A couple of weeks ago for my birthday my wife and I took a weekend trip to Atlanta. On our way down she indulged me with a side trip to Pickett’s Mill Battlefield. Website here: http://www.gastateparks.org/info/picketts/. The experience was interesting. Frankly, I am used to battlefields with an overabundance of monuments and markers (except for Stones River) and it both surprised me and pleased me that at Pickett’s Mill there were none. After traveling along a winding drive we eventually came to the small visitor’s center. The fellow behind the desk was kind enough suggesting that we hike first then look at the exhibits because of our late afternoon arrival. There were several trails to choose from and we took the one that gave us the best “feel” of the park. The ranger gave us a map and we were on our way.
The hike itself was a good one (except for that Southern humidity I have grown to loathe). The park does have markers along the side of the trail, but they are small and unobtrusive. Naturally they correspond to the map, with brief descriptions given at each of the “tour stops”. We felt like we were the only ones on the trail that day and one got a good feel for the lay of the land and the terrain fought over.
The battle occurred on May 27, 1864 2 days after the battle of New Hope Church. Basically the Readers Digest version is that Sherman didn’t get anywhere attacking at New Hope Church and tries to attack the left flank of the Confederates which is believed to be at Pickett’s Mill. Several Federal attacks are stopped at Pickett’s Mill and Sherman has to find another way to Atlanta.
Yes, I know that the above description does not do the struggle justice, but it does at least outline the action at Pickett’s Mill. If you are ever in the area, or are a serious student of the Atlanta Campaign, I strongly suggest a visit to the site and let the land speak for itself.