Peachtree Creek – East Flank:
General Bate enters the Fray
Created by Nathaniel St. John and inspired by a George Anderson scenario.
In July 1864, General Sherman approached Atlanta with three armies: the Army of the Cumberland, the Army of the Ohio, and the Army of the Tennessee. General Thomas’ Army of the Cumberland marched directly from the north towards Peachtree Creek. The creek’s steep banks were covered in heavy undergrowth making it difficult to traverse. It was the last natural barrier before Atlanta’s defenses.
On July 19th, Hood learned that Thomas was crossing Peachtree Creek, while Sherman’s other armies were separated away further to the east. Hood’s plan (originally envisioned by General Johnson) was to catch Thomas’ Army off guard and drive them into the creek where they would surrender or be destroyed. Once Thomas was defeated, Hood would then defeat Sherman’s other forces in detail. The Confederate assaultwould commence at 1 pm on July 20th.
Unfortunately (depending on your perspective), Hood’s plan was disrupted. During the morning of July 20th, he learned that Sherman’s other armies were threatening Atlanta from the east. This forced Hood to redeploy troops in response and delayed the attack for three hours. At 4 pm, Walker’s division commenced the Confederate attack on the east flank of the Union position. Further east and in difficult terrain, Bate’sdivision was unable to locate the Federal line and effectively missed the battle. Walker’s division surprised Newton’s division of Federal troops, which fought desperately to halt the Rebel advance. Federal infantry reserves and artillery (one battery being led by General Thomas himself) managed to secure their flank, preventing Walker from rolling up the Federal line.
But… What if Bate’s division had arrived in a timely manner on the east flank?