Planning the Assault on Kennesaw Mountain

map by Hal Jespersen
map by Hal Jespersen

After Kolb Farm, Sherman pushed and tested Johnston’s Lines at Kennesaw, but was unable to find a way to flank it. Frustrated, he decided it was time to attack the line he couldn’t outflank. He sent out orders to each of his armies for an attack on the morning of June 27.

The main assault fell to Gen. George Thomas’s Army of the Cumberland, which would attack with two divisions against an angle in the lines of Gen. William Hardee’s Corps. Gen. James MacPherson would make a feint against Big Kennesaw while one division of the XV Corps would attack the Confederate positions at Pigeon Hill, all manned by the troops of Gen. “Blizzards” Loring. Gen. John Schofield’s XXIII Corps would move against the Confederate Cavalry of Gen. “Red” Jackson’s Division on the extreme left at Olley’s Creek.

The attack could not come soon enough for Johnston’s men, who were tired of retreating without any fighting.

3 Responses to Planning the Assault on Kennesaw Mountain

  1. As will be seen, the key item on the map is on the bottom left, “Cox” with an arrow. It was Jacob Cox who, despite Sherman’s belief that there was no way to continue flanking Johnston, found a way around his left flank and, with other moves, eventually forced Johnston’s retreat. Cox had told his wife in a letter later that he had initially been ordered to be part of the assault on the rebel line at Kennesaw, but that the orders had been changed, “for which I was not sorry,” he told her.

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