After a couple of minor, but morale-boosting, successes at New Hope Church and Pickett’s Mill, Confederate Commander Joseph E. Johnston hoped at Dallas to continue the reboot of his staccato defence against the Union invasion. Noticing troop withdrawals by his Union Counterpart William Sherman’s eastern flank, Johnston ordered Brigadier General William Bate to probe the enemy defences in the area of Dallas to establish whether an attack was feasible. Faulty intelligence would now be compounded by faulty communication. Despite Union General McPherson’s being present in force and well entrenched, a speculative attack was ordered by Armstrong’s dismounted cavalry. If resistance proved fierce, the attack was to be discontinued. Resistance was indeed fierce, but the signal to pull back was not received, and Bullock and Lewis also charged forward into devastating fire. The Confederates suffered 1,200 casualties before being forced to withdraw. Momentum had been restored to the Union.
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