Diary of Orrin Brown, Atlanta, Georgia
We arrived at Calhoun at daybreak here I bought 1 doz loaves of bread for $1.50. Arrived at Kennesaw Mountain about 2PM here we saw where a battle had been fought three weeks before. Saw young groath timber 6 inches through out down by canon balls and brush from 6 inches down to the size of my finger cut completely off by shot and shell. Saw a great many dead horses and mules all along the road. Saw 6 Engines and a great many cars lying along the track smashed up and some of them burned and bent so as to spoil it for present use. Arrived at Marietta at 3 PM and found it the prettiest City that I have seen since I left Indianapolis, we layed untill about 9 PM. Arrived at Atlanta at Midnight. Marched into an old building that had formerly been used for a distilery, spread our blankets on the floor and went to bead.
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield preserves almost 3,000 acres in Cobb County, outside Marietta, Georgia, that saw battle primarily between 19 June and 2 July 1864. The named Battle of Kennesaw Mountain took place 27 June 1864, a frontal assault by Union forces with victory credited to the Confederates. It was a hallow victory for the South, as Gen. Johnston withdrew to Atlanta when Gen. Sherman resumed flanking maneuvers. As Sherman later wrote:
“I perceived that the enemy and our officers had settled down into a conviction that I would not assault fortified lines. All looked to me to outflank. An army to be efficient, must not settle down to a single mode of offence, but must be prepared to execute any plan which promises success. I wanted, therefore, for the moral effect, to make a successful assault against the enemy behind his breastworks, and resolved to attempt it at that point where success would give the largest fruits of victory.”
That was his story, anyway. Confederate President Jefferson Davis soon relieved Johnston of command, replacing him with Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood, with whom we have since become well acquainted. The area was crisscrossed with conflicts as Hood tried to draw Sherman out of Atlanta at the beginning of the Franklin-Nashville campaign. On 1 October, Hood’s cavalry ran into Union cavalry during a raid on the railroad near Marietta, and on 3 Oct, Confederate troops captured Big Shanty (the town of Kennesaw), drawing Sherman and a portion of his troop back out along the railroad. After Union troops held Allatoona Pass on 5 Oct, Hood turned away from the rail lines and moved west into Alabama. A month later, he was nearing a rendezvous with Nathan Bedford Forrest’s cavalry in West Tennessee.