Day 2:  Seeing King for a Day

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Heavy Hearts and Heavier Heads!

The next moaning found the Boys moaning. The beers and whiskey had played their toll on the touring History buffs. In much need of comfort food. Fortunately,. Bone knew of exactly where to go in Marietta for comfort food, the Marietta Diner! 

Morning at the Marietta Diner! 

The Marietta Diner is a Guy Fiero recommended, classic dinner joint with huge breakfasts. Mike and Bone met up with the entire Houghton Clan of Jay, Jen, and son Tim. Filling their hurtin' heads with coffee and corned beef hash, Mike and Bone reincarnated into their normal selves enough to bid adieu to Jay, Jen, and Tim and start the Atlanta Campaign, starting with the epic battle of Kennesaw Mountain!.

Kennesaw Rainy Morning Blues

Unlike several of the battlefields with only a sign, Kennesaw Mountain is a full on National Park, and this morning it was quite busy. Having to park a half a mile away The Boys just made it to the Visitor Center before a hellatious rain storm just pelted those unlucky enough to not make it to the Center. Mike and Bone looks outside and considered braving the weather to start the tour. Being weather cowards, they wisely if not bravely decided to check out the Kennesaw Mountain Battle Museum and Video.

Fortunately after checking out the displays and Video the Sun broke through letting Mike and Bone take the field!!  

Stop 9: The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, June 27 1864 

The Battle for Kennesaw Mountain was a notable exception to Sherman's policy in the campaign of avoiding frontal assaults and moving around the enemy's left flank. Sherman was sure that Johnston had stretched his line on Kennesaw Mountain too thin and decided on a frontal attack with some diversions on the flanks. On the morning of June 27, Sherman sent his troops forward after an artillery bombardment. At first, they made some headway overrunning Confederate pickets south of the Burnt Hickory Road, but attacking an enemy that was dug in was futile. The fighting ended by noon, and Sherman suffered heavy casualties, about 3,000, compared with 1,000 for the Confederate. Johnston fell back toward Smyrna on July 3 and by July 4 to a defensive line along the west bank of the Chattahoochee River that became known as Johnston's River Line.

Clowns Climbing Cheatham's Hill! 

As Mike and Bone walked the Battlefield they came to the apex of the Battle Cheatham's Hill. Seeing the steep grade of the hill it is no surprise that the Union Attack falter on this hill. There are numbers of stories on how the Union casualties piled up under Confederate trenches on the Hill. Those who lived were stuck for 3 days in the broiling 90 degree weather begging for water or to be shot (by anyone). Corpses blackened and burst in the heat, and so many did that after three days a Cease-fire was requested by both sides so they could buried the dead which account for the cemeteries in the Battlefield. Both the Union boys and the Reb Johnnies worked together to dig the pits to mass bury the dead, share a drink, and story, only to climb back into their trenches to start shooting at each other again. A truly bizarre story in the grim history of the mostly Un-Civil War. 

After a three days of hitting a unmoving Rebel wall, Sherman decided to go back to his Flanking Strategy and never to repeat trying to hit Johnston head on again, While he never admitted he was wrong, Sherman never tried it again during the campaign. Next stop for Mike and Bone put them into the ATL City limits!

Stop 10: Paces Ferry

After leaving Kennesaw Mountain Johnston put the Chattahoochee River between his army and Sherman's. General Howard's IV corps advanced on Pace's Ferry on the river. The Confederate pontoon bridge there was defended by dismounted cavalry. They were driven away by BG Thomas J. Wood's division of IV Corps. The bridge, although damaged, was captured. Howard decided not to force a crossing against increased Confederate opposition. When federal pontoons arrived on July 8, Howard crossed the river and outflanked the Pace's Ferry defenders. This forced them to withdraw; and this permitted Sherman to cross the river, advancing closer to Atlanta. Johnston abandoned the River Line and retired south of Peachtree Creek, about three miles north of Atlanta. Right after that move by the Confederate, Confederate President Jefferson Davis made a move that guaranteed a eventual Union victory in the Campaign.

Stop 11: The Battle of Peachtree Creek, July 20th

By now the sun was out and it was getting that familiar Georgia June hot outside. Finding the ATL Campaign signs were going to be harder to spot in the City, after 15 minutes of playing with Google Maps, Mike and Bone found the first Battle for Atlanta, where Mike and Bone read.  

