April 24 Scouts begin to probe Rebel strength south of Ringgold, Georgia. This is the first activity that can be directly associated with the Atlanta Campaign
April 27 This is the earliest generally accepted date for the start of the Atlanta Campaign. Rear echelon troop movement begins for the Army of the Tennessee (General John Birdseye McPherson). Union scouts probe troop strength at Tunnel Hill.
May 1 Skirmish at the old Stone Church, east of Ringgold, Georgia. This date is the "official" date of the start of the Atlanta Campaign, listed as such in the Official Records.
May 2 Skirmish at Lee's Crossroads, near Tunnel Hill and near Ringgold Gap.
May 3 Skirmishes at Catoosa Springs and Red Clay.
May 4This is one of the generally accepted dates for the start of the Atlanta Campaign. General George Henry Thomas (Army of the Cumberland) [US] begins to move slowly east along the Western and Atlantic Railroad from Ringgold. Union troops in all departments begin to move into position for what will be the final summer of war. Skirmish at Varnell (Prater's Mill)
May 7 This is the latest date for the start of the Atlanta Campaign. Army of the Tennessee [US] moves south from Lee and Gordon's Mill along Taylor Ridge, using it to cover McPherson's flanking movement. A division of the Army of the Cumberland [US] attacks Rebel skirmishers at Tunnel Hill.
May 8Fighting commences along Rocky Face Ridge west of Dalton, specifically at Mill Creek and Dug Gap.
Fighting along this spine of high mountains continued until May 10.
May 9McPherson's Army of the Tennessee runs into stiffer than expected Rebel resistance as he moves towards the Western and Atlantic Railroad bridge near Resaca. In hostile territory, the general decides to dig in and await reinforcements. Sherman spends the night at the Clisby-Austin house in Tunnel Hill. Moving south after disembarking at the Red Clay depot, Schofield's Army of the Ohio encounters Joseph Wheeler's Confederate Cavalry near Varnell.
May 11 Carter Stevenson awakes to silence. He communicates that his men can find no soldiers immediately west of Rocky Face to Johnston, who orders a cavalry sweep of the area. Wheeler's cavalry find almost no Union soldiers in front of Rocky Face Ridge.
May 12Outflanked, with superior numbers to his rear, Johnston withdraws to Resaca.
May 14Battle of Resaca, Day1 - Almost 100,000 men poured out of Snake Creek Gap west of the tiny Georgia town of Resaca. Fighting occurred along the entire line although the heaviest fighting occurred to the north of the city.
May 15Battle of Resaca, Day 2 - Engagements continued along lines around Resaca. Hood's Corps [CS] and Joseph Hooker's XX Corps [US] bore the brunt of today's fighting, north of the city. Reports of Union troops at Lay's Ferry (Oostanaula River) force Johnston to withdraw.
May 17Rome falls. After a small skirmish at Adairsville Johnston sets up at Cassville. Sherman mistakenly ends up at Kingston.
May 18General John B. McPherson spends the night at a present-day Georgia landmark, Barnsley Gardens
May 19Johnston withdraws to the Allatoona Mountains south of the Etowah River after an attack at Cassville, Georgia is cancelled. Sherman decides to regroup in Kingston.
May 23Sherman leaves the Western and Atlantic and heads south from Kingston. In 1844 the General visited the Tumlin Indian Mounds near Cartersville, Georgia. The W&A cuts through Allatoona Pass east of Cartersville, which Sherman remembered and avoided.
May 25 Battle of New Hope Church-- Johnston, forced by Sherman to abandon his stronghold in the Allatoona Mountains, moves to block the Union advance on Atlanta meeting Sherman's Army at a small church some 25 miles northwest of Atlanta.
May27Spreading their respective lines east from New Hope Church, Sherman and Johnston battle at Pickett's Mill.
