Closing in on Atlanta in July 1864, Maj. Gen. W.T. Sherman, USA, found its vast fortifications "too strong to assault and too extensive to invest." To force an evacuation, he sent Maj. Gen. George Stoneman's cavalry [US] (2112 men and 2 guns) to cut the Central of Georgia R.R. by which the city's defenders [CS] were supplied. Retreating from an attempt on Macon, Stoneman was intercepted on the 31st at Sunshine Church (19 miles NE of Macon) by Brig. Gen. Alfred Iverson, Jr., who, with only 1300 cavalry [CS], deluded him into believing that he was being surrounded. Stoneman covered the escape of Adams' and Capron's brigades, then he surrendered, with about 600 men and his artillery and train, to what Iverson had convinced him was a superior force.
Clear of the field, both brigades marched toward Eatonton (22 miles S). At Murder Creek (8 miles SW of Eatonton), Capron turned toward Rutledge (9 miles W), through which he passed next day and joined Adams north of Madison. Adams continued to Eatonton and camped about five miles north of town on the Madison road.
Reaching Madison about 2 P.M. on August 1st, Adams "destroyed a large amount of commissary and quartermaster stores" and other property. Marching on, he met Capron and camped about midnight "twelve miles from the bridge crossing the Oconee River, near Athens." Separated again next day, Adams reached the Union lines safely; but Capron, resting for two hours near Winder, was surprised before dawn on August 3rd and lost his entire command.