Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park


Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
A cannon emplacement at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park is a 2,965-acre property that contains Kennesaw Mountain and the surrounding battlefield of the Civil War. Fighting raged here between June 19 and July 2, 1864. The opponents: Union General William Tecumseh Sherman with 100,000 troops, 35,000 horses and 254 cannon vs. Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston with 50,000 troops and 187 cannon. The majority of the battle took place on Little Kennesaw Mountain and in the area to the south. 5,350 soldiers died in the battle (20% from the artillery fire that went on 24 hours a day during the fighting) and, in the end, the Confederates won.

There are three distinct battlefield areas: Cheatham Hill (where the main battle was fought), the area in front of the visitor center and another area off Burnt Hickory Road. A smaller battle was fought at the southern end of the park around the area of Peter Valentine Kolb's farm house.

The Illinois Monument at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
The Illinois Monument at Cheatham Hill Battlefield

Today's park interconnects all these sites with 17.3 miles of interpretive walking trails leading past cannon emplacements, historic earthworks and interpretive signage. Around the property are three monuments representing state militias that fought here. Kennesaw Mountain itself rises to 1,808 feet above sea level and the view from the summit encompasses the entire park and much of the region outside: a look around on a clear day and you'll see that the suburbs of Atlanta are pushing up against the boundaries of the park.

The War Department established Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Site on February 18, 1917, then transferred the property to the National Park Service on August 10, 1933. It became the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park on June 26, 1935.

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park is a day-use only park. Winter hours (November through March): Visitor Center - 9 am to 5 pm daily; Visitor Center parking lot and Battlefield grounds: 7:30 am to 6 pm daily; Kennesaw Mountain Road: 8:30 am to 5:30 pm daily; Cheatham Hill Battlefield grounds: 8 am to 5:30 pm daily. Summer hours (March to November): Visitor Center: 9 am to 5 pm daily; Visitor Center parking lot and Battlefield grounds: 7:30 am to 8 pm daily; Kennesaw Mountain Road: 8:30 am to 7:30 pm daily; Cheatham Hill Battlefield grounds: 8 am to 7:30 pm daily. All facilities are closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Days. There are no entry or parking fees involved but Kennesaw Mountain Road is closed every weekend and the park runs a shuttle bus: $3 per adult ages 12 and up, $1.50 per child ages 6 to 11, and free for children 5 and under. Visitors with an Interagency pass, Interagency Senior pass or Interagency Access pass ride the shuttle free.

The restored cabin on Kolb's farm, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
The restored cabin on Kolb's Farm, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
Map of Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park map: Click on the map for a larger version