The Civil War, Day by Day

Dilger at Gettysburg (detail)

Battle of Kennesaw Mountain

On the morning of June 27, 1864, Sherman ordered a frontal assault against General Johnston’s Confederate troops on two hills south of Kennesaw Mountain, near Marietta, Georgia. By noon, Johnston’s rebels had experienced approximately 600 casualties - but they had inflicted five times that number on the Northern soldiers.

One Southern soldier vividly recalled how “a solid line of blue came up the hill. My pen is unable to describe the scene of carnage that ensued in the next two hours. . . no sooner would a regiment mount our works than they were shot down or surrendered.” The only reason the Confederates were not captured, the soldier believed, was simply, “the impossibility of living men to pass over the bodies of their dead.”

In a manner typical of the contradictions of war, Confederate General Samuel French emerged from the bloody horror with more positive recollections. He and his staff had viewed the battle from a safe vantage point at the top of the mountain for “perhaps an hour, enjoying a bird’s-eye view of one of the most magnificent sights ever allotted to man - to look down upon a hundred and fifty thousand men arrayed in the strife of battle on the plain below.

Mort Künstler painted this dramatic battle scene, a detail from Dilger at Gettysburg, which typifies the fighting that took place at Kennesaw Mountain. Capt. Hubert Dilger, shown here, played a prominent role at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain

July's Archived Features:

Wednesday July 1, 2020
Thursday July 2, 2020
Friday July 3, 2020
Saturday July 4, 2020
Sunday July 5, 2020
Monday July 6, 2020
Tuesday July 7, 2020
Wednesday July 8, 2020



All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2019. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.