Sunday Afternoon Lecture on the Battle of Smyrna and Ruff’s Mill

First Sunday Lecture: “The Battle of Ruff’s Mill, July 4, 1864”


Sunday, July 2
3:00-4:00 p.m.
Smyrna Library, Meeting Room
Light refreshments will be served.
Speaker: Philip Ivester, Concord Covered Bridge Historic District Board President
Join the Friends of the Smyrna Library as Philip Ivester, current owner of the Ruff property, discusses new research and discoveries about the Battle of Ruff’s Mill. The Battle of Ruff’s Mill was fought along Concord Road during Confederate General Joseph Johnston’s retreat towards Atlanta. After U.S. General W. T. Sherman’s failed direct assault on Kennesaw Mountain, Sherman reverted to his standard flanking maneuvers, directing a massive army down the Sandtown road under cover of night toward what his maps indicated was Ruff’s Mills on the Nickajack Creek. This flanking operation had the desired effect, forcing Johnston to evacuate the stronghold of Kennesaw Mountain. Sherman anticipated that Johnston would be retreating all the way across the Chattahoochee River–no general would ever think of making a stand with his back so close to a major river. Sherman pressed his commanders to advance forward as quickly as they could to catch Confederate armies in the chaos of a retreat. What Sherman encountered next surprised him: Johnston had previously prepared two major defensive lines north of the Chattahoochee River. The first of these works extended from Smyrna Campground westward along Concord Road toward Ruff’s Mill, curving south to follow Nickajack Creek and its natural defenses. The Battle of Ruff’s Mill, also referred to as the Battle of Nickajack Creek, took place along the western section of this line.
Smyrna-native Philip Ivester, serves as CEO of Kennesaw-based Energy Management firm. His degree is in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech, but he is passionate about Smyrna history, having grown up in the historic Martin Luker Ruff house near the Concord Woolen Mill, Grist Mill, and Covered Bridge. Over the years he has done extensive research into the history of 19th-century communities known as Concord, Millgrove, Nickajack, and Tillman. He is President of the Friends of the Concord Covered Bridge Historic District and Treasurer of the Smyrna Historical Society.
Sunday Lectures are sponsored by the Friends of Smyrna Library.
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