Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Visit to Cheatham Hill in Marietta GA

Cheatham Hill, Pigeon Hill and Kennesaw Mountain are situated near Marietta GA and it was here where Union forces under Gen. Sherman advanced in June and July of 1864, part of the Atlanta campaign.  Sherman's forces assaulted heavily fortified positions here abandoning his prior flanking maneuvers against Confederate General Johnston in a frontal attack. The Confederates repulsed the enemy inflicting heavy losses but the Yankees succeeded in forcing Johnston to retreat once again, prompting his removal from his command of the Army of Tennessee.  At Cheatham Hill, Union Gen. George Thomas' forces were separated by just 400 yaards from the Confederate forces under Generals Cleburn and Cheatham.  After initial artillery bombardment by the Yankees and their advance through thick underbrush, the Confederate artillery opened fire when the Union forces were just 60 yards off.  Federals succeeded in reaching the Confederate lines resulting in fierce close quarter shooting and hand to hand combat, even throwing rocks. The intensity of artillery and musket fire at close range resulted in a fire in the dry brush.  In a humanitarian act, following the assault on June 27th, Lt.Col. William Martin commanding an Arkansas regiment jumped atop his parapet and waved a white flag, shouting to the Yankees to remove their wounded before they burned to death.  The following day, Union officers presented Martin with a pair of Colt revolvers in appreciation.  Cheatham Hill is part of the 2965 acre Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.  The Cheatham Hill park is off Hwy 120/Dallas Hwy/Whitlock Ave, west of Marietta and includes walking trails around the earthworks where cannon emplacements illustrate the Confederate positions. A granite monument to the Texas defenders, units which served in the Atlanta campaign including Cheatham Hill is found on the roadway to the parking area and trailhead.  An enjoyable quick educational excursion close to the hustle and bustle of Marietta and Atlanta.
Trailhead Showing Battlefield Map

Cannon Emplacement on Earthworks

Texas Monument

Historic Road Marker for Cheatham Hill on Hwy 120 in Marietta

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