M45-JULY 1864

Federal forces continued their siege of Petersburg, south of the Confederate capital of Richmond. In the Shenandoah Valley, Confederates attempted a northern invasion to relieve Federal pressure on Petersburg. In Georgia, Federals edged closer to the key city of Atlanta, prompting a Confederate command change. In Washington, Radical Republicans pushed President Lincoln to impose more punitive reconstruction policies.

Combat outside Atlanta | Image Credit: SouthernSpaces.org

Georgia: Johnston Falls Back to the Chattahoochee

1 Jul – Joseph E. Johnston, commanding the Confederate Army of Tennessee, looked to fall back once again after William T. Sherman’s three Federal armies threatened to outflank him north of Atlanta.

The Washington Raid: Early Reaches Winchester

2 Jul – Jubal Early’s Confederate Army of the Valley arrived at Winchester as it moved north “down” Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley toward Maryland.

The Wade-Davis Bill: Congressional Reconstruction

3 Jul – The U.S. Congress passed a measure that aimed to supersede Abraham Lincoln’s “Ten Percent Plan” for bringing Confederate states back into the Union after the war.

The Wade-Davis Bill: Executive Response

4 Jul – Abraham Lincoln was presented with a bill outlining the congressional plan for reconstructing the Union, and his reaction outraged many.

The Niagara Peace Talks

5 Jul – Influential newspaper editor Horace Greeley begged Abraham Lincoln to meet with Confederate agents who were supposedly willing to discuss ways of ending the war.

The Washington Raid: Confederates Seize Hagerstown

6 Jul – Confederates from Jubal Early’s Army of the Valley captured Hagerstown, Maryland, as Federals scrambled to stop their drive on Washington.

Georgia: Sherman Crosses the Chattahoochee

8 Jul – Leading elements of William T. Sherman’s Federal forces began crossing the Chattahoochee River and getting ever closer to the vital railroad and industrial city of Atlanta.

The Battle of the Monocacy

9 Jul – A makeshift Federal force hurried to block Jubal Early’s Confederate Army of the Valley as it marched toward Washington.

The Battle of Fort Stevens

11 Jul – Jubal Early’s Confederate Army of the Valley spread panic throughout Washington by reaching the capital’s suburbs and attacking a portion of the city’s defenses.

Georgia: Davis Contemplates a Command Change

12 Jul – Jefferson Davis grew exceedingly impatient with Joseph E. Johnston’s constant retreats and began considering replacing him as commander of the Confederate Army of Tennessee.

The Washington Raid Ends

13 Jul – Following his unsuccessful attempt to capture Fort Stevens, Jubal Early led his Confederate Army of the Valley away from the outskirts of Washington and back into Maryland.

The Battle of Tupelo

14 Jul – Federal forces held off an assault from Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Confederate cavalry, but Forrest remained a major threat in the region.

Petersburg: The Tunneling Expedition Continues

15 Jul – As the Federals outside Petersburg settled in for long-term siege operations, Confederates finally began digging countermines to try to find the Federals supposedly tunneling under their lines.

Jefferson Davis Discusses Peace

16 Jul – Two Federal operatives were permitted to go to Richmond to negotiate a possible peace with Jefferson Davis.

Hood Replaces Johnston

17 Jul – Jefferson Davis gambled by replacing Joseph E. Johnston as commander of the Confederate Army of Tennessee with the untried John Bell Hood.

Sherman Prepares to Move Again

19 Jul – William T. Sherman’s Federal armies launched their long-anticipated drive on Atlanta.

The Battle of Peachtree Creek

20 Jul – Two days after taking command of the Confederate Army of Tennessee, John Bell Hood attacked a portion of William T. Sherman’s Federal forces north of Atlanta.

Atlanta: Federals Capture Bald Hill

21 Jul – Following the Battle of Peachtree Creek, Federal forces seized an important ridge east of Atlanta.

The Battle of Atlanta

22 Jul – John Bell Hood’s Confederates hoped to destroy a portion of William T. Sherman’s Federal force by attacking the army east of Atlanta.

Early Prepares Another Offensive

23 Jul – Jubal Early and his Confederate army looked to follow up their raid on Washington with another advance northward “down” the Shenandoah Valley.

The Second Battle of Kernstown

24 Jul – Jubal Early’s Confederates defeated Federal forces under George Crook and drove them out of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.

The Deep Bottom Engagement

26 Jul – As the Petersburg siege continued, Ulysses S. Grant directed the Army of the Potomac to launch an ancillary attack on the Confederate defenses southeast of Richmond.

Atlanta: The Federal Wheel Starts Turning

27 Jul – William T. Sherman prepared to move his three armies around the west and south of Atlanta to try wresting that city from John Bell Hood’s Confederate Army of Tennessee.

The Battle of Ezra Church

28 Jul – General John Bell Hood’s Confederate Army of Tennessee looked to attack one of Major General William T. Sherman’s Federal armies while in motion and isolated from the rest of Sherman’s command.

Petersburg: Federals Poised to Attack

29 Jul – The final preparations were made to detonate gunpowder in a tunnel below the Confederate lines at Petersburg.

The Battle of the Crater

30 Jul – An ill-fated plan to detonate gunpowder under the Confederate trenches at Petersburg, Virginia, resulted in a disastrous Federal defeat.

Early Moves North Again

30 Jul – Lieutenant General Jubal Early launched another northern invasion, with one of his Confederate detachments raiding Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

The Stoneman-McCook Debacle

31 Jul – Confederates from the Army of Tennessee confronted and nearly wiped out one of Major General William T. Sherman’s cavalry commands trying to wreck the railroad south of Atlanta.


Last Updated: 8/1/2019