August 20th, 1864

August 20th, 1864:

After leaving from Fairburn on the 19th, Kilpatrick moved his column towards Jonesboro.  He once again met resistance from Ross’s Texas Brigade, first to his rear and then after Ross moved south below Kilpatrick and made it across the Flint River before Kilpatrick, he was then in Kilpatrick’s front.  Ross’s Brigade removed the planks on the bridge over the Flint River and formed a line of battle on the high ground on the east side of the river.  Kilpatrick had his artillery open open up on the Confederates and then had his Cavalry dismount and cross the bridge on its stringers.  They were able to force Ross’s Brigade, which was a smaller force, back towards and eventually through Jonesboro.  Kilpatrick reached Jonesboro around 5:00pm on the 19th and began to destroy the tracks and was able to burn the Railroad Station and other structures.  Heavy rain prevented the Federals from making fires to heat the railroad tracks for bending so they removed it from the railroad bed and tossed it to the side.

On the 20th, after learning that a Confederate force of unknown strength was approaching, Kilpatrick decided to abandon his efforts in Jonesboro and move towards Love Joy’s Station.  As he approached Love Joy’s Station he did not know the strength of the Confederate forces there.  They Rebels had hidden themselves in a railroad cut and waited.  When the Federal Cavalry dismounted and approached the railroad, the Confederates waited until they were within about 50 yards before making themselves known and opening fire on the Federals.   The Federals were quickly repulsed and soon they were attacked from the rear by Ross’s Texans.  Kilpatrick had limited options.  He quickly decided to fight his way out and formed his units into several tight and compact columns and made a counter attack on the Confederate forces to his rear.  Minty’s Brigade lead Kilpatricks column and as they approached the Rebels across an open field, they drew their sabers and charged.  They were able to cut their way through and Kilpatrick’s column was able to escape and make for the Federal lines east of Atlanta.  They moved north east from Love Joy’s Station toward McDonough and from there they made for the South River, which they crossed and the went through Lithonia and form there to Decatur.

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Looking west on Hwy 138 at the Flint River.  Kilpatrick’s Cavalry rode from Fairburn to Jonesboro along this road.  On the high ground in the distance, the Chicago Board of Trade Battery, unlimbered their field pieces and began to shell the Confederates of Ross’s Texans on the ridge on the east side of the river.  This artillery bombardment covered portions of Kilpatrick’s Cavalry as they dismounted and crossed the Flint river on the stringers of the damaged bridge.
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The rain swollen Flint River at Hwy 138, 150 years after Kilpatrick’s raid.
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Looking east from the Flint River Bridge on Hwy 138.  Ross’s Texans established a line on the low ridge in the distance.  After being shelled by the Chicago Board of Trade Battery and being outnumbered by Kilpatrick’s advancing cavalry, Ross’s Texans fell back to and were eventually pushed out of Jonesboro.
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Downtown Jonesboro.  This depot, built in 1867 to replace the original depot destroyed by Kilpatrick’s Cavalry, is located roughly half a mile south of location of the wartime depot.  After destroying the depot and other structures, Kilpatrick’s men destroyed the railroad tracks.  Heavy rain prevented the Federals from building large fires of cross ties to heat the tracks for bending into “neckties”, but they still did their best to dismantle the tracks.
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After leaving Jonesboro, Kilpatrick’s Cavalry rides to Love Joy Station with Ross’s Texans skirmishing with their rear guard nearly the entire way.  As Kilpatrick’s troopers dismounted and started to destroy the railroad, Confederates allowed them to approach withing 50 yards before opening fire on them.  Kilpatrick’s Cavalry was forced east from the railroad along the McDonough Rd.  In the area of the Nash farm they encountered Ross’s Texans deployed across the road.
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Nash Farm Battlefield.  Kilpatrick formed his cavalry into tight columns and charged in the direction of the camera, moving to break through Ross’s Texans.
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Ross’s Texans were deployed on this high ground at the Nash Farm Battlefield.  They were astride the road with an artillery batter on the north side of the McDonough Rd.  Kilpatrick’s Cavalry would have road across this ground into the distance to break through Ross’s Texans.
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The Siege of Atlanta

August 1st – August 27th, 1864:

After the Battle of Atlanta on July 22nd, the Federal Artillery began to shell the city of Atlanta, sometimes it was light and random and at other times there were “duels” with the Confederate Artillery in the inner defensive perimeter.

