The Kum River has been wrapped to the north and west around the city, forming a line of defense 10 to 25 miles from the outskirts of Taejon, surrounded to the south by the Sobaek Mountains. With large railway nodes and numerous roads leading in all directions of the country, Taejon was an important transportation hub between Seoul and Taegu, which gave it great strategic value for both American and North Korean forces.  The division tried to make a final stand at Taejon, the last place it could perform a delayed action before North Korean forces converged on the unfinished perimeter of Pusan.  On 22 July, the 24th Infantry Division was discharged by the 1st Cavalry Division. He was placed under the command of Major General John H. Church, in the absence of Dean, whose location was unknown. After three weeks of fighting, the division had suffered nearly 30 per cent of the casualties.  Historians attribute the heavy tactical losses of the 24th Infantry Division to a lack of training, equipment and availability, which has long been in professional service in Japan and without training.  Each regiment had only two infantry battalions as opposed to the normal three.  A large number of men had to be removed from the ranks by the fatigue of the fighting.  Morale was extremely low for soldiers exhausted by sleepless days.  Losses among the division`s officers were extremely significant, forcing younger officers and NCOs to take leadership positions, normally held by more experienced officers.  In addition to the casualties, the efforts of the 24th Infantry Division also hampered the lack of equipment.
The losses of previous fighting reduced artillery support to two battalions.  Communication equipment, weapons and ammunition were limited and large quantities of equipment had been lost or destroyed in previous operations. Most of the radios available in the division were not working, and batteries, communication cables and communication phones between units were rare, with some companies having only one radio for a single team.  North Korean troops put pressure on the entire battalion and threatened to subdue it. The regimental commander ordered all soldiers and officers to fire at the line, and they were able to repel the attack. In close combat, North Korean troops infiltrated their rear, attacked reserve troops and blocked power lines. The 19th Infantry was unable to maintain the line on the Kum River, while rejecting the North Korean armed forces.  The first two medals of honour of the Korean War were awarded for the Battle of Taejon.  For his actions on the front line, Dean received the first Medal of Honor, although he remained a prisoner of the North Koreans until the end of the war (published in September 1953).  A second soldier, Sergeant George D. Libby, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for committing soldiers wounded during the evacuation: he crossed bombed streets several times to evacuate them.