||Earlier, Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s forces had approached Atlanta from the east and north. Hood
had not defeated them, but he had kept them away from the city. Sherman now decided to attack from the west. He
ordered the Army of the Tennessee, commanded by Maj. Gen. O.O. Howard, to move from the left wing to the
right and cut Hood’s last railroad supply line between East Point and Atlanta. Hood foresaw such a maneuver and
determined to send the two corps of Lt. Gen. Stephen D. Lee and Lt. Gen. Alexander P. Stewart to intercept and
destroy the Union force. Thus, on the afternoon of July 28, the Rebels assaulted Howard at Ezra Church. Howard
had anticipated such a thrust, entrenched one of his corps in the Confederates’ path, and repulsed the determined
attack, inflicting numerous casualties. Howard, however, failed to cut the railroad.