After crossing the Chattahoochee, Sherman split his army into three columns for the assault on Atlanta with Thomas' Army of the Cumberland, on the left, moving from the north. Schofield and McPherson had drawn away to the east, leaving Thomas on his own. Johnston decided to attack Thomas as he crossed the creek, but Confederate President Jefferson Davis relieved him of command and appointed John Bell Hood to take his place.

Hood was a known aggressive General and served well under Robert E. Lee, however he was also reckless and ambitious, he had no problem telling Jefferson Davis that Johnston's strategy of retreating was wrong and he could do a better job. Davis had had problems for several years with Johnston, and used any opportunity to get rid of him. Once Johnston crossed the Atlanta border, Davis had the excuse to get rid of Johnston in favor of Hood.

Hood adopted Johnston's plan and attacked Thomas after his army crossed Peachtree Creek. The determined assault threatened to overrun the Union troops at various locations, but eventually the Union held, and the Confederates fell back. The advance of McPherson from the east side of Atlanta distracted Hood from his offensive and drew off Confederate troops that might have joined the attack on Thomas.


Stop 12: Fort Walker, One of the Perimeter Forts of Atlanta


During the Civil War Atlanta was so important to the Confederacy in terms of manufacturing and rail roads, that it became one of the most heavily defended cities in the world with a ring of forts surrounding it.  Mike and Bone checked out Fort Walker in southeast Atlanta is the last of these Forts in existence. This old Fort was also near a Museum that portrayed the next step in African-American citizenship after the Civil War, the Ebenezer Baptist Church and the Martin Luther King Center!

MLK was Quite OK!

Martin Luther King grew up in the Atlanta African-American, middle-class neighborhood of Sweet Auburn. The house he parents (his Dad was the Pastor) grew up is only 3 houses from the Church, and when he was assassinated, the Church worked with the National Park Service to create MLK's grave, memorial, and Visitor Center.

MLK's Awards

Mike and Bone started at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (“The King Center.”) Established in 1968 by Mrs. Coretta Scott King, the Center has been a global destination, resource center and community institution for over a quarter century. Nearly a million people each year make pilgrimage to the National Historic Site to learn, be inspired and pay their respects to Dr. King’s legacy.

Both a traditional memorial and programmatic nonprofit, the King Center was envisioned by its founder to be “no dead monument, but a living memorial filled with all the vitality that was his, a center of human endeavor, committed to the causes for which he lived and died.” That vision was carried out through educational and community programs until Mrs. King’s retirement in the mid-1990’s, and today it’s being revitalized.

Walking around the Family's building, it simply did not feel like a Museum, but more of a collection of awards and pictures. After 10 minutes wandering around, Mike and Bone boogied to the next stop, the storied Ebenezer Baptist Church!  

The Coretta Scott King Section


Martin Luther Kings Grave

Mike and Bone, Going to Church?!



The Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church!

The Ebenezer Baptist Church Sanctuary

Martin Preaching at the Church

Mike and Bone headed into the Church giving the Church Volunteer crap for stating the Bone's ball cap was a "Spartan" cap instead of Wolverine. The nerve of some people! Bone told him that he should not blaspheme a Wolverine if he did  not want Mike and Bone to not blaspheme in the Christian Church!

Checking out Sanctuary, Mike and Bone got a very 1920's vibe to it. Which makes sense, since MLK's Grandfather built the Church during the Middle Class heyday of Sweet Auburn.

Heading down to the Basement, the Boys saw a group gathered sitting in old 1960 folding chairs being addressed by a Middle-Aged African-American man that was discussing that he is the only "MLK imitator" that has been sanctioned the King Children. Soon as the boys sat down he launched into the unforgettable Martin Luther King Speech "I have a Dream."

I have a Dream"

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. 

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, that one day right down in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exhalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rogh places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I will go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.

