Determined not to make the disastrous Kennesaw Mountain mistake again and attack a strongly-fortified position (see yesterday’s discussion of the Smyrna defenses, which, by the way, still exist in part and are available for viewing), Sherman starts scanning for possible crossings for the Chattahoochee. There are several fords on the Hooch (as we call it). Roswell was 16 miles upstream, Soap Creek was about 10 miles away, and Cochran Shoals was within an hour’s jaunt. The Union Army seizes Roswell on 7 July (much to the delight of the town’s “professional women” who were glad to be out of the war zone).
With Union forces across the river, Johnston has no choice but to abandon his lovely fortifications and pull back to the outer defenses of Atlanta. A jubilant Sherman joins his men jumping nekkid into the river to wash away two months’ worth of campaign grit and grime; their first real chance for a rest. This is 9 July. The fun is about to start.