May 28After 2 defeats in three days Sherman realized that fighting here was a mistake and moves east towards the railroad. Johnston tries to take advantage of this move by testing Sherman's right flank. Confederate General William Bates runs headlong into McPherson's regulars at Dallas after misunderstanding a signal from his cavalry.
June 1General George Stoneman's cavalry captures Allatoona Pass. Realizing the mistake he made, Sherman orders his men to return to the railroad in Acworth.
June 4Johnston takes a position on Lost Mountain and Pine Top and moves to Brush Mountain to protect the railroad.
June 8U. S. President Lincoln nominated for second term.
June 14General Leonidas Polk, an Episcopalian Bishop, dies during fighting at Pine Mountain.
June 18The advances made by Sherman force Johnston to withdraw and reform a line at Kennesaw Mountain.
July 2After McPherson moves to outflank Johnston, the Confederate General withdraws to Smyrna.
July 4Intense fighting at Ruff's Mill turns Johnston's left flank. Johnston pulls back to the Chattahoochee River Line starting late today.
July 10Johnston withdraws to the gates of Atlanta, carefully destroying all bridges over the Chattahoochee River. Skirmish in Alpharetta. Braxton Bragg is traveling to Atlanta to meet with Johnston as a representative of Confederate President Jefferson Davis
July 16Moving east from Marietta, Georgia, Sherman's forces spread across the open land north of Atlanta. Replying to an inquiry about his plans made by President Davis, Johnston says, "As the enemy has double our number, we must be on the defensive. My plan of operations, therefore, must depend upon that of the enemy."
July 17President Davis relieves Johnston of command and places John Bell Hood in charge. In a meeting with his men two days later Sherman instructs them to expect an attack at any moment, given Hood's aggressive nature. Sherman had found out about the change in command thanks to the Atlanta newspapers.
July 20Hood attacks and loses at Battle of Peachtree Creek. From a point northeast of Atlanta along the Decatur Road (at the corner of present-day Dekalb Avenue and Degress St.) the first artillery shells fall on the city.
July 21A "bald hill" east of the city falls to men under the command of Mortimer Leggitt. Renamed Leggett's Hill, this rise offers Sherman an elevated place to fire artillery into the heart of downtown Atlanta. Sherman believes the city will be quickly abandoned. Forward troops report large-scale movement of Confederate forces.
July 22The large-scale troop movements is not the retreat of the Army of Tennessee, but the movement of Hardee's Corps on a 15-mile circuitous route to attack the Federal left flank in East Atlanta. General McPherson dies. Confederate loses may exceed 10,000 in this battle.
July 26General George Stoneman leaves for a raid on Macon, Georgia, in an attempt to cut Hood's supply line.
July 28Concerned with Federal troop movement west of the city, Hood attacks and loses at Ezra Church.
August 4Slow encirclement of the city of Atlanta continues with Federals crossing Utoy Creek. Over the next several days heavy skirmishing would occur in this area.
August 25Sherman tires of waiting for Hood to leave Atlanta. Orders go out to six of seven division telling them to begin moving towards the Macon and Western Railroad, the last of the supply lines for Atlanta.
August 30Forward units of O. O. Howard's Army of the Tennessee cross the Flint River and take high ground west of Jonesborough, Georgia.
Aug. 31Battle of Jonesborough--Day 1. Georgia native, General William "Old Reliable" Hardee moves to Jonesborough to protect the Macon and Western Railroad and launches an attack against Howard. Hood withdraws S. D. Lee from the "diversion."
Sept. 1Battle of Jonesborough--Day 2. Defending the small city of Jonesborough, Hardee bears the brunt of a massive assault, but Atlanta is about to be abandoned. With his communication and rail line cut, Hood realizes he can no longer hold the city of Atlanta and retreats to Lovejoy Station (now Lovejoy in Clayton County).
Sept. 2Henry Slocum's XX Corps moves into Atlanta, accepting the surrender of the city from Mayor James Calhoun.