV, the UDC and some other private groups did any memorials over the years and they were pretty much the main source of the SALUTES to the soldiers and their sacrifices. THIS IS THE WAY it is, especially NOW in Atlanta.

I was just reading today how the City of Atlanta in 1895 wanted to USE the Memorial Day set up by the North as May31 but the socially prominent and wealthy ladies of Atlanta KEPT the 26 April as Confederate Memorial day.

Heck, I remember making a bulletin board in 1958 at school for CONFEDERATE MEMORIAL DAY in an Atlanta public school. Also had the day off from school too.

I was surprised when I went away to college, studied and majored in American History to read the many referrals to the Battle as "OF" including those written as primary source from the era.

Well, just one point of view.
Bye for now.
 

ErnieMac

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I think I know the part of the reason. The Battle of Peachtree Creek was fought by the Army of the Cumberland (Thomas) on the Union side. The Battles of Bald Hill and Atlanta were fought by the Army of the Tennessee (McPherson). Why the Bald Hill and Atlanta are considered separately will have to be determined by someone smarter than I am.
 

Robtweb1

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I think that if you are going to take the Atlanta Campaign as a whole, each action has to be studied as a separate entity. This also includes Ezra Church, Jonesboro, and Allatoona Pass.
 
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Sewsaalot34

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I think I know the part of the reason. The Battle of Peachtree Creek was fought by the Army of the Cumberland (Thomas) on the Union side. The Battles of Bald Hill and Atlanta were fought by the Army of the Tennessee (McPherson). Why the Bald Hill and Atlanta are considered separately will have to be determined by someone smarter than I am.
Here is the link which you may even know about, that gives you a modern day perspective on where things occurred in relation to modern day Atlanta.

http://www.inheritage.org/almanack/almanack_post-battle-of-atlanta-03.htm
 

JeffBrooks

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I think I know the part of the reason. The Battle of Peachtree Creek was fought by the Army of the Cumberland (Thomas) on the Union side. The Battles of Bald Hill and Atlanta were fought by the Army of the Tennessee (McPherson). Why the Bald Hill and Atlanta are considered separately will have to be determined by someone smarter than I am.
Two armies on the same side can be involved in a single battle. Both the Army of the Cumberland and the Army of the Tennessee fought side-by-side at the Battle of Chattanooga, for example.

Why not consider July 20-22, 1864, as a whole to be the Battle of Atlanta, in which Hood attempted to crush first the Army of the Cumberland on his left and then the Army of the Tennessee on his right?
 

Sewsaalot34

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When the CSA changed Generals, maybe it could be considered two separate campaigns. Peachtree Creek under one General and the other, Battle of Atlanta under Hood.

I like it the way it is except I do prefer the BATTLE for ATLANTA, July 22 1864 ...or the Seige of Atlanta starting at the end of June.
 
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ErnieMac

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Two armies on the same side can be involved in a single battle. Both the Army of the Cumberland and the Army of the Tennessee fought side-by-side at the Battle of Chattanooga, for example.

Why not consider July 20-22, 1864, as a whole to be the Battle of Atlanta, in which Hood attempted to crush first the Army of the Cumberland on his left and then the Army of the Tennessee on his right?
I find Chattanooga a little different. Even though there were two armies, they were lined up side-by-side in the same action.

IMO the Atlanta battles more analagous to the Chancellorsville campaign. Even though you had one army, the battle actions are denoted as Chancellorsville, 2nd Fredericksburg and Salem Church occuring over a four day period. Hooker swung wide to Chancellorsville while Sedgewick punched thru Fredericksburg to Salem Church. In Atlanta you had Thomas cross Peachtree Creek and dig in for a holding action while McPherson swung wide.

That of course is my own thoughts. Wouldn't bother me in the least if they were considered one battle. It was a good while into my Civil War readings that I realized people considered Salem Church separately as opposed to a part of Chancellorsville.
 

ErnieMac

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When the CSA changed Generals, maybe it could be considered two separate campaigns. Peachtree Creek under one General and the other, Battle of Atlanta under Hood.

I like it the way it is except I do prefer the BATTLE for ATLANTA, July 22 1864 ...or the Seige of Atlanta starting at the end of June.
Hood took command on July 17 and commanded at Peachtree Creek and Atlanta.
 

Sewsaalot34

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Hood took command on July 17 and commanded at Peachtree Creek and Atlanta.
OPPS... I get so messed up on dates of the Peachtree Creek battle and General Johnston's CROSSING over it and getting kicked out in favor of Hood on the 17th . It is like some kind of "block"!! I

At any rate, I understand it now popular just to call the entire days of the fighting , THE CAMPAIGN FOR ATLANTA. That covers it all.
 
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Battalion

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Why do we not consider the three engagements fought north and east of Atlanta in 1864 on July 20 (Peachtree Creek), July 21 (Bald Hill) and July 22 (the Battle of Atlanta) a single three-day battle?
...or the fighting around New Hope Church, May 25-June 1? Separated as New Hope Church (May 25-26), Pickett's Mill (May 27), and Dallas (May 26-June 1).
The editors of the Official Records are the ones who determined these should be separate smaller battles. Why they did this is difficult to understand...especially since other battles are not so divided. But I have seen examples where historians treat them as a single battle - at least in the case of New Hope Church.
 

Carronade

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Excellent question! Perhaps we need a word for something a bit bigger than a single battle. There is "double battle", but that usually refers to cases like Waterloo-Wavre or Jena-Auerstadt, i.e. simultaneus battles. There was a recent thread on Napoleonic strategy in the Civil War, and Peachtree Creek et. seq. occurred to me as a good example. It was a situation Bonaparte/Napoleon faced on several occasions, dealing with overall superior forces which for a time were operating separately, giving him an opportunity to concentrate on one at a time. The use of one army corps to contain one opponent while falling on the other with all the rest of one's forces is classic Napoleon. Ditto for tasking some troops from the first battle - in this case Cheatham's corps - to make a demanding march in order to shift the focus to the second opponent.

Sherman had not given the Confederates much opportunity in the campaign thus far, and they deserve credit for recognizing and taking advantage of it when it did occur. IMO the strategy was correct, even if it didn't work out as hoped. And the battles and marches were all part of a unified operation intended to deal with the entire situation.
 
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