I am responding briefly from my office. Attached is a block and copied section from the family history I am working on, concerning Ezra Church. I don't seem to have written in much detail on this action; perhaps because I was more interested in Ferguson's Brigade. Armstrong is an interesting individual. He was brigade commander of my Weatherford's unit earlier, in the period June 1862 to Spring 1863. Armstrong stayed in Tennessee after the mid-Tennessee raids of Spring 1863, and fought with the Army of Tenn. He returned to Mississippi around Spring 1864, perhaps due to conflcits with Wheeler, just before Red Jacksons cavalry division was ordered to Georgia. Armstrong fought at Manassas in a regular U.S. Cavalry unit (as a junior officer), and only after the battle resigned and went south. He is therefore the only general of the war to have fought, at one time or another, on both sides.
In general, Jackson's cavalry division (Armstrong's, Ross's, and Ferguson's briagdes) was on the Confederate left from the time they arrived in Georgia in May to the fallback to Atlanta itself. There was a lot of fighting. I have down that Jackson's Division was in action at New Hope Church/Picket's Mill, and that at Dallas, Armstrong's Brigade dismounted and joined Bate's Division in an attack. Jackson's divsion also fought against Scofield's Army of the Ohio while the rest of the Union army was attacking Kennesaw Mountain. Armstrong's Brigade also played a major role in countering Kilpatrick's cavalry raid against Lovejoy Station in August (after Ezra Church).
"Ezra Church – July 28, 1864
After the Battle of Atlanta, Sherman appointed Oliver Howard to take over the lost McPherson’s place as commander of the Army of the Tennessee. The Army of the Tennessee was shifted from east of Atlanta, where it fought on July 22nd, to the west of Atlanta. Sherman shifted the army around so that it could cut rail lines leading to Atlanta from the south and southwest. Sherman seems to have felt that, after the two vicious battles fought in the prior week, the Confederates would not take the offensive again.
Sherman was wrong. The Confederates detected the move, and Hood sent Stephen D. Lee, who just arrived from Mississippi to take command of Hood’s old corps, to intercept Howard. As you will recall, the Weatherfords’ units were well acquainted with Lee – he had been commander of all Confederate cavalry in Mississippi since August 1863. As seen in the Chapter on the War in Northern Mississippi, Lee and Forrest fought Union forces at Tupelo only two weeks earlier. Lee, at age 30, was young for the position. Lee had two divisions of his corps, and two from Stewart’s. The attack was made on July 28th. However, Howard sensed something was wrong, and had his men dug in and prepared. The Confederates were repulsed and suffered around 3,000 casualties, to a Union loss of only about 630.
Armstrong’s Brigade was involved in the battle; it is not clear from the books I have reviewed if Ferguson’s or Ross’s Brigades played a role. There is an order from F.A. Shoup, Hood’s Chief of Staff, to Wheeler on the evening of July 27th, which in part states, “General Ferguson’s Brigade will move to the right tonight.” Did Shoup mean the right of the whole Confederate Army, which would have been the opposite side of Atlanta, or the right of Stephen Lee’s forces facing Howard? Ferguson’s memoirs indicate he was in the area, as he noted he went to Lee’s tent the night after the battle and that Lee was in “agony” over the losses (Ferguson misidentified the battle as Peachtree Creek, which could not be, as Lee was still in Mississippi or in transit to Georgia at that time). Also, I have been advised by Larry Lambert, whose great great grandfather John Thomas was a member of the 12th Mississippi Battalion (Basil and Martin Weatherford’s unit), that Thomas’ military record shows he was wounded at Ezra Church."