On the first of August, Sherman learned of the failure of the Cavalry raid to destroy the railroads south of the city.  He then sent the following order to General Schofield “You may fire ten to fifteen shots from every gun you have in position into Atlanta that will reach any of its houses.  Fire slowly and with deliberation between 4:00pm and dark.  Thomas and Howard will do the same.” (O.R. 38, V, 324, Sherman to Schofield).

On the 7th of August, after the failure of the Federal forces to take the railroad junction at East Point.  Sherman request two more large siege guns to be sent from Chattanooga by rail.  Those guns could shoot a 4.5 inch diameter round weighing 30 pounds.

As the shelling of the city became more intense, more and more damage was done.  The Federal artillery was using the church spires of town as land marks for sighting their guns.  Homes and businesses alike were damaged or destroyed.  Sherman was targeting the city itself and wanting nothing more than to break Hood’s resolve and force the Confederate army from their stronghold.  At one point, Hood sent a message to Sherman requesting that he stop shelling the noncombatants in the city and pointed out that the cities defensive line was a full mile outside the city.  Sherman replied that Atlanta was a military target and an arsenal.  Sherman continued the siege unchanged.  The first civilian casualty of the siege was small girl in the area of Peachtree St. and Ellis Street.  Solomon Luckie, a free black man who owned a barber shop in town, was killed by a shell near what is now the Five Points Marta Station.  There is an original gas lamp on the corner at the marta station and local legend says that the hole in the base was caused by the same shell that killed Solomon Luckie.

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Part of the Federal siege line was located across this portion for 8th Street, between Penn Ave. and Argonne Ave.  From this point and many others around the city, the Federal army fired round after round of artillery on the Confederates as well as the civilian population of Atlanta.
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The Georgia Pacific building now sits in the general area of where the first civilian casualty of the siege occurred. 
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Peachtree Street (formerly Whitehall St.) at Luckie Street, name sake of the Free Black man Solomon Luckie who was wounded and eventually died from a wound received during the siege of Atlanta.
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Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.  Father Thomas O’Reilly was the pastor at the time and was able to convince the Federals to spare his church and several others in the city during the occupation.  The original structure was a wood frame building that sat on this site until the construction of this structure was started in 1869.  The Federals used the church spires of the city as landmarks to aim their siege guns toward the city.
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Looking across Underground Atlanta towards the Georgia State Capitol.  Much of the historic parts of this area have been built over.
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Underground Atlanta was home to much of the cities commercial district during the war.  The railroad came through the city here and the passenger and freight depots were located in the area as well as a nearby round house.  During reconstruction much of the area was rebuilt, but eventually as the city grew, traffic, a never ending issue in Atlanta, became a problem.  With the number of trains coming and going, a series of viaducts, or bridges were built over the area to allow traffic to pass.  As such, many storefronts were moved up to the level of the new streets leaving spaces available down below the viaducts as well.
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The railroad was single supply route for the City of Atlanta during the siege by Federal forces.  The number of tracks through town have grown and include Marta tracks as well at Freight and Passenger train tracks which still continue to supply Atlanta with goods from around the world.
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Atlanta’s Zero Milepost is located in a security office for Georgia State University under the Central Ave. viaduct.  The milepost is on the lowest level of this parking deck in the office.  This milepost is the one that was used to measure all the railroad distances from. 
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A corner of the old Freight Depot, built in 1869, sits adjacent to the Zero Milepost at Underground Atlanta.  The Georgia State Capitol stands in the background.  Most if not all of the wounded from the battles around the city, were laid out here along the railroad track where they were tended to as they waited for trains to evacuate them to hospitals south of Atlanta
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The Georgia State Capital now sits on the site of the wartime Atlanta City Hall.  The Atlanta City Hall also served at the court house for Fulton County at the time.  After the fall of Atlanta and during the occupation, the 2nd Mass. Regiment camped here and served as the Armies Provost Guard.

