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Civil War Historic Markers Across Georgia

The Civil War in Georgia as told by its historic markers.


Kennesaw Mountain - Batle of Cheatham Hill and Pigeon Hill

Beginning on 1864/06/27 and ending 1864/06/27

By June 27, the Confederates under General Johnson were entrenched in a line that stretched almost 12 miles from Bushy Mountain on their right to the Sandtown road on their left. The rain of the previous three weeks made it difficult for Sherman´s forces to move supply and troops to continue the wide flanking movement. Thinking that the Confederate lines where perhaps stretched to the breaking point, Sherman decided to launch three limited attacks to test the strength of the Confederate position on June 27th. General McPerson was to select a point on his front near the southwest end of the Kennesaw Ridge. General Thomas was to attack along the Dallas-Marietta Road while General Schofield was to strike near the Power Springs Road. Hoping to induce Johnson to shift troops away from the intended point of attack, General Schofield was also to make a strong demonstration on the far right along Olley´s Creek. General Sherman visited Schofield command on June 25. After viewing the Confederate Defenses, near the Power Springs Road, Sherman cancelled the attack by Schofield. Instead Schofield was to place more emphasis on the demonstrations along Olley´s Creek on the Confederate left.[1]

Both Federal Attacks of June 27 failed to break the Confederate line. During the battle of Kennesaw Mountain, the federals suffered 3,000 casualties. [2]

On June 26th, during demonstrations along Olley´s Creek, one of Schofield´s brigade commanded by Colonel Robert K. Byrd was able to cross Olley´s Creek and take up a position on a small hill. By June 27th, Schofield had almost a division across the creek and pushing southward. This placed Federal forces closer to the Chattahoochee River than Jonhson´s forces. On July 1st, as the road began to dry, McPherson´s Army of the Tennessee shifted right behind Thomas and by July 2nd, strong Federal forces began crossing Olley´s Creek. Once again, Johnsons´s forces had been out flanked.[3]



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Historic Markers Across Georgia - Civil War in GA

Battle of Cheatham Hill - Kennesaw Mountain

On June 27, 1864, more than 8,000 Union infantrymen attacked an equal number of well-entrenched Confederates along this low-lying hill. One Tennessee veteran compared the assault to "ocean waves driven by a hurricane ... sweeping on as if by a irresistible impulse."

The Confederates repulsed the first federal charge. While attempting to rally his eight Union regiments, 27 year old Brig. Gen. Charles G. Harker was shot off his white horse. Although one Federal brigade reached the Confederate lines, Union troops soon retreated in disarray.[4]


Assault on Pigeon Hill - Kennesaw Mountain

On the morning of June 27, 1864, three brigades totaling 5,500 soldiers from Ohio, Indiana and Illinois charged toward Pigeon Hill. Advancing in battle lines astride Burnt Hickory Road, one Union brigade overran the Georgian held rifle pits near this location while two other brigades crossed Old Mountain Road.

Once beyond the road, the attack ran into felled trees and other Confederate-built obstacles on Pigeon Hill. As the Federals struggled over the obstructions and rough terrain, the well-entrenched Southerners opened fire with musketry and cannon; some Confederates on Little Kennesaw even heaved boulders. The Union troops sought cover at the assault crumbled.

By noon the Union forces had withdraw to Old Mountain Road and after dark they returned to their lines. The assault cost the Federals more than 850 killed, wounded, or missing soldiers; the Confederate casualties numbered about 250. [5]


  1. Richard M. McMurry; Atlanta 1864 - Last chance for the Confederacy; University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln Nebraska; ©2000; pp 104 - 111
  2. Wikipedia - Battle of Kennesaw Mountain  [Online]
  3. Richard M. McMurry; Atlanta 1864 - Last chance for the Confederacy; University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln Nebraska; ©2000; pp 104 - 111
     • Historic Markers Across Georgia - The Only Advantage of the Day GHM 033-062  [Online]


    Links to Civil War Historic Markers Across Georgia.


    A Humanitarian Act
    Assault on Pigeon Hill
    Camouflaged Cannons
    Clash at Kennesaw
    Climax at Cheatham Hill
    Colonel Dan
    Five Federal Brigades
    Georgia Military Institute 1851 ~ 1864
    Harker's Attack
    Kennesaw Battlefield
    The Assault Falters
    The Dead Angle
    The Only Advantage of the Day
    Zero Mile Post