By James Moloney
During the Atlanta campaign of the American Civil War, Kennesaw Mountain, in Cobb County, Georgia, (located about twenty miles northwest of Atlanta City), became the scene for one of the most desperate fights of that tragic war.
Yet, amid all the slaughter, the tragic death of a Tipperary man, gave a unique dignity to the gallantry of all who died in that desperate fight to bring an end to the war.
The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain was fought on June 27, 1864. The fight would see the most significant frontal assault launched by Union Major General William T. Sherman against the Confederate Army of Tennessee under General Joseph E. Johnston.
Sherman believed that Johnston’s line was stretched thin and that an assault would break the Rebels. So he planned a move against the centre of the Confederate lines around Kennesaw Mountain.
He feigned attacks on both of Johnston’s flanks, then hurled 8,000 men at the Confederate centre. It was a disaster.
Entrenched Southerners bombarded the Yankees, who were attacking uphill. Three thousand Union troops fell, compared with just 500 Confederates.
Though the battle ended in a tactical defeat for the Union forces, strategically, however, the battle failed to deliver the result that the Confederacy desperately needed — namely a halt to Sherman’s advance on Atlanta City.