The Battle of Atlanta

July 22, 1864

After an arduous night march of 16 miles, Hardee’s Corps was getting into position on the Federal left flank.  The attack that was supposed to begin at dawn, but was delayed due to the distance of the night march and then further delayed when Walker’s and Bate’s Divisions had to work around the swampy terrain at Terry’s Mill Pond.  Just after 12:00pm, Hardee ordered Walker and Bate to attack the Federal left flank.  Bate’s Division was on the Confederate right, east of Sugar Creek and Walker’s Division was on the west side of Sugar Creek.  As Walker’s Division made their way past the mill pond, Walker moved to the front of his lines to see what lay ahead of his column.  As he raised his field glasses, a round from a Federal sharpshooter killed him instantly.  After the disarray and confusion that followed, Brig. Gen. H. W. Mercer assumed command of the Division and carried out the attack.  Walker fell near the intersection of Glenwood Ave. and Wilkinson Dr.  A monument dedicated to his memory stands there today.

The Federals that Walker and Bate were attacking were elements of the 2nd and 4th Divisions of Dodge’s XVI Corps.  They were entrenched in the area of Memorial Drive and Clay Street.  With part of the line extending into what is now Alonzo Crim High School.  This was a tactically advantageous position on high ground overlooking Sugar Creek valley.  They were also supported by several artillery batteries.

Cleburne’s and Maney’s Divisions had moved up Flat Shoals Road and were heading toward the left flank of the Federals that were entrenched along Flat Shoals in the area between Glenwood and the intersection of I-20 and Moreland (Bald Hill, aka Leggett’s Hill).  They attacked the left flank of Blair’s XVII Corps that was held by Smith’s 4th Division.  Cleburne’s attack was fast and furious.  His troops drove the Federals back to the north to Bald Hill and in the process they captured eight cannons and the entire 16th Iowa Infantry Regiment.

During this time, General McPherson was riding toward Dodge’s Corps to asses the situation and was traveling on a ridge line (McPherson Ave.) trying to find a way to close the gap between Logan and Blair.  The Confederates were flooding into the gap in McPherson’s lines, and as McPherson searched for a way to close the gap, he was shot and killed by the attacking Confederates.  One of McPherson’s aides was with him, and when the shots rang out, his horse took off and slammed into a tree, thus breaking his watch at 2:02pm, the time of McPherson’s death.

Late in the afternoon, Hood, who was observing the battle from a house adjacent to what is now Oakland Cemetery, ordered his former Corps, now commanded by Cheatham, to attack the Federal front.  Cheatham’s Corps left their works and moved east toward the Federal line.  The right of Cheatham’s Corps was attacking Bald Hill from the west and Maney’s Division of Hardee’s Corps was attacking from the south west.  Even with their combined effort, they were unable to push the Federals off of Bald Hill.  On Cheatham’s left, Clayton and Brown’s divisions were more successful.  Manigault’s Brigade of Brown’s Division, used the cover of a deep railroad cut in the area of the current Inman Park Marta Station and the CSX railroad.  They came under artillery fire, but were able to out flank the battery and capture the guns.  This action broke the Federal line and Manigault wheeled to the left and began to “roll up” the Federal line.  He captured 8 cannons in the process, four of which were 20 pounder Parrott rifles.  Stovall’s Brigade, which was aligned to the left of Manigault, was attacking the Degress Battery (located off of Battery Place) from the front when Manigault hit the flank.  As the line broke, soldiers from both Brigades stormed the works and captured the battery.  The 42nd Ga. Volunteers, who were part of Stovall’s Brigade, took part in this assault.

General Sherman, who was observing the battle from the Augustus Hurt house at the present day Carter Library, witnessed the Confederate assault that broke part of the lines of Logan’s XV Corps.  He personally directed artillery fire from five concentrated batteries, toward the attacking Confederates.  He had the artillery rounds falling to their front to prevent them from moving forward and attacking, as well as toward their rear to prevent reinforcements from supporting the assault.  This artillery fire and a Federal counter attack of eight Brigades, pushed the Confederates back to their works and restored the Federal line.

