After Gen. Joseph E. Johnston retreated to Allatoona Pass on May 19-20, Maj. Gen. Sherman determined to move around Johnston’s left flank rather than attack the strong Confederate defenses at Allatoona. On May 23, Sherman set his troops in motion toward Dallas. Johnston anticipated Sherman’s move and blocked the Federals at New Hope Church. Believing the Confederates at New Hope were merely a token force, Sherman ordered Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker’s corps to attack. Advancing over rough terrain and running headlong into Confederate earthworks, Hooker's men were severely mauled. Both sides dug in, and skirmishing continued throughout the following day.