The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a measure to expand Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.
House Resolution 3371 authorizes the park to accept a donation from Cobb County of two pieces of land the county purchased in 2002: the Wallis House and Harrison Hill. The sites will help interpret the events that took place in the Civil War during Union General William Sherman’s campaign to take Atlanta in 1864.
“It is extremely important that we understand our history, otherwise we will be destined to repeat the mistakes of our past,” Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., said in a news release. “Congress took a significant step toward preserving two pieces of property at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park that are essential parts of our nation’s heritage and Civil War history. Sites such as these allow us to look back in time to get a glimpse of the events that shaped our nation.”
U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and David Perdue, R-Ga., have introduced similar legislation. U.S. Reps. Tom Price, R-Ga.; Buddy Carter, R-Ga.; Austin Scott, R-Ga.; and Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., are co-sponsors of Loudermilk’s legislation.
Fighting occurred on and around the mountain from June 19, 1864, until July 2, 1864. On July 1, Sherman began to again flank Johnston, who opted to retreat.
When all was said and done, a total of 5,350 soldiers were killed. Though technically a Confederate victory, Johnston ultimately retreated from Kennesaw Mountain to nearby Smyrna, and Sherman made it through to Atlanta and later marched to the sea.
“In addition to being critical sites in Civil War history, the Wallis House and Harriston Hill are two of the few original locations remaining from the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, associated with the Union Army,” Loudermilk said. “Most of the park’s current attractions correspond with Confederate history, and these additions will prove to be major historical acquisitions that will enhance the value of the park and provide insight into the Union’s side of the story.”