6th Mississippi Infantry Regiment
The Atlanta Campaign
Not long after joining the army in Alabama, preparations were began to move to Georgia. They arrived at Resaca, Georgia on May 11th and took their place on the Confederate line of battle. General Polk's army became the Third Corps in the Army of Tennessee.
They successfully stopped Union General James B. McPhereson, but General Sherman soon arrived with reinforcements and the Battle of Resaca began. For three days, the two armies stubbornly fought.
On May 16th, General Johnston withdrew from Resaca and moved toward Atlanta. The experienced Sixth (and Adams' Brigade) provided the rearguard. The column stopped near Calhoun, Georgia, then they moved through Adairsville, Cassville and Allatoona Pass. Then, on to west of Kennesaw Station to the crossroads where a little Methodist Church called New Hope Church was located.
Though held in reserve for most of the day, the Sixth was finally brought up, but did not fire a single shot. Their place on the line was about a mile from the heaviest of the fighting. Though they did not fire, several men of the Sixth were killed or wounded from stray rounds. Soon, they were moved closer to the battle. Just as they reached the front line in the thick of the battle, the enemy began to withdraw and successfully captured Allatoona Pass and the train depot there.
On the last of May, the Sixth and the other regiments in Adams' Brigade did a reconnaissance of the enemy lines. The attack was promptly halted by the enemy. The brigade had 24 men killed, 98 wounded and four missing. Twelve of the wounded were from the Sixth.
The first week of June, the Confederates pull back to the Lost and Pine Mountains area. On the 16th, General Polk was kille on Pine Mountain by an enemy cannonball. General Loring assumed command of the division and the army fell back to Kennesaw on June 19th.
Early on June 27th, Sherman attacked the Confederates at Kennesaw with all he had. Men from the Sixth were on the skirmish line and held until Sherman made a push, thus sending the skirmishers to the safety of main line. The Confederate positions firmly held. Sherman realized a frontal assault was futile, and he began movement to outflank the stubborn Confederates. Thus ending the Battle of Kennesaw.
The Sixth stayed on the mountain through June and by the first of July, the Confederate line was stretched dangerously thin. On July 2nd, General Johnston withdrew from the trenches at Kennesaw. As usual, the Sixth provided rearguard.
The army stopped at Marietta for a couple days, then moved to the north side of the Chattahoochee River. The Sixth dug in and assumed picket duty until the middle of July when the army crossed the Chattahoochee and moved 8 miles from Atlanta and dug in along Peachtree Creek.
The next day, overall command of the Confederate army in Georgia was given to General John Bell Hood. General Loring's Division was placed under the command of General A. P. Stewart and included Divisions commanded by Generals John Adams, W.S. Featherson and T. M. Scott.
On July 19th. the Battle of Peachtree Creek began when the Union army attempted to cross Peachtree Creek. Company B of the Sixth fought the enemy hand-to-hand in a trench. They captured 47 prisoners , but the prisioners broke and ran. Having damaged or broken most of their muskets, the men of Company B had no choice but to chase after the prisoners. Many were recaptures, but the arrival of reinforcements resulted in a hasty retreat by the men of Company B to the safety of their lines.
On the second day of the battle, the Sixth was on picket duty along the Chattahoochee River. Late that afternoon, they double-quicked to north of Peachtree Creek. That night, the Confederate army retreated to the trenches around Atlanta where Stewart's Corps dug in from Peachtree Street to Turner Ferry Road.
A week later on July 28th, Loring's Division moved to Lickskillett Road. They arrived in time to find General Stephen D. Lee's Corps in a hot fight. Loring formed on the left flank of the Confederate line. The Sixth provided skirmishers and dis not participate in the Battle of Lickskillett. In the early hours of the 29th, the Confederate army was ordered to return to their trenches around Atlanta.
August brought little change for the Sixth. They performed picket duty under continuous enemy fire. The Union victory at the Battle of Jonesboro resulted in General Hood ordering the Confederate withdrawl of Atlanta on September 1st.
The army stopped at Lovejoy Station and dug in. They stayed there until the 21st, when the left to implement General Hood's plan to capture the Union supply bases located north of Atlanta.
On this northwest trek, Loring's Division captured the towns of Acworth and Big Shanty, then continued westward until they reached Dalton on October 13th. Three days later, the weary, hungry,foot-sore Confederates were at Lafayette. On the 17th they crossed into Alabama and headed to Gadsden, Alabama.
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This page was last updated on August 8, 2000.