The Battle of Dallas - Logan's Counterattack
—Atlanta Campaign Heritage Trail —
By Saturday, May 28, 1864, fierce Confederate resistance at New Hope Church (on May 25th) and Pickett's Mill (May 27th) had convinced Union Major General William T. Sherman to move his armies eastward back to the Western and Atlantic Railroad to reestablish their supply line from Chattanooga. Commanding Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston ordered Major General William B. Bate's division of Lieutenant General William J. Hardee's corps to probe the Federal lines of Major General John A. Logan's 15th Corps. Bate's division was to determine whether the Federal trenches were still occupied. The Confederates hoped to catch the Federals moving in the open.
Brigadier General Frank C. Armstrong's Mississippi and Alabama dismounted cavalry brigade began the Confederate advance. They were joined by Brigadier General L. Sullivan "Sul" Ross's cavalry brigade of Texans. At 3-45 pm on the 28th Armstrong's men began moving west along this front. If they found Federal troops were still entrenched in strength they were to report that information to General Bate. The planned advance of three infantry brigades would then be cancelled. Armstrong's brigade approached skirmishers in Union Colonel Reuben Williams' Illinois and Indiana infantry brigade and three 10-pounder Parrott rifled cannon of the 1st Iowa Battery Light Artillery Regiment.
This vulnerable position was approximately 200 yards southwest just outside an entrenched fishhook-shaped hilltop. Union Captain Charles W. Wills of the 103rd Illinois Infantry Regiment reported, "A heavy column of Rebels rose from a brush with a yell the devil ought to copyright, broke for and took three guns."
General Logan ordered more Federal infantry shifted to meet this threat. As the Confederates advanced further they encountered a much stronger Federal position on the eastern and southern brow of the hill. Captain Francis DeGress's four 20-pounder Parrot rifled cannon of Battery H, 1st Illinois Light Artillery Regiment, were placed along its summit. Confederate Lieutenant Colonel Frank A. Montgomery wrote, "...the enemy's battery [was] on the crest of the hill and in our immediate front. Just behind it were "strong works literally filled with soldiers, and it was impossible to hold what we had gained."
More important, General Armstrong learned that Logan's 15th Corps was still entrenched and not withdrawing.
General Logan personally led the effort to recapture the three Federal cannon. Captain Wills wrote, "Logan came dashing up along our line, waved his hat and told the boys to give them hell, boys.' You should have heard them cheer him."
Logan met the 6th Iowa Infantry Regiment of Colonel Charles Walcutt's brigade in Brigadier
General William Harrow's division and counterattacked. Logan suffered a slight arm wound while forcing the Confederates to retreat. Confederate casualties totaled 171 while Federal casualties were fewer than 150. General Armstrong informed General Bate that the Federals were still entrenched behind strong fortifications. Consequently Bate cancelled his division's main attack. However, Bate's order was not properly forwarded to two of his brigades. Receiving no cancellation message they attacked Federal positions just to the north with