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Civil War Historical Markers in the Smyrna Area  


During the Civil War, the Smyrna area consisted of two very small settlements and there was no city government. The area on present day Concord Road west of South Cobb Drive was called Ruff's Mill. The area in present day downtown was a non-denominational religious campground named Smyrna Campground.

While the most famous Civil War battles in Cobb County happened around Kennesaw Mountain, many events of historical significance happened in and around Smyrna.

There are 21 Civil War historical markers within the city limits or just a few miles outside. There information is presented in chronological order of the events below. You can learn more about Cobb County's other historical markers from the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia. Timeline information on the Atlanta Campaign can be found by clicking here.

Photos: Carl Vinson Institute of Government. Copyright holder noted.

Site: Wm. Moss House State Historical Marker
Located on Concord Rd. at Westfield Rd.
The stalemate on the Kennesaw Mtn. front was broken when the rt. wing of Sherman's forces was extended S. on the old Sandtown road to this point.This eventuated July 1, 1864, when Brig. Gen. Milo S. Hascall's (2d) div., 23d A. C. [US] moved to this strategic position which threatened Johnston's lines [CS] of communication & retreat -- the State R. R. & highways E. of here & S. of Kennesaw Mountain.McPherson's Army of the Tennessee [US] joined the 23 A. C. here, July 2d & 3d. The 15th & 16th A.C. moved E. to Nickajack Creek & the 17th moved S. toward the Chattahoochee River.

