I recently finished the battle of Kolb’s Farm, a part of the Kennesaw Mountain arena of actions. This was probably the 58th NCT’s third highest casualty rate during the war.
Right now, I am on July 4, 1864, and a little affair called the battle of Ruff’s Mill. To be honest, I’ve never heard of Ruff’s Mill. I’ve traveled in the area extensively, I’ve been to numerous reenactments in the area (is this not the weekend when they used to have the event down by the river in Rome?), and I’ve read quite a bit, but Ruff’s Mill has slipped by unnoticed.
Conley, in his history of the Army of Tennessee, makes no mention of the battle. Castel in his history of the Atlanta Campaign only makes brief mention of the event. I’ve checked several other sources, but I’ve not come up with much.
Here is a little break down: Joe Johnston is retreating (big surprise). Sherman is advancing, but is unaware of the position of the Confederates to his front (big surprise). Joe Johnston has drawn his army up into a position known today as the Smyrna Line. Portions of the Federal army attack at Smyrna Camp Ground on the Confederate right, and at Ruff’s Mill on the Confederate left. Stevenson’s division of Hood’s corps is on the Confederate left, and bear the brunt of that attack, delivered by portions of Dodge’s corps. Now for my sticking point: some have written that Stevenson was positioned with two sets of breastworks, and the first was taken. However, not everyone, even the Federals, agree on that point. Private Dugger, my only 58th NCT source for this battle, simply writes that the Confederate skirmishers were driven in. So, I’m kind of stuck. Maybe Dugger is right, and the Confederates skirmishers were posted in a advance position in some type of works… I’m still digging into this.
Stevenson does position his division at the Chattahoochee line.
By the way, anyone know of the brigade placement of Stevenson’s division along the Smyrna line?