KENNESAW MOUNTAIN, GEORGIA
This point of elevation affords a superb sweep of the battle area below, and contributes effectively towards translating the map of the battle into a concrete image made up of actual places.
—Georgia, A Guide To Its Towns and Countryside (WPA, 1940)
Located just outside of downtown Atlanta, Kennesaw Mountain is divided into two peaks, Big & Little Kennesaw. Originally inhabited by the mound builders, then the Creek people, the mountain was the site of The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, June 27th, 1864. Four thousand men died. Three thousand from General Sherman’s army alone. He later wrote his wife of the battle saying, “I regard the death and mangling of a couple thousand men as a small affair, a kind of morning dash — and it may be well that we become so hardened.”
Covering 2,923 acres, it held some of the heaviest fighting in the Atlanta Campaign of the Civil War. The site became a national battlefield park in June of 1935.
These days you won’t find more than a nice view here. Cannons still line the hillside—more attractions placed to remind you of what happened than anything. People riding their bikes up the hill. Families playing in the field at the bottom of the mountain. On a clear day you can see for miles.
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Michael McCraw is a State Guide to Georgia and Alabama. He’s a photographer who’s spent his whole life in the South and when he’s not photographing or writing you can find him with his family or stocking shelves at his work. Follow his work on tinytinybirds.tumblr.com or at his website, michaelmccraw.net.