I spent the afternoon at the Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield National Park today. I visited the Kolb’s Farm and Cheatham Hill. Photographs were taken of wayside markers and troop placements markers that dot the landscape. At Cheatham Hill I walked along side Confederate earthworks thrown up along the highest contour of the hill. At one spot the works bend back perpendicularly to the east. I had just found Dead Angle …a place of great killing. Captain James Hall of the 9th Tennessee Infantry described the carnage of August 27, 1864:
After the enemy had retired and we could survey the ground in our front which they had just occupied, a frightful and disgusting scene of death and destruction was presented to our view. During all of the four years of the war, I do not remember ever to have seen the ground so completely strewn with dead bodies. – The Kennesaw Line: Eyewitness at Dead Angle, Emerging Civil War, http://www.emergingcivilwar.com, accessed July 9, 2017.
Tonight as I write this dispatch from the field I am listening and watching the 25th anniversary version of Ken Burns, Civil War on PBS. I remember people in the south did not like this when it first aired in 1989. Now 25 years later in the time of removing Confederate monuments and calling southern soldiers losers and traitors I find it a little amusing that most of the people I saw today today in the battlefield were walking dogs or jogging in their yoga pants, with bulky backpacks, and water bottles were the accruements of the day.
Oblivious to the drama that unfolded on this field…the face to face wholesale slaughter of humans by humans occurred here…cars whiz through land stained red with American blood. Family with their dogs on leashes and kids in tow hike past trenches where men squatted in blood and fired away at each of other separated by a mere 30 feet.