Kennesaw Mountain 27 June 1864

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Map Code: Ax01808

On the morning of 27 June General Sherman’s Union artillery subjected the Confederate defences on the ridge at Kennesaw Mountain to a ferocious bombardment: ‘Kennesaw smoked and blazed with fire, a volcano as grand as Etna’. However, the earthwork fortifications absorbed the pummelling, and when the Union troops advanced – in column rather than line formation, to maximize exploitation of any breach – their progress was bedevilled by steep inclines and treacherous, boulder-strewn terrain. After suffering some 3,000 casualties, Sherman called it a day. Afterwards, he claimed the frontal assault – after a sequence of flanking manoeuvres – was to keep the Confederates guessing about his tactics in future engagements. He wrote to his wife ‘I begin to regard the death and mangling of a couple thousand men, as a small affair, a kind of morning dash’.

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