Once the Confederates established a defensive perimeter around the town, Union forces lead by William Sherman began assaulting those positions. The Union Army of the Ohio, which was under the command of John Schofield, attacked first in the dawn hours of May 14. One of Schofield's division commanders, however, was drunk, and his attack was poorly planned and horrible executed. Later on that day, Union forces captured high ground west of the town which secured a superior artillery position above Johnston's potential line of retreat.
Four Confederate artillery pieces were placed ahead of the main Confederate defensive line but Union forces assaulted this position and forced the Confederate soldiers manning the artillery pieces to surrender their position. However, the Union had to fall back due to heavy small arms fire and the Union was not able to take advantage until after Confederate forces began their retreat.
Johnston recognized that Union forces were outflanking his position and ordered his men to retreat in the dead of night. His men moved further south and burned bridges in their wake. Union forces repaired the bridges and the chase began leading to the Battle of Adairsville.