After 25 years of planning, fundraising, and work, Whitfield County, Georgia will have the grand opening of Rocky Face Ridge Park on Monday, July 25th at 4:30 p. m.. The park, open since spring 2021 is a 1000-acre conservation park. Officials held off on having a grand opening until bathroom facilities could be installed.
On May 7, 1864, Union Major General William T. Sherman had moved south through Ringgold Gap and had established his headquarters in Tunnel Hill, Georgia. Confederate General Joseph E. Johnson had his 54,000-man army entrenched along Rocky Face Ridge and across Crow Valley.
As Sherman approached, he sent a third of his army though Snake Creek Gap to assault the Western & Atlantic Railroad at Resaca. The armies engaged one another at Buzzard Roost and at Dug Gap. While this engagement was underway Major General James Birdseye McPherson, led his men through Snake Creek Gap to the outskirts of Resaca, where he found Johnson’s men entrenched.
On May 10th, Sherman decided to join McPherson, in an effort to take Resaca. Sherman withdrew most of his men from in front of Rocky Face Ridge the next day. Once Johnson discovered Sherman’s movement, he withdrew southwards towards Resaca on the 12th.
In 2003, the Whitfield County Board of Commissioners used state and federal grants to buy 650 acres on Rocky Face Ridge to help preserve Civil War fortifications along the ridge and keep it as greenspace. In 2014 the county acquired the Grant Farm, 301 acres abutting what they already owned, and the site of two 1864 battles, as well as the site of Confederate camps in the winter of 1863-64 following the Battle of Chattanooga.
The new park is all natural, and includes Civil war heritage, hiking and biking trails, and a small lake. Future improvements will include pavilions, and other amenities that people from all walks of life can enjoy. To learn more, click here.