Between the dates of May 25-26 in 1864, The Battle of New Hope Church was fought in what is now Dallas, Georgia. Union General William T. Sherman led his troops down to Georgia against Confederate General Joseph E. Johnson. As one of the more tragic battles in Georgia, the Union came in with 16,000 troops and had 1,665 casualties while the Confederates came in with 4000 troops and had 400 casualties. Overall, the Battle of New Hope Church was won by the Confederates.
Before the battle, Union forces
intercepted messages from Confederate General John E. Johnston, stating the
entire Confederate army was heading to Dallas. Believing that General
Johnston had taken a stand north of the Chattahoochee River at Marietta, Union
General William Tecumseh Sherman stated that the Union army had taken Dallas
and moved to meet General Johnston. To lead this expedition, General
Sherman ordered Major General Joseph Hooker to lead.
In May 1864, General Joseph Hooker
along with the rest of the Union troops marched to Georgia. Waiting for
them was Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston and his troops. Sherman
knew that his attack on Atlanta meant taking down the base of the Confederate
army. As Hooker
and his men arrived in Atlanta, Johnston out maneuvered every attack Hooker
shot towards them. Johnston and Lieutenant General John Bell Hood had
directed the Union to New Hope Church. Johnston purposefully directed the
Union there so the Confederate troops could attack. Hooker and Sherman had both
believed there would be no real resistance until their forces got further
south past Dallas. Hooker learned from captured Confederate soldiers
that Hood's whole corps was at New Hope Church and that Hood could potential
destroy their forces.
As the Confederate forces attacked
the Union troops, Hooker and his men had nowhere else to go. As the
battle continued, it was said that there was a huge storm that raged throughout
the town. The storm was very severe and it was said that the cries of the
Union soldiers could be heard over the sounds of thunder and lightning.
At this point the Union troops struggled to find shelter and other open spaces
to avoid gun fire. Sherman then declared his troops were to
withdrawal. This was a major victory for the Confederates.
New Hope Church is now considered to
be haunted. Historians say that New Hope is known for being an eerie and
unnerving place. Many people say they have felt breezes while visiting
the historical site and have also found images that look to be ghosts within
pictures they have taken.