Kennesaw Mountain | Dead Angle | June 27, 1864
"The battle of 'Dead Angle,' was fought June 27, on the Kennesaw line, near Marietta, Georgia. It was one of the hottest and longest days of the year, and one of the most desperate and determinedly resisted battles fought during the whole war," recalled Confederate Sam Watkins. As part of the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, the fight at what became known as the "Dead Angle," was one of the deadliest on the battlefield.
Confederates assumed a defensive position on what is known today as Cheatham Hill. These men commanded by Maj. Gens. Benjamin F. Cheatham and Patrick Cleburne were some of the best fighters in the Confederate Army of Tennessee. The Confederates fortified their position, which was aided by the surrounding woods and undergrowth.
Near 9:00 am, Federal infantry of the XIV and XX Corps' of the Army of the Cumberland opened their assault on the Confederate lines. The nearly 9,000 Federals were, too, veterans. Having seen action at Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Perryville, and Chickamauga. These veterans were thwarted by the mixture of the undergrowth and the Confederate defenses.
Some Federals did manage to reach the Rebel works, but they were thrown back due to hand-to-hand fighting and severe small arms fire. By 11 am, the battle was over, with the Union soldiers now fortifying the small gains that they had made during the action. Afterward, the combatants dubbed the area of the most brutal fighting the "Dead Angle."