With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning, "My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrims' pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. But not only that; let freedom ring from the Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Dr. Martin Luther King

The dude was channeling MLK, he had the EXACT same deep voice and timber to his voice, if you closed your eyes it was MLK. Afterward, moved, Mike and Bone headed to the National Park's Visitor Center

Mike Heading to the MLK Center

Heading into the National Park Mike and Bone got the vibe of what they had come to expect from a Historic Site, cool exhibits which include has a featured exhibition that is produced by the National Park Service in partnership with Carter Presidential Library and Museum, and The King Center. President Jimmy Carter and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The images illustrated throughout the exhibition depict the close bond between the Carter and King families through the years and tells the story of the creation of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. After a hour of checking it out, Mike and Bone returned to their regularly scheduled Civil War Tour ! But first, lunch sothern' style,

Eatin' some awesome "Q" in the Hood

Near the Cemetery was a old good fashion Southern Bar-b-que joint with great ribs, and fixin's. (which made up for the brief breakfast)known as Daddy D'z!. Daddy D'z is an internationally recognized staple of Atlanta. Their bar-b-que is cooked on a hickory & oak pit by hand. It's located just 4 blocks east of downtown Atlanta, they feature the comfort and traditional soul food. Happy and stuffed silly, the Boys pushed on to the southern Atlanta into a very "interesting" neighborhood with the next stop at Ezra Church.

Stop 12: The Battle for Atlanta


 After lunch Mike and Bone headed to the site (now a famous Cemetery) where Hood planned to hit  McPherson's Army of the Tennessee and where he  watched the Battle. Hood withdrew his main army at night from Atlanta's outer line to the inner line, enticing Sherman to follow. In the meantime, he sent William J. Hardee with his corps on a fifteen-mile (24 km) march to hit the unprotected Union left and rear, east of the city. Wheeler's cavalry was to operate farther out on Sherman's supply line, and Cheatham's corps was to attack the Union front.

Hood, however, miscalculated the time necessary to make the march, and Hardee was unable to attack until afternoon. Although Hood had outmaneuvered Sherman for the time being, McPherson was concerned about his left flank and sent his reserves—Dodge's XVI Corps—to that location. Two of Hood's divisions ran into this reserve force and were repulsed. The Confederate attack stalled on the Union rear but began to roll up the left flank. Around the same time, a Confederate soldier shot and killed McPherson when he rode out to observe the fighting. Determined attacks continued, but the Union forces held. About 4 p.m., Cheatham's corps broke through the Union front, but massed artillery near Sherman's headquarters halted the Confederate assault. Logan's XV Corps then led a counterattack that restored the Union line. The Union troops held, and Hood suffered high casualties.


The Final Resting Place of Confederate General John B. Gordon

Wandering around the Boys came across the grave of Confederate General John B. Gordon. Gordon fought in most of the Battles for the Army of Northern Virginia for Robert E. Lee. Gordon was shot 5 times at Antietam. Gordon was the General at Appomattox that surrendered the Army to Joshua Lawrence Chamberlin, where Gordon tipped his hat in salute in dramatic fashion that moved the whole Union Army. 

The Confederate Monument

Southern style, the largest monument in the Cemetery was of course the Confederate Monument!

The under-whelming Slave Section

In the middle of the cemetery in a little plot is a very sad and under-whelming section where the Southerners would bury their dead slaves. Having had enough dead people, Mike and Bone needed some Victuals!

Stop 13: The Broken and Hidden Battle of Ezra Church Sign

Mike and Bone drove deep, deep in the Hood and could not for the life of them (and considering the Neighborhood!) could not find the monument until on a very bad street corner, they found a broken sign on Ezra Church. It was here that Sherman's forces had previously approached Atlanta from the east and north and had not been able to break through, so Sherman decided to attack from the west. He ordered Howard's Army of the Tennessee to move from the left wing to the right and cut Hood's last railroad supply line between East Point and Atlanta. Hood foresaw such a maneuver and sent the two corps of Lt. Gen. Stephen D. Lee and Lt. Gen. Alexander P. Stewart to intercept and destroy the Union force at Ezra Church. Howard had anticipated such a thrust, entrenched one of his corps in the Confederates' path, and repulsed the determined attack, inflicting numerous casualties. Howard, however, failed to cut the railroad. Concurrent attempts by two columns of Union cavalry to cut the railroads south of Atlanta ended in failure, with one division under Maj. Gen. Edward M. McCook completely smashed at the Battle of Brown's Mill and the other force also repulsed and its commander, Maj. Gen. George Stoneman, taken prisoner. After a quick picture, they got the heck out of there!

