June 17th, 1864

June 17th, 1864,

Heavy skirmishing continued along the Lost Mountain, Mud Creek, Brushy Mountain Line.  Heavy engagements happened in the area of Latimer’s Farm, now the Marietta Country Club.  Calvary actions were also happening continuously on both flanks.  General Johnston begins planning to move to his next defensive position at Kennesaw Mountain.  General Sherman, who has become frustrated, begins to contemplate a direct assault on the Confederate lines as opposed to a flanking movement.

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 Looking south east along Hwy 120 where it crosses Mud Creek.  The Confederates dug in atop the low rise in the distance in an attempt to stall the Federal advance as it crossed Mud Creek.  Many, if not all, of the earthworks are now gone and are covered my subdivisions and shopping centers.
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Confederate earthworks at the far left (west end) of the Brushy Mountain Lost Mountain line.  These works were manned by Jackson’s Calvary.  These works were preserved by the local SCV Camp McDonald in conjunction with the Subdivisions builder and HOA.  They are now preserved as a small park for the subdivision. 
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 Earthworks on the extreme right (East side) of the Brushy Mountain Lost Mountain line.  These works are located on Brushy Mountain in a small subdivision.  They are protected as a small park with historical information signs.
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“Hoods Fort” on Brushy Mountain stands a large earthwork fortification along with several thousand feet of preserved trenches.  The exact purpose of the large fortification is unknown, but many speculate it was used as a ammunition bunker.  You can get a sense of the scale from this image as you can look down the slope to the base of the fortification. 
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 A section of trenches curves its way around the base of the site known as “Hood’s Fort”
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June 16th, 1864

June 16th, 1864:

After the fighting at Gilgal Church on the 15th and continued fighting on the 16th, the Union Army has figured out that lines in the area form a salient and begin to pour in enfilading fire on the Confederates.  Other Union forces move against the thin line of southern soldiers west of Gilgal Church towards Lost Mountain.  Schofield’s XXIII Corps is now in a position to turn Johnston’s left flank, Schofield may or may not realize that he is in such an advantageous position, but Johnston does and orders Hardee’s Corp to pull back at dark, to the far side of Mud Creek and establish a new line.  During this retrograde movement, a Union artillery shell explodes near Brigadier General Lucius Polk.  He is the nephew of Lt. Gen. Leonidas Polk and only two days after the death of his Uncle, Lucius Polk is wounded and loses his leg.

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Recreation of what Confederate earthworks may have looked like.
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 Remnants of Confederate earthworks at the site of the Battle of Gilgal Church.

Death of the Fighting Bishop

June 14th, 1864

Being concerned that the position of Bate’s Division on Pine Mountain was quickly becoming compromised, Confederate Generals Johnston, Polk and Hardee, rode to the top of the mountain on the morning of the 14th.  As the Generals were inspecting the position, they were observed by members of a Federal artillery battery located about a mile to the north east of the mountain.  This was the 5th Indiana Battery.  They observed what appeared to be officers on the mountain and opened fire.  The first round buried it’s self in the parapet of the Confederate position and the second round struck General Leonidas Polk in the chest killing him instantly.  Polk, also called the Bishop General was the Episcopal Bishop of Louisiana and was greatly revered by his men.  His death struck a serious blow to the Confederacy.

Later on the 14th, Federal forces attacked Pine Mountain in an attempt to cut it off from the main Brushy Mountain Lost Mountain line.  Pine Mountain formed a salient in the Confederate lines and was just over a mile to the north of the main line.  The Federals pushed hard to cut Pine Mountain off from their main line, but were repeatedly repulsed by the well entrenched and fortified positions of the Confederates of Bate’s Division.  General Johnston ordered Bate’s Division to with draw from the position on the night of the 14th under the cover of darkness.

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Location on top of Pine Mountain were General Leonidas Polk was fatal struck by an artillery round from the 5th Indiana Battery
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Remnants of the parapet the took the first round from the 5th Indiana Battery. 
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Earthworks atop Pine Mountain.  These were manned by Bate’s Division.

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Now located behind a church, this is the position of the 5th Indiana Battery that fired the fatal shot killing General Leonidas Polk.  It has been turned into a small nature trail for the church.
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Looking through the notch in the parapet wall of the 5th Indiana.  One of the artillery pieces would have fired through this notch in the wall.
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From the 150th anniversary memorial ceremony held on Pine Mountain, June 14th 2014.
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F.D.Polk IV, 3rd Great Grandson of the General Leonidas Polk was present at the memorial service.
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During the memorial service a reenactor was portraying a Reverend and presided over the memorial service.
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Surviving Confederate earthworks of Bate’s Division where they repulsed the Federal attack on June 14th along the base and slopes of Pine Mountain.

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Surviving Confederate earthworks of Bate’s Division where they repulsed the Federal attack on June 14th along the base and slopes of Pine Mountain.

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Surviving Confederate earthworks of Bate’s Division where they repulsed the Federal attack on June 14th along the base and slopes of Pine Mountain.