Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park

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.

Confederate entrenchment at the northern end. Gen. William Lorring's Corps; Walthall's Div.; Quarles Brigade. The mounding is the remains of the earthworks.

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.

The only thing standing between Gen. Sherman and Atlanta was the outnumbered Confederate Army being able to hold him at Kennesaw Mountain.

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.

About a mile and a quarter into the hike I decided to head back to the visitors center. Spending too much time in the museum meant not having time to see more. The museum is interesting and well worth the time. There is also a 30 minute film that I didn't take the time to see. Perhaps on a future trip, which will happen. There is more I want to see along the other 14 miles of trail.

Here are some links where you can learn more about the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. The first link is to the gallery with all the pictures I have from that day.

Created By
Randy Bayne


Randy Bayne Photography https://randybaynephotography.com

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