A Little Background
In March of 1864 Ulysses S. Grant assumed command of all Federal armies. His strategy was to use a coordinated offensive to destroy the Confederate resistance on two fronts and bring an end to the war. To be successful, Grant needed to not only defeat Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, but also destroy the Confederate's manufacturing and supply lines in the south. The central hub for supplying the Confederate armies was Atlanta.
The two page National Park Service brochure linked below has more detailed information about the Atlanta Campaign
Kennesaw Mountain Hike
Starting at the visitors center I set out on the short hike up the mountain. The park has three connected loop trails totaling 15 miles. The northern loop where I started is 5.8 miles. I thought about hiking the entire loop, then decided time and energy would be better managed if I hiked only the main part of each loop.
The peak of Kennesaw Mountain is a little over a mile up a winding trail and has about an 800 foot elevation gain. Along the way are signs pointing out the entrenchments where the Confederates held off Union attacks.
Arriving at the top of the mountain I had a view, muted slightly by the weather, of what was at stake if the Confederates lost the battle. Closest is Marietta, then beyond is Sherman's prize. Atlanta.
Further along the trail, beyond the overlook, are Confederate cannon emplacements. Confederate and Union cannon exchanged fire for several days before Gen. Sherman ordered a risky frontal assault on the Confederate positions along the top of the mountain ridge.