The Dead Angle

Picture shows a wide dirt trail sweeping off at an angle to the rear left.
The gentle slope of the earthworks hides what was a deadly position during the battle.

NPS Photo

Quick Facts
Roughly 200 yards past the parking lot at the end of Cheatham Hill Dr.
Site of one of the largest assaults of the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain
National Battlefield Park

Cellular Signal, Information Kiosk/Bulletin Board, Scenic View/Photo Spot

The 'Dead Angle' was the site of perhaps the bloodiest and most chaotic fighting during the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. The name comes from not only the bloodshed, but also the 'dead space' offered by the angle, meaniing that anyone in this postiion would not be visible to those in the earthworks above. Still visible today, this bulge or 'salient' in the Confederate defenses was where roughly 8 regiments (over 1,000) of Union soldiers concentrated their attack. Making it past the various field fortifications, the Federals make it to the top of the 8 foot tall earthen works and the fighting dissolves into hand to hand combat, with men using their muskets as clubs. Sam Watkins of the 1st Tennessee Infantry writes "My pen is unable to describe the scene of carnage and death that ensued in the next two about other battles, victories, shouts, cheers, and triumphs, but in comparison with this day's fight, all other dwarf into insignificance."

Despite the 'carnage', the Confederate line held. Lieutenant Thomas Maney of the 1st Tennessee writes 'the word passed down to us to hold the works at all hazards, and it did look as if we would be pushed back by sheer force. But stand we must, and stand we did." The Union soldiers attacking both sides of the angle would fall back, but the ones assaulting the angle itself would dig in directly below the works, taking advantage of the 'dead space'. Today, the Illinois Monument marks that position. 


Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park

Last updated: August 3, 2021