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The Battle of Vining's Station

July 4, 1864 in Vining's Station, Georgia

Union Forces Commanded by:
Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman
Forces Killed Wounded Captured
- - - -

Confederate Forces Commanded by:
Gen. Joseph E. Johnston
Forces Killed Wounded Captured
- - - -

**Missing and Captured
Conclusion: Union Victory


Early on July 3rd, Gen. Joseph E. Johnston led his Army of Tennessee toward the Chattahoochee River, ending 26 days of operations around Marietta. Fearing for the safety of his left flank, Johnston placed his troops behind prepared works 6 miles south of Marietta, adjacent to Smyrna Camp Ground and not far above the Western & Atlantic Railroad depot at Vining's Station.
The armies of Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman folloed in pursuit. Doubting that his adversary would stop short of the Chattahootchee, Sherman planned to strike Johnston's south flank during his crossing. On the 4th, closing up on Smyrna, Shermen sent the IV Corps/Army of the Cumberland, under Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard, to attack down the railroad against Johnston's carrer, held by Lt. Gen. William J. Hardee's corps. Simultaneously, Maj. Gen. Grenville M. Dodge's XVI Corps/Army of the Tennessee would menace the Confederate left near the river.
Howard's offensive achieved limited success. Unable to convince his superior that a formidable line of works lay before him, Howard dutifully advanced early on the 4th. His 1st Division, under maj. Gen. David S. Stanley, the brigade of Col. William Grose leading, gained some ground, capturing a line of skirmishers' rifle pits under fire. But even with support from the divisions of Brig. Gens. John Newton and Thomas J. Wood, Stanley failed to reach the main Confederate works. His troops reeled under what Stanley called "the severest and most continued cannonade the rebels had ever used upon us."
Dodge's turning movement proved more fruitful. At daybreak, the XVI Corps, led by the division of Brig. Gen. James C. Veatch, crossed Nickajack Creek near Ruff's Mills, then plowed into the corps of Gen. John B. Hood. Some Union troops met unexpectedly stiff resistance on the extreme left, held by the mounted division of Brig. Gen. William H. Jackson, and the Georgia militia under maj. Gen. Gustavus W. Smith, and the Confederates fell back in disorder. But the bulk of Dodge's corps- aided by a XV Corps division, 2 XVII Corps regiments, plus an infantry brigade and the cavalry of the Army of the Ohio- secured a lodgement 1 mile beyond Nickajack Creek. With Federals now closer to the Chattahootchee than Johnston's main body, another Confederate retreat was inevitable.
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