Mable House State Historical Marker
Located at 5239 Floyd Rd., north of Mableton, Ga.
Ante-bellum res. of Robert Mable (1803-1885). July 3, 1864, Maj. Gen. F.P. Blair's 17th A.C., of McPherson's Army of the Tenn. [US], having marched from Kennesaw Mtn., via Sandtown rd., reached Moss' house (near Floyd Station), 1.2 mi. N.
2 P.M. Gresham's 4th div., 17th A.C., moved with 15th A.C. troops to points S. of the Mitchell house (below Mableton), to threaten river crossings at left-rear of Johnston's Smyrna line [CS].
At dark, Gresham's troops withdrew N. to the Mable plantation, which afforded an ample supply of water, & camped here for the night. Walter Q. Gresham was Secretary of State in President Cleveland's Cabinet, 1893-1895.
Extended Right State Historical Marker
Located at Concord and Hicks Roads
July 3, 1864. Concurrent with Johnston's evacuation of his Kennesaw Mtn. line [CS], McPherson's Army of the Tenn. [UD] was shifted to the rt. of Sherman's forces & via Sandtown rd. reached this vicinity -- joining Hascall's div., 23d A.C. These troops operated as a threat to Johnston's lines of communication & retreat from Kennesaw to the Chattahoochee River.
Detachments from the 4 Federal corps began aggressive moves from here on Johnston's left & rear as he withdrew from Kennesaw; a column was sent E. to Ruff's Mill on Nickajack Creek & one S. via Mableton & the Mitchell house, toward the river crossings.
Hood's Corps at Battle of Ruff's Mill State Historical Marker
Located at intersection of Concord and Hurt Rds.
HOOD'S CORPS AT BATTLE OF RUFF'S MILLWhen Johnston's forces [CS] withdrew from Kennesaw Mtn., July 3, 1864, they occupied a double line of field works extending from Smyrna S. W. to Nickajack Creek at Dodgen's Mill, more or less along this, the old Concord Road.Hood's Corps held the left, (S.W.) sector of the lines which crossed the road at this point.July 4. Federal forces moved up, investing the entire Confederate position. Dodge's 16th A. C. [US] crossed Nickajack at Ruff's Mill & late P.M.. Fuller's brigade (4th div.) moved up this rd., the attack falling upon Stevenson's div. [CS], driving it from the first line of works.
The Alexander Eaton House: Hood's H'dq'rs State Historical Marker
Located on South Cobb Drive (Ga. 280) south of King's Spring Rd. at hospital
THE ALEXANDER EATON HOUSE: HOOD'S H'DQ'RS.S. on this rd., .8 mi. stands the ante-bellum residence of Alexander Eaton (1809-1905). July 3, 4, 5, 1864, the entrenched lines of Gen. John B. Hood's A.C. [CS] extended along the rd. from the Gann Cem. to site of Cooper's Lake. The Eaton house, being but 1 mi. E. of these lines, was used by Gen. Hood as headquarters.From Eaton's house, Hood directed his troops in the Battle of Ruff's Mill, July 4 -- the A.C. being left flank of Johnston's Smyrna-Ruff's Mill line [CS], after his retreat from Kennesaw. Rufus Eaton, age 6, son of Alex, said he saw Johnston at the house during the battle.
Smyrna - Ruff's Mill Confederate Line State Historical Marker
Located at intersection of Concord Rd. and Old Concord Rd.
July 3, 1864. Johnston's army, retreating from Kennesaw, took position in a double line of breastworks, prepared in advance, along this rd. -- the right, E. of the State R.R.; the left at Nickajack Cr., S. of Ruff's Mill. From right to left were: Lorings [sic], Hardee's & Hood's corps [CS].July 4. Federal forces attacked both ends of line: at Smyrna & near Ruff's Mill. Johnston withdrew S. to the Chattahoochee that night.July 6. Schofield's 23 A.C. [US] marched from Sandtown Rd. via this rd., to the mouth of Soap Cr., where his passage of the river there, caused Johnston's retreat to the Fulton County side.
Battle of Smyrna State Historical Marker
Located in Memorial Park on Atlanta Road, Smyrna
BATTLE OF SMYRNAJuly 3, 1864. Gen. J. E. Johnston's army [CS] withdrew from Kennesaw Mtn. & occupied a double line of field-works which crossed the R. R. at old Smyrna Camp Ground, facing N. W. Loring's A. C. was on the rt. (N. E. of R. R.); Hardee's, at center; Hood's on left, near Ruff's Mill, Nickajack Cr.July 4. The 4th A. C. [US], (E. of R. R.), attacked the Confederate right to ascertain strength of the position; it was found impregnable. A similar attack on the left near Ruff's Mill was alike ineffective. Being outflanked, Johnston withdrew to his River Line that night. July 6. The 23d A. C. [US], moving from Ruff's Mill to Soap Creek, camped just E. of the R. R.
Battle of Ruff's Mill State Historical Marker
Located on Concord Rd. just east of Nickajack Creek
BATTLE OF RUFF'S MILLJuly 4, 1864. Early a.m., Brig. Gen. John Fuller's brigade, 4th div., 16th A. C. [US] moved 1 mi. E. from the Nickajack Cr. Bridge, Concord Rd., to ascertain the strength of Hood's A. C. [CS]. Finding it strongly posted, Fuller returned to Ruff's Mill. Late p.m., Fuller's men again advanced, supported by Sweeney's 2nd div., and after a bitter struggle seized the first line of works on Hood's rt. near the present Gann Cemetery.This Federal assault on Johnston's left & the one at Smyrna on his rt. were incidental to his retreat from Kennesaw to the river. Col. Edward Noyes, 39th O.V.V.I. (Governor of Ohio 1872-1874), lost a leg in this battle.
