Every once in a while it is necessary to just get away for a while – out of the house, away from the stresses and pressures, and do something that brings us joy. Today was such a day for us.
Laurel and I both really enjoy going to Civil War sites. I just never realized (silly me!) how much Civil War history took place close to Atlanta. When we drove into Georgia, we stopped at a Visitor Center alongside the freeway at a rest stop and they loaded Laurel down with all sorts of brochures about places to see and things to do in Georgia. A massive percentage of them were related to Civil War battlegrounds, museums, etc. Friday evening we finally found time to sit down and look through the various brochures as we planned how we wanted to spend this Saturday. We decided to go to Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park in nearby Kennesaw (about 19.2 miles from where we live).
For all intents and purposes, it is said that the battle for Atlanta started at Kennesaw. General William T. Sherman was tasked by General Grant of depriving the Confederates of the means to wage war and to destroy their army in the south. Atlanta was crucial because it was the most significant railroad hub in the South, was a huge storage location for war materiel, contained foundries that forged cannons and other weapons. Sherman put Atlanta in the bulls-eye. On his approach to Atlanta, 20 miles from Kennesaw, Sherman ran into the forces of General Johnston. Sherman’s army consisted of 100,000 men, 254 guns and 35,000 horses. Johnston’s army had 63,000 men and 187 guns. Over 67,000 soldiers were killed, wounded and captured during the Campaign for Atlanta that lasted from May .
The Confederates held the ridges and peaks of Kennesaw Mountain. Weeks of continual rain had made the roads largely impassable, preventing Sherman from flanking the Confederates. Whenever he would try to flank, the Confederates would withdraw and take a position closer to Atlanta. Sherman grew tired of the game of cat-and-mouse and decided to attack up the mountainsides (which after seeing the ground, seems to me to have been an act of a mad-man!) The long and short of it is that it was considered the largest defeat Sherman suffered in the Atlanta Campaign.
At one point after some fierce attacks by the Union troops up the side of a mountain, many wounded were laying on the hillside when fire broke out. Colonel William M. Martin of the 1st Arkansas Regiment raised a white flag and invited the Union troops to do likewise so they could move the dead and wounded out of the way of the fire. The Union commanders agree, the dead and wounded were moved, and the battle was rejoined.
Today’s photo is of a Confederate cannon placement near the top of Kennesaw Mountain. The raised earthworks in the front of the cannon are the original earthworks that erected by the Confederates to help protect their firing position.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1894, W.K. Dickson received a patent for the motion picture. It was a 47-slide movie that lasted about 2 seconds and featured a man sneezing.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: former President Clinton is allergic to dust, mold, pollen, cats, Christmas trees and dairy products.