Hood had also dispatched General Wheeler and his Cavalry to Decatur to attack McPherson’s wagon train.  Wheeler found several regiments of Federal infantry posted south of Decatur.  At 1:00pm, Wheeler dismounted two of his divisions and assaulted the Federals.  He pushed them north across what is now Agnes Scott College and then across the railroad tracks to the Decatur Square.  The wagon train was detoured from Decatur after Wheeler started his assault.  Wheeler pushed the Federals through the square and through the old city cemetery.  The Federals then formed a new line along what is now North Decatur Road.  Before Wheeler could attack the new Federal line, he was recalled back to Atlanta to support the attack on Bald Hill.

The battle was over by the time darkness had fallen, the Confederates had returned to their works and had suffered nearly twice the number of casualties as the Federals.  The Federals reformed their lines and will shortly begin the “Siege of Atlanta”.

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After receiving the order from General Hardee (CS) to attack, General W. Walker commanding his division of Hardee’s Corps rode to the front of his lines to observe the terrain and deploy his troops in Sugar Creek Valley.  He was shot off his horse and killed by a Federal picket.  General Mercer assumed command and continued the attack.
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Sugar Creek Valley:  Bate’s Division of Hardee’s Corps(CS) was deployed on this, the eastern side of Sugar Creek and Walker’s Division, now commanded by Mercer, was deployed to the western side of the creek.  They advanced up the low valley to assault the federal lines along present day Memorial Drive and Clay Street.  The Dekalb Memorial Park now occupies what is left of Sugar Creek Valley.
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Alanzo A. Crim High School now occupies the spot where the Blodgett’s Missouri Battery H was positioned in the Federal lines that were occupied by Federal troops from Rice’s and Mersey’s Brigades of Sweeny’s Division(US).  Rice’s Brigade was facing east and engaged with Bate’s Division as they moved up the east side of Sugar Creek and Mersey’s Brigade was facing south and bearing the brunt of the assault from Walkers Division(commanded by Mercer).
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The Federal lines of Rice’s Brigade were positioned on this high ground here at Memorial Drive near Clay street.  They were facing east, toward the camera position, and were engaged with Bate’s Division (CS)
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While Bate’s and Walker’s Division’s constituted the right flank of Hardee’s assault on the Federal lines, Maney’s and Cleburne’s Divisions were the left flank.  Maney’s Brigades advanced on the Federal lines and moved through what is now Brownwood Park, to assault the Federals on the high ground just north of Flat Shoals Rd.
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Cleburne’s Division was advancing on the west side of Flat Shoals Rd, to the right of Maney’s Division, when they encountered the far left of the Federal flank.  Cleburne’s men were able to turn the Federal left, General Smith Division, and then were able to assault the rear of the Federal lines to their west.  In the process of that assault, Cleburne’s troops were able to capture eight artillery pieces that belonged to the 2nd Illinois and 2nd U.S. Artillery.
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With an attack on two sides, General Smith(US), fell back with his Division under heavy fire.  They made a retrograde movement to form a line on the east flank of Bald Hill, also called Leggett’s Hill.  Leggett’s hill once occupied the intersection of I-20 and Moreland Ave.  The fighting here was fierce, with the Leggett’s Division and what was left of Smith Division, taking fire on their position from their front, their left flank, and their rear.
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In the late morning, just before the noon start to the Confederate attack, General McPherson, along with Generals Logan and Blair, as well as their staff officer, stopped for lunch.  They stopped in a grove of oak trees on the south side of the rail road near the location of Whitfoord Ave and La France.  After finishing their meal and sending a dispatch to General Dodge to destroy the rail road, the generals heard the first shots of the Confederate assault.  Logan and Blair rode off to command their respective corps and McPherson and his staff road towards the sound of the gun fight.  While moving along what is now McPherson Ave., General McPherson was shot and killed by Confederates of Cleburne’s Division as they exploited a gap in the Federal lines.  This image is of reenactors at a memorial service on the 150th anniversary of the Generals death.
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Several hours after the main Confederate assault by Hardee’s Corps(CS), General Hood(CS), threw Cheatham’s Corps into the attack and thus extended the Confederate line of attack further north and across the railroad.  Here in this images is Edgewood Ave. Clayton’s Brigade of Cheatham’s Corps(CS) moved east through here to attack the Federal positions at the Troup Hurt House. 
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Dekalb Ave. at the Inman Park Marta Station.  Here, Manigault’s and Sharp’s Brigades of Brown’s Division Cheatham’s Corps (CS) moved east on the north side of the rail road tracks to assault the Federal lines.  Sharp’s Brigade was able to exploit the cover provided by the deep railroad, where the Marta station now sits, and push through the small gap in the Federal lines where he wheeled to the right to attack the Federal flank south of the railroad and capture 2 artillery pieces of Battery A 1st Illinois Artillery.  Manigault wheeled to the left and captured the 4 remaining guns of the battery and continued to move north up the Federal line.  The Federal line broke and Manigault along with Stovall’s Brigade were able to continue the assault.
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This old stone church, now a private residence, sits on the site of the Troup Hurt House.  This site was a land mark on the battlefield and the site of the Federal lines as well as the four 20 pounder Parrott rifles of the Degress Battery H, 1st Illinois Artillery.  Manigault’s along with Stovall’s Brigade, were able to break the Federal lines here and capture the Degress Battery.  They were able to hold the position for some time before they too were routed out by a Federal counter attack.
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General Hood(CS) was the commander of the Confederate Army of Tennessee and upon ordering Cheatham’s Corps to attack the Federal lines, he took up a position on the second floor of the Williams home, to watch the battle unfold.  The Williams home once stood in this area of what is now Oakland Cemetery.
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The Carter Center now sits where the Augustus Hurt House once stood.  This was the location of General Sherman’s headquarters during the Battle of Atlanta.  Generals Howard and Schofield also made their command post here as well.  After his death, General McPherson’s body was brought here before being send back to Ohio for burial.  From here, Sherman ordered a counter attack on the Confederates and personally directed artillery fire against the Confederates in the area of the Troup Hurt House.
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As part of the Federal counter attack, Logan’s 15th Corps(US), moved west astride the railroad.  Here, just on the south side of the railroad at Moreland Ave. and Caroline st., Lightburn’s Brigade advanced west toward the area of the Troup Hurt House.
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Dekalb Ave. at Moreland Ave.  Upon establishing their lines in the area of the Troup Hurt House and the railroad cut just west of this location, the Federals set up a signal station in a large pine tree in this location.  After the Federal lines broke, the station was abandoned and when the Federal counter attack was successful, the station was put back in to use. 

