Saturday, January 24, 2015

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park

We recently traveled from our home in Tallahassee, Florida to the charmingly quaint town of Vinings, Georgia.  Vinings is located about ten miles north-north west from Atlanta, Georgia's city skyline.  

My husband and fellow college Fraternity Brothers were meeting in Vinings to celebrate the Inauguration of one of their fellow ATO Fraternity Brothers who would take the Oath of Office as Governor of the State of Georgia on the following day.  All of the Fraternity Brothers were asked to serve as ushers for the early morning church service on the following day.

All of the Brothers including the Governor, and their wives,  planned to have dinner together the night before the Inauguration at the Old Vinings Inn.   It was a delightful event with delicious food, good friends and lots of stories from long ago being told.

The Old Vinings Inn building has been lovingly preserved and dates back to the 1800s.  This building was originally a general store purchased in the year 1890 which housed a Seed and Feed on the main floor,  as well as the Village Post Office.

Civil War markings can be seen spread throughout the city of Vinings.  Some markers tell the story of Sherman and his Union troops as they inhabited the town for 11 days before moving on to burn the city of Atlanta which ultimately ended the Civil War.

Old Vinings Inn
3011 Paces Mill Road SE
Vinings, Georgia

After all the festivities were concluded for the Inauguration we wanted to sightsee around this amazing old Civil War area.  We drove along Kennesaw Avenue with the thought in mind of visiting the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.

    The National Park Service established Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park in the 1930s.

Civil War cannon on display outside of the Visitor's Center.

The Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park is a nearly 3,000-acre tract that preserves a Civil War Battleground of the Atlanta Campaign.  The North and the South fought here from June 19 until July 2, 1864.

On the day of our visit,  as you can see,  there was heavy fog even during the middle of the day and afternoon.  Something about the fog made it easier to step back in time to the year 1864 and try to visualize the events of this battle which happened to be one of the last major battles of the Civil War.

The causes of the Civil War were very complicated ...  The war was fought to fight for independence or secession from the Union for the Confederacy (South).  And the Union (North) fought for the survival of the Union.

The Civil War was fought from 1861 until 1865.  The War began in the early morning hours of April 1861 when  the Confederates, or the "South,"  fired on Fort Sumter in South Carolina.

Due to the foggy day and the lack of visibility on the top of Kennesaw Mountain,  the Park Rangers closed the roadway going to the top of the mountain.  The battle took place on top of Kennesaw mountain and in and around the Park.

One day when we are back in this area, and if it is a clear day, I very much want to go back and drive to the top of the mountain where that part of the battle took place ... I would like to see the surrounding area from the top of the mountain and see where that part of the battle took place.  

During the four years of the of the Civil War,  237 named battles were fought, 
and there were many more minor actions and skirmishes.

There were many old Civil War cannons all along our hike in the Battlefield Park.

Seeing the cannons located all through the battlefield made it easy to imagine the lives lost. The number of casualties during the war vary, but one historian gave a count of 750,000 soldier deaths.

The below photos show the actual grounds where a portion of the battle was fought.  The Confederates dug deep trenches to crouch behind and protect themselves as the Union soldiers approached.  In these photos it is hard to see the depth of the trenches.

There were many of the Earthwork trenches all along our hike,  
but they were difficult to see in the photos.

Can you imagine the Civil War soldiers pulling these cannons 
all the way up the mountain of this battlefield.

    In the below photo it is possible to see one of the trenches used to protect the Confederate soldiers.

As we continued our hike in and around the Battlefield,  we approached the Illinois Monument 
which was out in the middle of nowhere in the Battlefield area.

Located here on this battlefield almost 400 soldiers from Illinois died during this war.  The state of Illinois donated $20,000 for the construction of a special monument to those lost in this war from their state.

Approaching the Monument from behind.

This beautiful Illinois Monument was made of Georgia white marble.

The monument was strategically placed where the assault took place on Cheatham Hill.

The Monument continues to stand today, to honor not only the men of Illinois, 
but all who fought for their beliefs and convictions.

                      In the below photo looking out across through the fog from the Illinois monument
                                                        we see an open battlefield below.

A short distance from the Illinois Monument we spotted this 
touching grave marker seen in the below photo.

 Rest in peace Captain Neighbour!

When I saw this sign I did wonder what it meant ... Thanks to Mr. Google I found out a Battery in the Civil War contained either 6 cannons and a crew of about a hundred and fifty men for the Union and four cannons for the Confederacy and a crew of about 70 men.

There were many families living in and around the Kennesaw Mountain area.  Many of these families were adversely effected by the effects of war.   One family's home in particular has been preserved and goes down in history because of the battle that took place in and around their property.


The Kolb farmhouse was built in 1826. The farm consisted of 600 acres, complete with blacksmith shop, farm outbuildings and a family cemetery.  Peter Kolb, his wife Eliza and eight children were considered a wealthy family at the time.

Unfortunately, the Kolb family and many of their neighbors were forced to flee the area prior to the arrival of the worst of the fighting that would take place on their farm.

Several members of the Kolb family are buried in the family cemetery on the back of the property.

On the afternoon of June 22, 1864 fierce action began in front of the residence.  With the ravages of battle the farmhouse became a mere shadow of its former self after the war.  But, as you can see the farmhouse has been restored to it's original appearance.

It is hard to imagine such a fierce battle happening here at this peaceful location.

The Confederates did win the battles at Kennesaw Mountain, even though they did not go on to win the war.  The Confederates were said to have lost 1,000 soldiers in the battle, and the Union was said to have lost 3,000 during this same battle.

Shortly thereafter Sherman of the Union Army would continue to march toward Atlanta which resulted in the fall of Atlanta on September 2, 1864.  

The Civil War would continue on until General Robert E. Lee decided that the fight was hopeless and surrendered his army in Appomattox, Virginia on April 9, 1865.

Join us in a following post as we visit the touching final resting place for the soldiers of the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain.

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