The battle of Pickett’s Mill (see image) was a minor one during Sherman’s Atlanta campaign, being sandwiched between the better known engagements at New Hope Church and Dallas. Its result was the loss of 1600 bluecoats to only 500 Confederates making it a clear-cut Rebel victory. According to the video at the park’s visitor center, Sherman chose to completely ignore the battle when penning his official report as well as his post-war memoirs, perhaps due to not only the battle’s obscurity but also the tremendous Yankee losses. Based on the ratio of casualties to troops engaged, this was one of the bloodiest battles during the Atlanta campaign.
Apparently, only one book-length study has been written over the years that describe this battle. Written by Morton McInvale, that book is titled The Battle of Pickett’s Mill: Foredoomed to Oblivion and was published in 1977 by the state of Georgia. The subtitle is taken from the story The Crime at Pickett’s Mill, which was written by a young Ambrose Bierce and who was also a participant in the battle. It can be found in Shadows of Blue and Gray: The Civil War Writings of Ambrose Bierce. McInvale’s 175-page paperback is long out of print though a park ranger told me that the state is considering reissuing it. It’s also quite scarce for I could find only one copy on ABE and it’s priced at $50. Though the retelling of the battle itself may have been initially “foredoomed to oblivion,” the battlefield has been wonderfully preserved. Any civil warrior visiting Atlanta will want to check it out.