July 9th, 1864

July 9th, 1864:

After the first Federal crossing of the Chattahoochee at Sope Creek on the afternoon of the 8th, Garrard’s Cavalry crosses at Roswell.  At dawn on the 9th, a Federal Battery provides covering fire as several companies of dismounted cavalry begin wading across the Chattahoochee at what is called the “Shallow Ford”.  It was the ford used by the Hightower Trail which was a prehistoric trading route.  They engage a small Confederate force across the river.  The Confederates are out numbered and out gunned and they quickly retreat and some surrender.  The Federals are armed with Spencer repeating rifles and are able to move and shoot quickly without stopping while they cross the river.  The battery that is providing cover fire is the Chicago Board of Trade Battery.  When Sherman learns of Garrard’s crossing of the river, he immediately dispatches Newton’s Division from its camp near Rottenwood Creek, to Roswell “double time”, to reenforce Garrard.  He also sends Dodge’s Corps to reenforce Garrard and establish a strong bridgehead for subsequent crossings.  A detachment of General McCook’s Cavalry, the 1st Tennesse Regiment (US), under the command of Colonel Brownlow, dismounted and crossed the river enforce wearing only their hats and carrying their rifle and cartridge box.

After receiving information about these crossings and size of the forces at each crossing, General Johnston orders the fall back from the River Line.  The Confederate army begins to retreat from the River Line at dusk and in the early morning hours of the 10th, they are across the river and begin to burn the Railroad bridge and the wagon bridge next to it.  They also take up their pontoon bridges and at Pace’s Ferry they cut the pontoon bridge loose hoping it will swing across the river or down stream where they can recover it.  It becomes stuck and is recovered by the Federals, but not put into use.

