News of Federal crossings of the Chattahoochee July 17, 1864 prompted the building of a defense line N & E of Atlanta, by the forces of Gen. Hood, C.S.A., who assumed command July 18. The E.-W. line crossed Howell Mill Rd. here. Gen. A.P. Stewart's A. C. [CS] occupied this sector; French's div. W. (army left flank, Casey's Hill); Walthall's, at center; Loring's, to the eastward.
July 20. After line adjustment, Walthall's div., astride Howell Mill Rd., moved N. (about 4 P.M.) to attack the Federal 20th A. C.; Reynolds' brigade was W. of the rd., O'Neal's east of it. Loring's div. (E. of O'Neal) also attacked. French's div. [CS] was held in reserve, facing the 14th A. C. [US].