Stop 14:Utoy Creek (August 5–7)

In the same area (but a little better neighborhood!) They found the next stop of Utoy Creek, which was in a Cemetary (probably not during the Battle!, but maybe as a result of it!)  After failing to envelop Hood's left flank at Ezra Church, Sherman still wanted to extend his right flank to hit the railroad between East Point and Atlanta. He transferred Schofield's Army of the Ohio from his left to his right flank and sent him to the north bank of Utoy Creek. Although Schofield's troops were at Utoy Creek on August 2, they, along with the XIV Corps, Army of the Cumberland, did not cross until August 4. Schofield's force began its movement to exploit this situation on the morning of August 5, which was initially successful. Schofield then had to regroup his forces, which took the rest of the day. The delay allowed the Confederates to strengthen their defenses with abatis, which slowed the Union attack when it restarted on the morning of August 6. The Federals were repulsed with heavy losses and failed in an attempt to break the railroad. On August 7, the Union troops moved toward the Confederate main line and entrenched. They remained there until late August.

Stop 15: Jonesborough (August 31 – September 1)

In late August, Sherman determined that if he could cut Hood's railroad supply lines, the Confederates would have to evacuate Atlanta. Sherman had successfully cut Hood's supply lines in the past by sending out detachments of Calvary, but the Confederates quickly repaired the damage. He therefore decided to move six of his seven infantry corps against the supply lines. The army began pulling out of its positions on August 25 to hit the Macon & Western Railroad between Rough and Ready and Jonesborough.

To counter the move, Hood sent Hardee with two corps to halt and possibly rout the Union troops, not realizing Sherman's army was there in force. On August 31, Hardee attacked two Union corps west of Jonesborough but was easily repulsed. Fearing an attack on Atlanta, Hood withdrew one corps from Hardee's force that night. The next day, a Union corps broke through Hardee's line, and his troops retreated to Lovejoy's Station. Sherman had cut Hood's supply line but he had failed to destroy Hardee's command. On the night of September 1, Hood evacuated Atlanta and ordered that the 81 rail cars filled with ammunition and other military supplies be destroyed. The resulting fire and explosions were heard for miles. Union troops under the command of Gen. Henry W. Slocum occupied Atlanta on September 2.


On September 4, 1864, General Sherman issued Special Field Order # 64. General Sherman announced to his troops that "The army having accomplished its undertaking in the complete reduction and occupation of Atlanta will occupy the place and the country near it until a new campaign is planned in concert with the other grand armies of the United States."

Atlanta Campaign Results: Sherman Johnston/Hood

 Sherman was victorious in the Atlanta Campaign, and Hood established a reputation as the most recklessly aggressive general in the Confederate Army. Casualties for the campaign were roughly equal in absolute numbers: 31,687 Union (4,423 killed, 22,822 wounded, 4,442 missing/captured) and 34,979 Confederate (3,044 killed, 18,952 wounded, 12,983 missing/captured).

But this represented a much higher Confederate proportional loss. Hood's army left the area with approximately 30,000 men, whereas Sherman retained 81,000. Sherman's victory was qualified because it did not fulfill the original mission of the campaign—destroy the Army of Tennessee—and Sherman has been criticized for allowing his opponent to escape. However, the capture of Atlanta made an enormous contribution to Northern morale and was an important factor in the re-election of President Abraham Lincoln.

The Atlanta Campaign was followed by Federal initiatives in two directions: almost immediately, to the northwest, the pursuit of Hood in the Franklin–Nashville Campaign; and after the presidential election of 1864, to the east in Sherman's March to the Sea. And for Mike and Bone, they did! The whole Atlanta Campaign in two days! Spent from all the driving and touring, they went downtown for some famous fried Chicken from Mary Mac's

The Famous (or Infamous) Mary Mac's Team Room

Bone wanted to treat Mike to a Atlanta favorite, Mary Mac’s Tea Room which opened in 1945. Today it is the last of sixteen tea rooms that once dotted intown Atlanta in the 1940s. It reeks of old Southern charm, when Mike and Bone were in there there was a table of southern ladies with the heels, pearls and southern style, straight from the 40's. Unfortunately, that night the food reeked too. Bone had had great food in the past, but tonight, not so much. Whipped as much as the Mary Mac's potatoes. 

Trip, Postscript

Mike and Bone got a hotel close to the Hartsfield since everyone was warning about ridiculous TSA lines of 3 hours. Fortunately the next morning they boarded and boogied back to the Wolverine State, smarter about the Civil Ware and MLK, and Marrietta was still depleted of Whiskey!!

Another Mike and Bone Tour well done!