Confederate cavalry, commanded by Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler raided the northern part of Georgia to disrupt William T. Sherman's supply lines and destroy railroad track. On August 18 Wheeler demanded the surrender of the Union garrison at Dalton, Georgia commanded by Colonel Bernard Laiboldt. Laibodlt refused and successfully held out within the fortifications even though fighting continued until midnight.
On August 15 Wheeler called off the attack on Dalton. Union forces from the District of Etowah commanded by Maj. Gen.James B. Steedman arrived from Chattanooga and engaged Wheeler's cavalry as they began to retire. Fighting between Wheeler and Steedman continued for four hours before the Union forces, including a detachment of United States Colored Troops, drove off the Confederates.
The amount of damage inflicted by Wheeler's force during the battle was debatable. Nevertheless, Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas reported the track south of Dalton was quickly repaired and trains were running by August 17.