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Hood's leadership at Chickamauga won him a promotion to lieutenant general on February 11, , and later that month he joined the Army of Tennessee in Dalton, Georgia as a corps commander. Johnston's command of the Army of Tennessee and replaced Johnston with Hood. When asked by Davis, Lee had advised against this change in command. Schofield replied that Hood was "bold even to rashness" and "courageous in the extreme. Oakland Cemetery provides a tangible link to Atlanta and the Civil War, both as a site where Hood established an observation post during the Battle of Atlanta and as the most prominent public space in the city used by residents and visitors to commemorate the war dead and the Lost Cause of the Confederacy.

Oakland extended beyond its original boundaries through a series of expansions, and by it reached its current size of eighty-eight acres. During the Civil War a section immediately east of the original six acres was set aside for war dead. Now known as the Confederate section, this plot of land is the burial site of nearly seven thousand soldiers, including three thousand unknowns. Many of the Confederate dead were reinterred in Oakland Cemetery after members of the Atlanta Ladies Memorial Association and their spouses raised funds in to remove bodies from the shallow graves on the battlefields near Atlanta.

The last row of the Confederate section "C" contains the remains of Federal soldiers who were captured and died in Confederate hospitals. The Federal headstones have shields on them. The Ladies Memorial Association also erected two large monuments that mark the space set aside for the war dead: a sixty-five-foot-tall obelisk of Stone Mountain granite and a six-foot-high statue of a grieving lion carved from a fifteen-ton piece of Tate, Georgia, marble and modeled after the renowned Lion of Lucerne in Switzerland.


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Lee's funeral. The obelisk is the focal point for the entire Confederate section and for decades provided the backdrop for annual Confederate Memorial Day celebrations. At the time of the obelisk's dedication it was the tallest structure in Atlanta, equivalent in height to a three-story building.


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  • The Lion of Atlanta, like the much larger Swiss statue, symbolizes the agonizing death struggle of an armed force in defeat, overwhelmed by its opponent but honored for bravery. In Atlanta, the monument commemorates the unknown Confederate dead, whose remains are buried in the surrounding plot; in Lucerne, the carving that Mark Twain called "the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world" 23 is dedicated to the approximately Swiss Guards who died while unsuccessfully defending the French royal family in August , during the French Revolution.

    The Lucerne statue was sculpted in — with the support of Swiss aristocrats seeking the backing of Bourbon monarchs who had been restored to the French throne. Brady of Canton, Georgia sculpted the Atlanta version, completing the statue in Thus, marble from the same small town in Pickens County went to sculpt a memorial to thousands of unknown Confederate dead as well as a monument to the war's best known casualty. Commemorating the surrender of Confederate General Joseph E.

    Johnston to Federal General William T. Until Confederate Memorial Day was a statutory Georgia holiday, marked in Atlanta by a procession of as many as ten thousand people from downtown to Oakland Cemetery for ceremonies and speeches.

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    Confederate Colonel Lemuel P. Fittingly, the Fort Walker site in Grant Park is the sole remnant of the earthen works constructed under Lemuel Grant's supervision. Other remnants of Atlanta's defensive works were evident into the twentieth century, only to be obliterated in the post—World War II era by urban growth.

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    It was first restored in the s, 28 after which it became a popular destination for visitors and a frequent subject of picture postcards. The fort was restored again in the s, when the Works Progress Administration laid flagging stone—still present—to protect the broad area above the earthen wall, where the original Confederate gun battery had been placed. At the time of the Battle of Atlanta, the city was completely encircled by over ten miles of carefully planned and well-constructed fortifications that stood on average one-and-a-half miles from the city's center.

    These strong defensive works were completed for the most part by April Their construction was supervised by Lemuel P. Grant, after whom Atlanta's Grant Park is named. Subsequent extensions of the city's defensive perimeter in the spring and summer of increased its length. Among the add-ons was Fort Walker , a small bastion located in the southeast corner of Grant Park that was originally constructed as a separate four-gun parapet and subsequently incorporated into the main defensive line. Walker, who was killed in the Battle of Atlanta. The actual look of Atlanta's earthwork fortifications in is preserved in the visual record created by George N.

