First Battle of Dalton

Other Names: None Location: Whitfield County Campaign: Demonstration on Dalton (1864) Date(s): February 22-27, 1864 Principal Commanders: Maj.

Gen. George H. Thomas [US]; Gen. Joseph E. Johnston [CS]

Forces Engaged: Army of the Cumberland [US]; Army of Tennessee [CS]

Estimated Casualties: Unknown

Description: From Vicksburg, Mississippi, Sherman launched a campaign to take the important railroad center at Meridian and, if the situation was favorable, to push on to Selma and threaten Mobile, in order to prevent the shipment of Confederate men and supplies. To counter the threat, Confederate President Jefferson Davis ordered troops into the area. While these operations unfolded, Thomas determined to probe Gen. Johnston’s army in the hope that Johnston’s loss of two divisions, sent to reinforce Lt. Gen. Leonidas Polk as he withdrew from Meridian to Demopolis, Alabama, would make him vulnerable. Skirmishing and intense fighting occurred throughout the demonstration. At Crow Valley on the 25th, Union troops almost turned the Rebel right flank, but ultimately it held. On the 27th, Thomas’s army withdrew, realizing that Johnston was ready and able to counter any assault.

Result(s): Confederate victory

CWSAC Reference #: GA006

Preservation Priority: II.3 (Class C)

The First Battle of Dalton took place between February 22 and February 27, 1864, in Whitfield County, Georgia. On February 22, Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas decided to probe Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's troops, to determine if the loss of two divisions to reinforce Confederate forces elsewhere, made them vulnerable to attack. After several days of intense skirmishing, Thomas's army withdrew upon realizing Johnston could repel any assault.