Since early May 1864 U.S. General William Tecumseh Sherman had been moving south from Tennessee toward Atlanta, with Joe Johnston’s Confederates blocking his path. Every flanking move Sherman made, Johnston countered, frustrating Sherman’s plans. Finally, Sherman’s patience snapped. No more flanking. He would attack Johnston head on and destroy his army.
It would be the biggest mistake Sherman made during the entire Atlanta Campaign. With Johnston’s army dug in on Kennesaw Mountain, about 20 miles northwest of Atlanta in Cobb County, Sherman ordered a desperate frontal assault against the heavily fortified center of the Confederate line. 3,000 U.S. Soldiers died in a few hours; the Confederates lost 1,000.
The worst carnage was at a spot that would be forever known as “Dead Angle.” Sherman would eventually reach Atlanta, but it would come at a high price after the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, the bloodiest day of the Atlanta campaign, on June 27, 1864, Today in Georgia History.
Today in Georgia History is a joint collaboration of the Georgia Historical Society & Georgia Public Broadcasting.