Atlanta & Civil War Guide

Atlanta is the only major American city destroyed by war. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman and his 62,000 Union soldiers leveled more than 95 percent of the city in the summer of 1864 during the Civil War. All over the metro Atlanta area, you can find reminders of the campaign to conquer — and defend — Atlanta.

Here are some must-see Civil War-related sites:

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
900 Kennesaw Mountain Drive, Kennesaw. 770-427-4686,
Operated by the National Park Service, the park is the site of the decisive battle in the Atlanta campaign, although the battle was a tactical defeat for Sherman. A visitors center offers exhibits and a 20-minute movie. Open every day but Christmas and Thanksgiving. 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Foot trails cover a 16-mile loop from the visitors center to the Kolb Farm and back. Park open year-round dawn to dusk. Free.

Grant Park, Atlanta. 404-658-7625
The renowned circular painting depicts the Battle of Atlanta. It was painted 1885-86, and three-dimensional figures were added in the 1930s. In the lobby is The Texas, the locomotive that pursued The General in the Great Locomotive Chase of April 1862. $6 adults; 6-12, $4. Senior citizens, $5. 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., daily. Closed on major holidays.

Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History
2829 Cherokee St., Kennesaw. 770-427-2117,
The General, the other “star” of the Great Locomotive chase, is housed here along with other collections focusing on the vital role of railroads in the Civil War. 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Adults, $7.50; 6-12, $5.50; Seniors, $6.50. Closed on major holidays.

Battle of Peachtree Creek
Tanyard Creek Park, Collier and Redland roads, Atlanta
Historical markers highlight the fierce battled launched by Gen. John B. Hood to fend off Sherman’s troops. The battle began in the Clear Creek Valley area and moved west to Howell Mill Road.

Monument to Union Gen. James B. McPherson
Intersection of McPherson Ave. and Monument Road, Atlanta
Granite marker designates the spot where the young McPherson was killed on July 22, 1864.

Surrender Marker
Northwest corner of South Peachtree and Alabama streets
This marker denotes the spot where Atlanta Mayor James M. Calhoun formally surrendered Atlanta to the Union Army on Sept. 2, 1864.

Oakland Cemetery
Entrance on Martin Luther King Drive. Take MARTA to King Memorial Station, 404-688-2107,
Five Confederate generals and nearly 7,000 Confederate soldiers are buried here. So is Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With the Wind. A 65-foot-tall obelisk commemorates Confederate soldiers. Between the visitors center and the north wall, a historical marker indicates the site of the house from which Hood and his staff watched the Battle of Atlanta unfold.

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
900 Kennesaw Mountain Drive, Kennesaw. 770-427-4686,