• Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park

    Kennesaw Mountain

    National Battlefield Park Georgia

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  • Increased Traffic Expected June 26, 2014 through June 29, 2014

    Local residents and commuters should expect increased traffic around Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park in relation to the 150th Anniversary programming in the park. More »

  • Parking Lot Closures June 26, 2014 through June 29, 2014

    Several parking lots including the Visitor Center, the Mountain Top, and the Cheatham Hill parking lots will be closed to visitors June 26, 2014 through June 29, 2014. More »

War Has Been Declared!

Following the election of President Abraham Lincoln, South Carolina seceded from the Union on December 20, 1860, becoming the first state to do so. Other states soon followed suit and America would never be the same…

Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as the 16th president of the United States in 1860. His election was a sectional victory, winning none of the southern states. This was the final straw for many Southerners, as they feared that his presidency would result in the end of their way of life.

 
Secession order of states
 
On December 20, 1860, South Carolina declared their secession from the United States of America. Within the next six months, ten other southern states would secede from the Union:

  1. Mississippi - January 9, 1861
  2. Florida - January 10, 1861
  3. Alabama - January 11, 1861
  4. Georgia - January 19, 1861
  5. Louisiana - January 26, 1861
  6. Texas - February 1, 1861
  7. Virginia - April 17, 1861
  8. Arkansas - May 6, 1861
  9. North Carolina - May 20, 1861
  10. Tennessee - June 8, 1861
 
Secession map
 
On February 4, 1861, the seven states that had seceded by this point convened and created the Confederate States of America under the leadership of Jefferson Davis. Just under two months later, on April 12, 1861, Confederate forces opened fire on Union-occupied Fort Sumter off the South Carolina coast. This was the beginning of the Civil War.
What Makes an Army?
 
Civil War battles are fought by armies made up of three branches: infantry, cavalry, and artillery. At the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, General William T. Sherman's Union army had nearly 100,000 men. General Joseph E. Johnston had 65,000 in the Confederate Army. Today, American armies are designated by numbers. In the Civil War, armies were known by names. Union armies were usually named for major rivers. The Confederates named their armies for the states or regions in which they campaigned.
 
Armies are complicated organizations. To control such large numbers of men, armies are divided into levels of command. Starting from the bottom, when a man enlisted in the army, he joined a company of about 100 men, commanded by a captain and two lieutenants. Ten companies from a particular state were combined into a regiment commanded by a colonel. For example, a man might be a member of B Company of the 63rd Georgia Regiment.
 
The structure of an army
 
Brigades, commanded by a brigadier general, were made up of five regiments. They averaged about 1,500-2,000 soldiers. Three or four brigades composed a division (6,000 to 8,000 soldiers) commanded by a major general. Southern units were known by the names of their Generals and were usually men from the same state. Numbers were used to designate the northern units.
 
A Corps (pronounced core) was composed of three or four divisions. It usually had artillery attached. A corps was commanded by a major general in the Union Army or a lieutenant general in the Confederate Army. As with the brigades and divisions, Confederate corps were named after their generals and Union corps were given numbers (usually Roman numerals).
 

Did You Know?

The walk from the parking area to the main area of fighting at Cheatham Hill.

Did you know that a temporary truce was called at Cheatham Hill [aka The Dead Angle] by Col. William H. Martin of the 1st Arkansas Regiment so that the dead and injured could be removed. The battle resumed once the bodies were removed.