In honor of Pvt. Nathan R. Oakes, CSA

150 years ago, my great grandfather, Nathan Richardson Oakes, served as a private in Company D of the distinguished 32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment in the Army of Tennessee. He participated in the great Civil War campaigns, including the battles of Perryville, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Atlanta, Franklin, Nashville, and Bentonville. I am writing about his engagements as well as some details about fighting for the Lost Cause. I hope to honor him and commemorate the events and individuals that contributed to making this a renowned unit in the Confederate Army of Tennessee.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Withdrawal to Kennesaw

For several days after the Battles of New Hope Church, near Dallas, Georgia, Confederate Gen. Joseph Johnston held his army in position against Gen. William T. Sherman's opposing force. On today's date in 1864, certain that Sherman was attempting to flank his army and take the Western & Atlantic Railroad, his lifeline to Atlanta, Johnston ordered his army to withdraw southeast to a position where his communications with Atlanta could be protected.

At 1:00 AM on the 5th, Great Grandfather Nathan Oakes's division, Patrick R. Cleburne's, marched in a downpour on dark and muddy roads to a new Confederate line, which included Kennesaw, Lost, and Pine Mountains. Cleburne's Division was ordered to the line on the northwestern edge of Kennesaw Mountain, near Gilgal Church. On the 8th, Johnston will again shift his line to cover the roads leading south from Ackworth. Cleburne's Division, however, remained at Gilgal Church until the 16th.

Sources: Pat Cleburne: Confederate General, Howell & Elizabeth Purdue; The Army of Tennessee, Stanley F. Horn; The Confederate Veteran,Vol. 5, 1897

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