In July, 1864, Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman's army [US] closed in on Atlanta. Finding its fortifications "too strong to assault and too extensive to invest," he sought to force its fall by sending Maj. Gen. George Stoneman, with three cavalry brigades (2112 men and 2 guns) to cut the Central of Georgia R.R. by which the city's defenders [CS] were supplied. On the 27th, Stoneman left Decatur, crossed the Ocmulgee (Yellow) River near Covington (46 miles NW), and turned down the left bank toward Macon.
On the 30th, at Clinton (7 miles S), he detached parties of the 14th Illinois Cavalry which wrecked railway facilities at Gordon, McIntyre and Toomsboro (SE of Clinton) and at Griswoldville (SSE). They burned trains, loaded cars on sidings, machinery, supplies, trestles and the railway bridge over the Oconee River east of Toomsboro. Stoneman advanced to Macon (19 miles SW) where he was stopped by Georgia Militia, strongly intrenched. Unable to force their works, he shelled Macon briefly, then attempted to retreat.
Next morning, Sunday the 31st, after a night of harassment, he was brought to bay at this point by Brig. Gen. Alfred Iverson, Jr., who, with only 1300 cavalry [CS] had marched to intercept him.
Deceived by Iverson into believing that he was being surrounded, his men exhausted and ammunition running low, Stoneman covered the escape northward of Adams' and Capron's brigades; then he surrendered himself, with about 600 men and his artillery and train, to what Iverson had led him to believe was a much larger force.