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Duluth Massage

Cheatham Hill Loop
Georgia Trails

Trail Length: 1.0 miles Type of trail: Loop
County: Cobb County, GA Our rating: E
Features: historic, family, 60hikes Your rating:
Usage: Medium Added on: January 01, 1998
Last hiked: July 11, 2013 Updated on: September 02, 2013
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Additional Trails
Hiking trails in Cobb County, GA

Directions to Cheatham Hill Loop

Illinois Monument
No single hiking trail packs more history about the Civil War in Georgia than the Cheatham Hill Loop. Within the first 1,000 yards of the trailhead was some of the most intense fighting anywhere in the state during the War Between The States. The trail comprises about 1.0 mile of the 16 miles of trails within Kennesaw Mountain National Military Park.

We turn off the busy Dallas Highway down a tree lined drive that is occasionally interspersed with wide fields. The trail visible to the west is the Cheatham Hill Connector. In this area on June_27, 1864, men under the command of Confederate Generals Benjamin Franklin Cheatham and Patrick Cleburne, two of the best generals on either side, withstood an assault of the Union IV Corps under the command of O. O. Howard, part of George Henry Thomas's Army of the Cumberland that spanned almost two miles.

Just north of the Dead Angle, on the road to the parking area, are 4 stops including a set of cannon, the impressive Texas monument, an interpreted display on the interlocking defensive structure of the Confederate line and a fire that enveloped Union casualties resulting from an attack on Rebel positions. The commander of the Confederate forces ordered his men to cease fire as the bluecoats retreated, stood on top of the entrenchments and called to his adversaries to "Come and get your wounded. They are burning to death!" For a brief time both Confederate and Union soldiers worked to remove the injured. The leaders of the Union forces presented the Confederate commander with matching Colt .45 pistols the next day.

Parking for the trailhead is at the end of Cheatham Hill Drive. Walk to the south end of the parking lot to begin your hike. Although this trail can be hiked either way, it is designed to be walked counter-clockwise. For a complete discussion of the battle in this area see Fighting at Cheatham Hill. After passing through the fence, Mebane's Tennessee Battery is on the right. Enclosed in a waist-high dirt fortress, the cannon are nearly completely surrounded and would be difficult for advancing soldiers to see. Under orders not to fire until the Federals were upon them, these two cannon tore into advancing Yankees at nearly point blank range.

As the hike continues a series of Confederate entrenchments on the left that would become known by both sides as the "Dead Angle." For the defender's safety, a wooden fence would have been built a foot or so above the fortified redoubt. Repeated assaults by Union forces upon the salient in Frank Cheatham's line directly behind the Illinois Monument proved fruitless.

For the best view of this impressive monument, turn right at the base and walk down the path, turning around to view the monument from the front. Notice just to the left of the monument the small tunnel that Union troops began to build. They were trapped by Confederate fire from the entrenchments further up the hill and tried to tunnel under the Rebel position intending to blow it up.

Climb back to the Cheatham Hill Loop and turn right as the trail bears to the left, following the curve of the trenches as they create "The Angle." It is here that William Tecumseh Sherman lost his former law partner, "Fighting" Dan McCook, during the brief hour and a half battle.

Grave of an Unknown Soldier
The path begins an easy-moderate descent on hard-packed dirt with rocks and tree roots before coming to a grave on the left. The tomb of an unknown Union soldier was discovered in 1938 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. At the intersection at 0.6 miles turn left as the Cheatham Hill Loop briefly joins Kolb's Farm Loop. Less than 0.1 mile later, Kolb's Farm comes off to the right and the Cheatham Hill loop continues straight, bearing left shortly after leaving the 3-way intersection. As the trail turns it begins to climb, rising towards the top of the hill. The path ends at an asphalt-paved parking area. Turn left and follow the road around to your car.

For an overview of the other trails see Trails of Kennesaw Mountain.


Pages related to Cheatham Hill Loop
Cheatham Hill Loop
Directions to Cheatham Hill Loop
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Georgia Hikes
Your guide to hiking and walking trails in the state of Georgia

Article Links
Army of the Cumberland
Benjamin Franklin Cheatham
Cheatham Hill Connector
Civilian Conservation Corps
Fighting at Cheatham Hill
George Henry Thomas
Kennesaw Mountain National Military Park
Patrick Cleburne
Trails of Kennesaw Mountain
William Tecumseh Sherman

Georgia Trails
Georgia Trails Index
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