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The Battle of Leggett's Hill

July 21, 1864 in City/County, Georgia

Union Forces Commanded by:
Maj. Gen. Francis P. Blair
Forces Killed Wounded Captured
- - - -

Confederate Forces Commanded by:
Maj. Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne
Forces Killed Wounded Captured
- - - -

**Missing and Captured
Conclusion: Union Victory


On July 20th, as Gen. John B. Hood's Confederates battled maj. Gen. George H. Thomas's Federals along Peach Tree Creek, northeast of Atlanta, the balance of Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's forces advanced on the city from the east. That afternoon, Sherman's Army of the Tennessee, under the direct command of Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson, pressed Confederate skimishers into the city's works. At length, McPherson drew up about 2.5 miles from Atlanta, his XV Corps forming his right flanl, Maj. Gen. Francis P. Blair's XVII Corps going into position farther south. A long burst of rifle fire flamed out o0f Confederate works, persuading Sherman to delay an assault along McPherson's front.
One point on the Confederate line, an eminence just southwest of Blair's position known as Bald Hill, offered particular resistance. On its tree-clad summit, well-entrenched Confederates raked Blair's left with a galling fire; those wounded by it included Brig. Gen. Walter Q. Gresham, leader of Blair's 4th Division. To remove this deadly annoyance, McPherson ordered Blair to attack the hill. Blair relayed the order to Brig. Gen. mortimer D. Leggett, leader of his 3rd Division. Since Leggett apparently did not receive the order before darkness fell, he prepared an assault for the next morning.
At sunrise on the 21st, Leggett went forward, Brig. Gen. manning F. Force's Illinois and Wisconsin brigade in the lead, the rest of the division behind. On the right, Gresham's division, now being led by Brig. Gen. Giles A. Smith, advanced to nuetralize opponents in its front.
Before Force reached the hill, its summit was swept by a torrent of artillery fire from the batteries in his rear. Without this covering fire, an attack on a hill so steep, crowned by works so strong, would have been suicidal. With such assistance, Force's men scrambled up the slope and drove out the defenders at bayonet point. Leggett's men absorbed perhaps 350 casaulties. Supporting troops, including Giles Smith's, lost as many.
Their prize was perhaps worth the prize; atop what soon became known as Leggett's Hill, the Federals built, an Ohio officer sais, "almost a Gibralter". From there, the guns could fire into Atlanta and enfilade a large section of its works.
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