    Barnard , a pioneering nineteenth-century photographer who documented Sherman's campaigns throughout the final year of the Civil War. Barnard also took photographs of the city itself, before, during, and after its wreckage and burning by the Yankees. His images of the city's forts after they fell to the Federals depict rugged earthen structures supported by timber frameworks, located on hilly prominences, and connected by lengthy entrenchments that could be occupied by infantry.

    The forts were fitted for artillery batteries, which were placed on level platforms behind gun embrasures. The grounds in front of each fort had been cleared of trees and brush for one thousand yards, leaving open lines of fire for the defenders' artillery and rifles. Some forts also were protected by abatis, felled trees with sharpened branches facing toward the enemy, and chevaux-de-frise , rows of criss-crossed, sharpened logs.

    Lemuel Grant, a native of Maine who at age twenty-two had moved to Atlanta before the name of the place had been changed from Terminus and Marthasville, was originally trained as a civil engineer and had no military training or experience prior to his commission in as a captain of engineers in the Confederate army.

    Lemuel Grant's lack of familiarity with military fortifications and the range of field artillery had consequences. The distance between the fortified line and the city's center was less than the maximum range of the Federal field artillery, and beginning July 20, , the advancing Federal forces were able to cannonade Atlanta without breaching or even testing the city's fortifications. Union commander William T. Sherman decided against a direct infantry assault after reconnoitering the fortifications following the Battle of Atlanta. A visit to the hilltop Fort Walker site and observation of the surrounding topography show why it was a key point in Atlanta's defenses.

    The location provides a commanding view of the valley below and an advantageous position for a gun battery. At the base of the site is a rifle pit, visible as a shallow, semi-circular trench in front of the fort wall. In , troops would have had sufficient space within the trench to stand without exposing more than their eyes and rifle barrels in a narrow opening covered by a protective timber head-log.

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    Rifled cannons and side arms in the Civil War were nineteenth-century technological innovations that had the potential to add substantial firing range and destructive power to both armies. Yet, gunfire between the opposing battle lines in the Civil War was typically mass volleying of rifled muskets shot at close range from linear ranks.

    The rifled musket's rate of fire was not fast enough in the Civil War to enable departures from standard battle lines, which resembled tightly packed Napoleonic formations. Artillery served mainly as weapons of support for infantry and cavalry, either in defending positions or bolstering attacks. Long range fire was the specialty of rifled cannons, enabling accurate cannonading at a mile and maximum ranges in excess of two miles.

    Casualties inflicted by artillery typically accounted for a small proportion of Confederate and Federal losses. The majority of battlefield injuries and fatalities resulted from rifle fire, and protracted shooting at close range, often under a hundred yards, characterized many Civil War battles. Firefights often dragged on until exhaustion set in or nightfall ended the combat for the day, as was the case in the Battle of Atlanta.

    Casualties mounted because the fighting lasted so long—approximately eight hours on the Atlanta battlefield—and less because of technological advances in weaponry. Prior to the third year of the Civil War, battlefield tactics remained largely unchanged from earlier nineteenth-century conflicts. By , two major military innovations had gained acceptance.


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    • First, the principal armies began to engage in continuous campaigning for months rather than sporadic, pitched battles that lasted hours or days. Second, soldiers on both sides had learned to dig systems of trenches and light field fortifications, which strengthened their positions and protected against enemy rifle fire. Throughout the Atlanta Campaign, Confederate military engineers oversaw construction of defensive works, such as the Kennesaw Mountain Line and Chattahoochee River Defense Line , that they prepared before the arrival of the retreating Army of Tennessee.

      Just prior to the battles for Atlanta, the Confederate Army in retreat toward the city constructed a nine-mile line of entrenchments outside and to the north and east of the much heavier, inner fortifications. The southerners abandoned their outer defensive line on the night of July 21 and withdrew to the city's stronger, inner line.

      From there they marched into positions to attack the Federals the next day. The inner fortifications were not breached during the Battle of Atlanta, but the heavy earthen works could not thwart the Federal bombardment of the city that intensified after the Yankee victory or block the subsequent military maneuvers that forced the Confederates to surrender their stronghold on September 2. Lieutenant General William J. Hardee led a fifteen-mile overnight trek of between seventeen and eighteen thousand Confederate soldiers that culminated in their opening attack in the Battle of Atlanta.

