Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston  assumed the Federals were making another flanking movement. On Saturday the 4th, amid a rainstorm, he shifted his the Army of Tennessee from the New Hope Church area to Lost Mountain and Gilgal Church (at the important crossroads where the Sandtown Road from the north met the Burnt Hickory Road from the northwest) six miles west of Marietta.  On June 5, his line was extended northeastward to include Pine Mountain and Brush Mountain where his engineers had previously prepared defensive works. Johnston, once again, had positioned himself in W. T. Sherman’s path before the Federals could complete their movement.  Johnston’s “mountain line” was stretched about ten miles, almost to the breaking point.

Following in rear of Patrick Cleburne’s troops, Benjamin Cheatham’s Division (including soldiers from all of Tipton County’s infantry companies in the 4th, 9th, 51st and 154th Tennessee Regiments) withdrew from the New Hope Church area after dark on the 4th and marched to the southeast to near Pine Mountain joining William B. Bate’s Division.

The journal of D. C. Neal, 51st Tennessee, tells of the activities of Tipton’s men in Colonel John C. Carter’s Brigade:

“June 2nd:  Pleasant morning; heavy skirmishing; I carry rations to my Regiment this morning; the Boys are in fine spirits; 2 o’clock, there seems to be a general engagement on our right late in the evening…our Pickets advanced 2 miles this evening, found no enemy…Col. Estes returned to the Regiment this evening.

“June 3rd:  Weather quite pleasant…some firing on the right this morning; everything quiet in front of our Division; all of our reserve artillery is ordered to the right.  Major  (John P.) Trezevant  is still near the Church with the rations and cook detail; late in the evening we are ordered to move to the right some 5 miles with rations; we are now on the Marietta and Dates? Road near the line of battle  but it is 5 miles from our Division; the enemy threw some shells at our train this evening (and) wounded one of my Regiment, Mr.  (William?) White.

“June 4th: Raining this morning; I went to the troops at 12 o’clock to night found them ready to move; they were going to the right; at 1 o’clock the order was countermanded.  A. D. Merrill and W. (Winston Carter) Faulk arrived to the Regiment today from West Tennessee…we have orders to move to the right; Jessy Henderson was killed today by a picket while in the act of moving off from the breastworks.  We traveled all night just after and in the rain on the muddiest roads that was ever seen, except about Corinth and Monterey.  We traveled by the Lost Mountain; halted 3 miles from the Mountain to cook rations; the Boys are all broke down but the cooking must be done, the Division is in line of battle and hungry.

“June 5th, Sunday morning; our troops in line; issue rations and whiskey to them.  Today, if whiskey ever did troops good it is this time after such a march through the rain and mud for 12 hours.  A great many of the boys left their shoes in the mud and could not find them they sunk so deep in the mud; this is the 27th day of the fight, (and) we are now 5 miles from the beautiful little city of Marietta; we have moved 5 miles on the line, 1 mile from our Division Hosptial (and) 3 miles from the troops cooking rations.  Captain John T. Beavridge attended to the burying of Jessy Henderson today. (A) man was shot through the foot while we move on our way to this point by accident by one of our own men.”

Jeff Ireland is The Leader's sports editor. To contact him, call 901-476-7116 or email jireland@covingtonleader.com.​

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