The last letter from William Patterson was on December 6, 1863, written at Mission Ridge, Tennessee, after the battle of Missionary Ridge. Since then, the 1st OVI went into winter camp near Chattanooga, Tennessee. On May 4, 1864, the 1st joined General Sherman’s “Atlanta Campaign.” The regiment was assigned to the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Divsion, 4th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland. The 4th Army Corps was under the command of Major General Oliver S. Howard.
On May 10, 1864 the 1st OVI had its first skirmish of the campaign when they attacked Confederate forces at Buzzard’s Roost — part of an overall Union effort to take Rocky Face Ridge. The attack was unsuccessful. After several more failed efforts, General Thomas, commander of the Army of Cumberland, convinced General Sherman that Rocky Face Ridge could not be carried. On May 11th, General Sherman left Howard’s IV Corps to keep up the appearance of an attack on Dalton, Georgia, while the rest of the army moved through Snake Creek Gap towards Resaca, Georgia. On May 13th, the Confederates learned from prisoners where the Union army was headed and withdrew from their positions on Rocky Face Ridge and marched to Resaca. Howard’s corps then occupied Dalton, Georgia.