By mid-Spring 1864, war clouds were building over Georgia. Union General William T. Sherman was building a huge army and supply base in Chattanooga, preparing to launch a major offensive against Atlanta. Form his stronghold in Dalton, Confederate commander General Joseph Johnston was preparing for the onslaught, making sure his critical supply and communication line to Atlanta, The Western and Atlantic Railroad was protected.
Sherman unleashed his army in early May against a Confederate army half its strength. The Confederates managed to parry the Union thrusts, withdrawing slowly along the railroad. But Sherman kept slowly moving south toward Atlanta and finally, in July 1864, Johnston ran out of time.
At the last natural barrier between the Sherman and the City of Atlanta, the people of Sandy Springs met the full force of the Federal Army.