After Johnston retreated to Allatoona Pass on May 19-20, 1864, Sherman decided that he would most likely pay dearly for attacking Johnston there, so he determined to move around Johnston's left flank and steal a march toward Dallas.
Johnston anticipated Sherman's move and met the Union forces at New Hope Church. Sherman mistakenly surmised that Johnston had a token force and ordered Major General Joseph Hooker's corps to attack. This corps was severely mauled.
On the 26th, both sides en-trenched, and skirmishing continued throughout the day.
Historical Marker Inscription:
Lt. Gen. J. B. Hood’s A.C. [CS], having marched from the Etowah River, reached New Hope Ch., May 25, 1864, in time to halt Gen. J. W. Geary’s (2d) div., 20th A.C. [US], which had detoured near Owens’ Mill enroute to Dallas by New Hope.
Checked by Hood’s outposts near the mill, the Federals advanced and struck Stewart’s div. [CS] astride the road at this point -- the left brigade (Stovall’s) in the cemetery, with no intrenchments.
Followed then several hours of bitter conflict -- late afternoon and night -- in rain and thunderstorm. Battle renewed next day.
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