      During the July 21 fighting at Bald Hill, Hood learned from his cavalry scouts that McPherson's advancing Army of the Tennessee, despite its increasingly strong position, was vulnerable to an attack on its left flank or rear. As the Federal army moved closer to Atlanta, Sherman sent the cavalry division that had been guarding McPherson's left flank eastward toward Covington and the Alcovy River to burn bridges and destroy Georgia Railroad tracks heading to Augusta.

      Sherman wanted to disrupt enough track to prevent the southerners from using the railroad to move troops and supplies from Virginia. As a result, with the Union cavalry miles away, the left end of McPherson's line presented a weak spot protected by only two brigades. If the Confederates marched south of the city then swung east and north around McPherson's exposed flank they could rout the Yankees in a surprise attack and capture or destroy the large number of Federal supply wagons parked in the Decatur town square.

      To achieve these goals, and to prevent McPherson from moving south and cutting the railroad between Atlanta and Macon, Hood devised an ambitious plan of attack on July 21 that was reminiscent of a bold flanking maneuver that Stonewall Jackson successfully executed in May against the right wing of the Federal Army of the Potomac at Chancellorsville, Virginia.

      Hood decided to divide his forces, keeping two corps, commanded by Alexander Stewart and Benjamin Cheatham , behind the city's inner fortifications while sending William Hardee 's Corps, accompanied by Joseph Wheeler's cavalry, on a wide circling maneuver south and east of the city.

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      Hardee and Wheeler would move out of Atlanta at nightfall, swing around McPherson's left flank, and then pounce on the Yankee's rear at daybreak, rolling up their line and destroying the supply wagons gathered in Decatur. In conjunction with this attack, Cheatham's Corps would move from behind the fortifications on Atlanta east's side in a direct frontal assault against the center of the Federal line held by McPherson and Schofield's troops. Meanwhile, Stewart's Corps would hold Thomas's Army of the Cumberland in check north of the city, preventing Federal reinforcements of McPherson and Schofield's armies and then engaging Thomas once the battle became general.

      Hardee's division commanders , Confederate division commanders whose units completed Hardee's Night March, clockwise from upper left, William H.

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      Walker, William B. Bate, Patrick R. Cleburne, and George E. Compilation by Christopher Sawula, Hardee's Corps, with the exception of Cleburne's division, began its circuitous fifteen-mile march after dark on July Walker's, Bate's, and Maney's divisions marched out the McDonough Road Capitol Avenue and Hank Aaron Drive of today to a point near the present-day state capitol, where they were joined by Cleburne's division.

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      Cleburne's division, withdrawn into Atlanta after fighting all day at Bald Hill, joined the other three infantry divisions and Wheeler's cavalry around midnight. Once assembled, the entire column amounted to between seventeen and eighteen thousand foot and horse soldiers. Moving beyond the city limits, the trek continued in a southeasterly direction for five or six miles on the McDonough Road along present-day McDonough Boulevard, except for the final mile and a half, which is now Moreland Avenue.

      After reaching its southernmost point, at or near the South River, Hardee's Corps and Wheeler's cavalry turned northeast on Fayetteville Road, then a winding, red dirt track that led to Decatur. Hardee's troops reached Cobb's Mill at dawn, several hours behind schedule, and Hardee and his division commanders met William Cobb at his house north of the Creek. They recruited mill owner Cobb and a mill worker named Case Turner to serve as guides.

      To this point the route had been relatively clear, but Cobb and Turner said the way ahead included a tangled wilderness of forest and undergrowth and Terry's Mill Pond , a wide span of water resulting from the impoundment of Sugar Creek, northwest of where the Fayetteville Road crossed the creek.

      The wilderness march ahead would be particularly slow going for the Confederate foot soldiers, all of whom had marched all night and many of whom had fought at Peachtree Creek on July The Confederate column continued its advance northward on the Fayetteville Road for a mile and a half beyond Cobb's Mill to a road fork where Hardee's Corps split into two columns.

      Cleburne's and Maney's divisions took the left fork and marched northwest.