In Georgia the
main Confederate army was under the command of General Joseph E.
Johnston. He placed his men in a strong position on Rocky Face Ridge.
Major General William Sherman, the Union commander, needed to defeat
his army or get past him to continue south towards Atlanta. Johnston
hoped that Sherman would attack his position from the front, so he
could defeat him in a defensive battle. Sherman, however, was not
that foolish. Instead he skirmished with the Confederates on their
front while another column moved around their southern flank. When
Sherman withdrew all of his forces from Johnston's front to march
around his flank, Johnston made a move that would become
characteristic of the campaign – he retreated. Johnston was
unwilling to risk an attack on Sherman and was unable to prevent a
flanking movement, so he fell back towards Resaca 150 years ago