By Arnold Blumberg During the early afternoon of July 9, 1864, the 103rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment of Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield’s Army of the Ohio crossed a 300-yard stretch of shallow water on the Chattahoochee River in north-central Georgia. Confederate opposition to the passage consisted of a few dozen state militiamen supported by one outdated 6-pounder cannon. By nightfall, Federal troops had brushed aside the feeble enemy opposition, and the 12th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry Regiment had secured the beachhead the 103rd Ohio had established earlier in the day. With one audacious move, the Confederate position on the formidable Chattahoochee had been fatally compromised. The Federals found themselves only 12 miles from the center of Atlanta, the main objective of the campaign, with no major obstacles left in their path. Learning that the enemy had outflanked him and had crossed to the south bank of the Chattahoochee, General Joseph E. Johnston, commander of the Confederate Army of Tennessee, ordered a retreat to the outer fortifications of Atlanta. This latest retrograde movement was the most recent, but scarcely the first, for the southern army since Federal forces under Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman had initiated the Atlanta campaign in early May. The relentless advance of Sherman’s blue host had started in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and had carried them 100 miles to the outskirts of Atlanta. Along the way, the Federal juggernaut had clashed with Confederate f


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