I’m Masud Olufani for the Atlanta History Center.
It is morning, late June 1864. Under a hot summer sun, the
temperature climbs to one hundred degrees...men in both armies are clothed in wool
After two months of being outmaneuvered, the confederate
army is entrenched atop Kennesaw Mountain.
For nine days, they block Sherman. Frustrated, he orders an attack.
And targets a hilltop on the left of the confederate line – it becomes known as the dead angle.
His army attacks in columns twenty men deep.
Shooting as fast as he can, confederate Sam Watkins finds his rifle too hot to touch.
As heaps of union bodies pile in front of his trench - soldiers vomit from the heat -
The very sound of battle causes men’s ears to bleed.
Soon, the fighting is hand to hand.
“We threw rocks and beat them in the faces,” Watkins recalls, “the Yankees did the same.”
But the confederates hold.
Sherman’s attack at Kennesaw Mountain is his last frontal assault of the war.
It costs him three times the casualties of the confederates.
Sherman writes his wife:
“I begin to regard the death and mangling of a couple of thousand men as a small affair. ...”
I’m Masud Olufani and this is week ten.