Historic Markers Across Georgia

Crossroads of Destiny

Marker ID:  
Location: In front of the Mount Vernon Baptist Church, 850 Mt Vernon Hwy, Sandy Springs, GA.
County: Fulton
Coordinates: N 33° 54.448    W 084° 24.833
  33.90746666    -84.41388333
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: WMJ8F0
Crossroads of Destiny Marker  


One of the first thoroughfares developed for opening this area of the land given out in the 1822 land lottery was a road from Lawrenceville southwest towards the Chattahoochee River, which followed a continuous ridge line from near today's Gwinnett County line. It was known as the Lawrenceville Highway originally, but it is known today is Mount Vernon Highway. It is called a "highway" because it follows a high ridgeline.

It was from this ridgeline that Sherman turned his long term objective of taking Atlanta into an actual plan of attack on 16th of July, 1864. This meeting took place near what is called the Crossroads area today (the intersections of Powers Ferry and Northside Drive at Mount Vernon) in front of a house believed to be that of the Cagle family (see sketch).

On July 17th, 1864 Schofield's 23rd Army Corps left these areas heading east from around Heard's Ferry and Mount Vernon towards another set of crossroads in the community of Oak Grove, known now as Sandy Springs. The biggest intersection in Oak Grove was that of Johnson's Ferry and Mount Vernon. A secondary intersection was the newly cut Roswell Road going from Atlanta to Roswell. That original road did not follow today's route, but instead followed what is known today as Long Island Drive and crossed the Mount Vernon Highway and passing through today's Arlington Cemetery to the west the Sandy Springs United Methodist Church, School, and Campground (established in the 1840's).

When Schofield's Army, marching east along Mount Vernon, reached the intersection of the original path of the route between Roswell and Atlanta the army split its two divisions, Hascall's heading south along the route from Roswell to Atlanta (Long Island Drive today), while Cox's division continued east along Mount Vernon until they too turned southward by turning right onto Johnson's Ferry. It is believed that Sherman followed the same route as Cox's division had taken. His next stop was the old Samuel House Plantation just south of Cross Keys.

Hascall's Division crossed Long Island Creek and camped on the Burdette farm on the night of the 17th and then proceeded up the side of the next ridgeline, that of Mount Paren today. At this point they headed east along that ridgeline following Mount Paren to Roswell Road to Glenridge Drive. They fell in behind the route Cox's division had taken in front of today's Northside Hospital, where they also proceeded along Johnson's Ferry to Cross Keys.

Thomas's 4th Corps was also on the extreme west end of the Mount Vernon ridgeline. While the 23rd Corps headed east and south, Wood's Division headed down today's Northside Drive to assist with the crossing of Thomas's 20th Corps at Paces Ferry on the 17th, but returned to the Crossroads area that same night. It was not until the 18th that the bulk of the 4th Corps headed south along Powers Ferry heading towards Buckhead and Atlanta.

Union troops either occupied or marched along most of the section of ridgeline passing through Sandy Springs known today as Mount Vernon.
Sandy Springs Hospitality and Tourism
Sandy Springs Historic Preservation Society
Heritage Sandy Springs
Georgia Civil War Commission


Crossroads of Destiny


Major General George Henry Thomas was in command of the Army of the Cumberland. The Army of the Cumberland consisted of the IV Corps commanded by Major General George Henry Thomas, the XIV Corps commanded by Major General John M. Palmer and the XX Corps commanded by Major General Joseph Hooker.

The XXIII Corps commanded by Major General John M. Schofield was part of the Army of the Ohio, Major General John M. Schofield commanding.

More Information:
Wikipedia - Atlanta Campaign Union order of battle
Wikipedia - Battle of Peachtree Creeks
Wikipedia - Battle of Atlanta
Wikipedia - Atlanta Campaign