As General William Tecumseh Sherman bore down on Atlanta Confederate Forces created a strong fortress atop Kennesaw Mountain as the last stronghold before Atlanta. Kennesaw Mountain rises 1793 feet and overlooks the lowlands between there and Atlanta. It is the main peak of a mountain cluster also containing Little Kennesaw Mountain, Pidgeon Hill and Cheatham’s Hill. Sherman could not see the tiny city of Atlanta from there in 1864. He had to fight his way to Vinings Mountain to get that view and Vinings Mountain is not much more than a small ridge.
We drove up the mountain as far as possible, again I would have hiked if alone, to a secondary parking area since the main lot at the visitor’s center was full. I was surprised at the popularity of the park. We then hiked the last quarter mile to the summit.
“War is cruelty. There’s no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over.”William Tecumseh Sherman
We walked by three Confederate gun emplacements on the summit.
Looking northwest we could see the North Georgia Mountains up towards the NC border.
We then started following the driving map to all the points of interest… first stop the Union Memorial.
The most disappointing thing here was the lack of memorials usually associated with a battlefield. I remember years ago going to the New Market Virginia National Battlefield and there was damn near a memorial for every man. Anyway, it was here that the storyboards and assorted signs of the battle began.
Although the battle lasted on and off for three days and the fatalities among the most in the Battle for Atlanta in the end Sherman gave up assaulting the fortress and merely bypassed it by a flanking movement forcing the defenders to retreat to the main line of Atlanta’s defenses. Our last stop was at the site of General George Thomas’ headquarters who was the commander of the Army of the Cumberland and various Union positions.
If I lived in Atlanta, I would be here all the time. There are so many hiking trails it would take a while to get them all done. I loved this mountain!