Fighting in the Hell Hole around New Hope Church

Emerging Civil War

Battle of New Hope ChurchAs Sherman swung his forces westward away from the Western and Atlantic Railroad and the formidable Confederate defenses there, Johnston quickly guessed his opponent’s next move and shifted his forces toward Dallas to meet him.

On May 25, the lead of Sherman’s advance consisted of Gen. “Fighting” Joe Hooker’s XX Corps, with Gen. John Geary’s White Star Division leading the way. As they made their way through the oppressive heat and humidity, they found their advance opposed by Confederate Cavalry. The Cavalry proved to be nothing more than an irritation, like the gnats and mosquitoes that inhabited the surrounding pine forests. However, as they neared Pumpkinvine Creek, resistance stiffened as the cavalrymen attempt to burn the bridge. Hooker, riding with Geary at the head of the column, ordered his and Geary’s cavalry escorts to drive the rebels off before the fire can take hold of the bridge. The charge was…

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