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Week 4

May 12 - May 18

It is mid-May, 1864. Johnston’s army is entrenched at Resaca, protecting the railroad from Union troops. Having failed at Dalton, Sherman launches his attacks. Union Colonel Benjamin Harrison’s troops capture a fort with cannons. Both armies compete for ownership; the Union prevails. Nearly trapped again by Sherman’s army, Johnston retreats south. Sherman nears Atlanta as residents grow anxious.

 

Episode Transcript

I’m Masud Olufani for the Atlanta History Center.

It is mid-May 1864. Sherman is now sixty-five miles north of Atlanta.

To protect the western & Atlantic Railroad, Johnston’s confederate army is entrenched at the town of Resaca along a line over four miles wide across Sherman’s path.

Frustrated by his failure at Dalton the week before, Sherman quickly launches a series of attacks.

Union troops led by Colonel Benjamin Harrison capture a small fort containing Confederate cannons.

But when Harrison’s men are pushed back, the cannons are left between the Confederate and union lines, fifty yards apart.

“Come on – take those guns!” Shout the Confederates.

“Take ‘em yourselves!” The Yankees reply.

After dark, Union troops crawl toward the guns, and dig through the fortifications. Attaching ropes, they drag the guns to their lines under a hail of confederate gunfire.

Twenty-five years later, Benjamin Harrison running for president promotes this story – and wins.

While the battle rages at Resaca, part of Sherman’s army crosses the Oostanaula River behind Johnston’s lines.

For a second time, Johnston is about to be trapped…

Until he retreats south – again.

This week, Sherman moves within fifty miles of Atlanta, where residents are growing anxious.

I’m Masud Olufani and this is week four.

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