General Johnston establishes his Headquarters 3 miles from Atlanta, at the abandoned Dexter Niles house.  He orders that the river crossings at Pace’s Ferry and Turner’s Ferry, be heavily guarded.

 

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The first crossing of the Chattahoochee River by Federal troops happened here at the confluence of Sope Creek and the river.  The neighborhood pool on the southern shore is the location of the Ferry landing where the Federal troops made their assault. 
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“Shallow Ford” in Roswell was the site of the Federal crossing by several companies of Garrard’s Cavalry dismounted and with their new Spencer rifles and supporting fire from the Chicago Board of Trade Battery, they fought their way across the river.
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What is now a Cul-de-sac was once the location of the Chicago Board of Trade Battery that support Garrard’s crossing of the river at Shallow Ford.

 

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Col. Brownlow and his dismounted Cavalry crossed the river just about Powers Ferry at Cochran’s Ford.  They crossed wearing only their hats and carried their rifle and cartridge box.

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Rottenwood Creek:  When General Sherman learned of Garrard’s crossing at Roswell he dispatched Newton’s Division double time to Roswell to reinforce Garrard.  Newton’s Division was camped near the area of present day Cumberland Blvd, I-75 and I 285.  They crossed Rottenwood Creek on a wooden bridge just above this small cascade.

 

 

Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, 24 Gun Battery

During the attack on Kennesaw Mountain the Federals set an artillery battery containing 24 guns in total.  It was located on a low rise near the base of Big Kennesaw Mountain.  These images are from the 24 gun battery which is protected by the National Park.

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Just in side the tree line of this low rise near the base of Kennesaw Mountain is the Federal 24 gun battery.
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Remnants of one of the parapet walls at the 24 gun battery.
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The gun notch is still slightly visible in the remnants of this parapet wall.
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A view looking down the line of earthworks for the 24 gun battery.  Four separate emplacements are visible along this line.
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Looking from the rear of the emplacement in the direction the gun would have faced.

June 18th, 1864

June 18th, 1864

Heavy fighting happened today around the Latimer Farm portion of the Brushy Mountain – Mud Creek Line.  The Marietta Country Club now sits on the former site of the Latimer Farm.  The Confederate lines around the Latimer Farm formed a Salient angle, often called Hardee’s Salient, it was vulnerable to enfilading fire.  Confederate positions were under near constant bombardment from Federal artillery positions no more than 1200 yards away.  Three Federal Divisions, under the command of General Thomas, attacked the three Confederate Brigades at the Salient. The Union troops pushed the Confederate skirmishers back to their main lines and Federal troops soon occupied a trench line in front of the Salient.  Once this line was occupied by the Federal troops, General Johnston realized the chances of the being overrun were high.  On the night of the 18th, he ordered the evacuation of the line and the Confederate line then moved back to the famous Kennesaw Mountain Line.

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 Remnants of Confederate earthworks that were used during the Battle of Latimer’s Farm.  Now located within the Barrett’s Green Subdivision, they were preserved in the local SCV Camp McDonald in conjunction with the builder.  This area was under a near constant artillery bombardment.
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While hard to discern due to the undergrowth, this images shows a line of several Federal artillery positions.  The are called Lunettes.  It is rare to have some so well preserved and these have been protected on private property.  The property is now being developed into a subdivision and the Lunettes are being protected through the work of the local SCV Camp McDonald and the developer.
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Remnants of Federal earthworks located on the same property as the Lunettes above. 
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Efforts by the local SCV Camp McDonald and the developer to prevent the destruction of the remaining earthworks.
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This shallow depression is all that remains of this section of Confederate earthworks in the area of Hardee’s Salient.  They are located on private property that has been farmed for sometime.
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The small collection of minie balls found on the property of a farmer who owns the property where the previous image was taken.  He grew up on the family farm and still lives there today and as a teenager he claimed to have found a 55 gallon drums worth of minie balls in the fields which he sold to collectors.  Look close and you may see one with teeth marks…
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 Now covered with trees and thick underbrush, these remnants of Confederate earthworks, that were part of Hardee’s Salient, now sit quietly behind a local church.