The Atlanta marketing campaign of 1864 all the time appeared like a puzzle to me, replete with many items that require some focus so as to make them match right into a passable complete. Indeed, from the time that the federal drive underneath the command of Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman crossed the Tennessee-Georgia border on May 7 till the autumn of the town on Sept. 2, not less than 11 battles and maybe as many skirmishes had been fought.
Relatively little of the bottom that was so fiercely contested over 150 years in the past stays undisturbed – Atlanta boasts the third quickest rising metropolitan space within the nation – however one can nonetheless stroll among the terrain trod by the opposing armies by visiting the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.
For an summary of the entire marketing campaign, the guests middle on Old U.S. 41 is an effective place to begin. Don’t be alarmed if the car parking zone is full if you arrive; the park is common not solely with historical past buffs but in addition with mountain climbing lovers. The 2,888-acre park has loads of pathways; the truth is, one can hike the entire size of the property from the guests middle on the northern finish midway between Kennesaw and Marietta to Kolb’s Farm on the southern border.
The main factors of curiosity can be visited by automobile with useful parking spots close to every website. The drive from one finish to the opposite is alongside winding roads, a distance of about 9 miles if one might navigate in a straight line. The roads take one out and in of the park, which reads on the map like a gerrymandered congressional district.
A spotlight of my most up-to-date go to, the spot the place I might admire the wrestle of the opposing forces most vividly, is on Cheatham Hill, named for the Confederate General “Frank” Cheatham. From the car parking zone, one ascends the slope to the Confederate defensive positions whose earthworks are nonetheless seen. On June 27, 1864, three battalions of federal troops scrambled up the hill underneath heavy musket and artillery hearth; some made it proper as much as the enemy line earlier than having to stop ahead motion. Historians declare that the troops from Illinois, Indiana and Ohio “maintained their line” regardless of heavy losses.
Thus ended essentially the most vital frontal assault of the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. Eventually, as with many of the different engagements throughout the Atlanta marketing campaign, if he met heavy resistance in his path, as was the case on Cheatham Hill, Sherman would merely flank the enemy and carry on shifting towards his purpose.
The most imposing monument within the park is on Cheatham Hill, marking the farthest level that federal troops superior towards the closely entrenched Confederates. Dedicated in 1914, the fiftieth anniversary of the battle, the 25-foot-tall Illinois Monument is made from Georgia marble and boasts on a entrance ledge a bronze sculpture that includes three figures: a soldier at parade relaxation flanked by two Grecian maidens emblematic of each peace and victory.
The textual content on the monument makes particular point out of brigade commander Col. Dan McCook and the 480 males who died or had been wounded throughout the ascent of Cheatham Hill. McCook himself perished in motion, fatally wounded when he reached the highest of the enemy works. Before the assault, it’s mentioned that he learn to his males a part of the poem “Horatius” by British historian and poet Thomas Macaulay, together with the road: “Then how may man die better than facing fearful odds?”
The monument has a second characteristic. Just under the mound on which it rests, there’s a stone arch defending the doorway to a tunnel troopers dug in a useless try to undermine the Confederate defenses.
The most spectacular home construction remaining on the battlefield is the log cabin on what was as soon as the Kolb household farm. On June 22, 1864, in one more battle that’s a part of the Atlanta marketing campaign, a federal drive underneath Gen. Joseph Hooker repelled Confederate troops underneath Gen. John Bell Hood, whose failure to reconnoiter the topographical state of affairs that lay forward resulted within the lack of 1,500 males. The farmhouse was used as Hooker’s headquarters.
The Kolb household fled previous to the battle and didn’t reclaim their land till the Eighteen Eighties. The park service finally obtained possession of the property and restored the construction.
For extra info on the battlefield park, which serves as a magnet for historical past buffs and outside lovers alike, go to the National Park Service on the net.