The 4th Corps at Vining's Station State Historical Marker
Located on Paces Ferry Rd. at the old railroad station in Vining's
THE 4TH CORPS AT VINING'S STATIONJuly 5, 1864. When Johnston's army [CS] withdrew from Smyrna to the river, Howard's 4th A. C., and Baird's div. (14th A.C.), [US] via highway and R. R. occupied Vining's. Baird's troops kept on down the R. R. until halted by Johnston's River Line. 4th A.C. troops pursued the Confederate wagontrains, escorted by Wheeler's Cav., toward the pontoon bridge at Pace's Ferry where they crossed the river. Morgan's 7th Ind. Battery [US] shelled the column from Vining's Hill. Also, from this eminence, Generals Sherman, Thomas and Baird, had their first view of Atlanta, across the Chattahoochee, 9.5 mi. S. E.
The Cumberland Army to Power's & Pace's Ferries State Historical Marker
Located on Ga. 3 (Marietta Rd.) at south side of I-285 interchange
THE CUMBERLAND ARMY TO POWER'S & PACE'S FERRIESJuly 5, 1864. The entrenched line of the 4th, 14th & 20th A.C. [US], facing Johnston's River Line [CS], crossed rd. at this point; the 4th at Vining's Station, N.E.; the 14th, astride both the R.R. & this rd.; the 20th. S.W. to Nickajack Creek. These troops marked time while the 23d A.C. [US] crossed the Chattahoochee at Soap Cr., July 8, & Johnston evacuated his River Line, July 9. This alignment was maintained, awaiting R.R. repairs, arrival of supplies at Vining's depot, & general preparations for the shift across the river. By July 17, Thomas' army [US] was over the Chattahoochee at Power's & Pace's ferries.
Site: Hardy Pace's Res. Howard's Headquarters Historical Marker
Located at a house on Paces Mill Rd., Vinings
SITE: HARDY PACE'S RES.HOWARD'S HEADQUARTERSHardy Pace (1785-1864), operated the Chattahoochee River ferry at site of bridge where Pace's Ferry rd. crosses. Federal forces occupied Vining's Station, July 5-17, 1864, while preparing to cross at Pace's & Power's for the move on Atlanta. Gen. O. O. Howard, 4th A. C., had headquarters at the Pace res., July 5-10. Vining's temporary terminal of the R. R. , was the subsistence & ammunition dump of the Federal army during the siege & capture of Atlanta. Wounded from the Atlanta front were sent to Vining's where the Pace house was used as a hospital later, destroyed by fire.
The 4th Corps Posted Along the River State Historical Marker
Located on U.S. 41 just north of the Chattahoochee River
THE 4TH CORPS POSTED ALONG THE RIVERWhen the 4th A.C. reached the Chattahoochee July 5, attempts to cross were found impracticable because of Confederate opposition on the other side. Pending the crossing of the 23 A. C. at Soap Cr., July 8, the 4th A. C. marked time in trenches between Rottenwood Cr. (N.), & the R. R. below Vining's Station (S.).July 9: Newton's (2d) div. moved N. to Roswell to support Garrard's cav. July 10: Stanley's (1st) & Wood's (3d) moved N. to Soap Cr. to join the 23d A.C. Stoneman's cav., having returned from a raid below Atlanta, the 14th & 20th Corps crossed at Pace's Ferry, one-half mi. S.
The Errant Pontoon Bridge: Paces Ferry State Historical Marker
Located on Paces Ferry Rd just west of Chattahoochee River bridge
THE ERRANT PONTOON BRIDGE: PACE'S FERRYJuly 5, 1864. During Johnston's retreat from Smyrna, a portion of his wagon-train detoured from the Atlanta-Marietta rd. via Vining's Station to a pontoon bridge at Pace's Ferry.Wheeler's Cav. escorted the trains; when all were across, the bridge was cut loose so as to swing down stream to the Fulton Co. side.Federal gun-fire, preventing its removal, the bridge was cut loose by the Confederates, but instead of floating down to shelter within Johnston's River Line at Bolton, it lodged on this side where it was seized by troops of Hazen's 4 A. C. brigade, July 8.
Here Johnston's River Line Crossed the River Rd. State Historical Marker
Located on Ga. 3 (Marietta Rd.) at Log Cabin Rd.
HERE JOHNSTON'S RIVER LINE CROSSED THE RIVER RD.July 5, 1864. Gen. J.E. Johnston's Army of Tenn. [CS] withdrew from the Smyrna-Ruff's Mill line to formidable field-works which crossed the rd. at this point. The left of the line was at Nickajack Cr., 4.5 mi. S.W.; the rt. curved to the Chattahoochee, 1 mi. N. of State R.R. bridge. Loring's (Stewart's) A.C. was on the rt.; Hardee's at center, & Hood's on left. The R.R. & highway bridges, together with 3 pontoons, spanned the river 1.5 mi. to the rear of this line. The 23d A.C. [US] crossing at the mouth of Soap Cr., 7 mi. N., July 8, forced Johnston's retreat across the river, July 9.

Georgia Militia on Turner's Ferry Rd. State Historical Marker
Located on US 78 at Mt. Harmony Church, 2 mi. west of the Chattahoochee River
GEORGIA MILITIA ON TURNER'S FERRY RD.Gen. Gustavus W. Smith's Georgia Militia & Gen. L. S. Ross' cav., driven E. to this point from Sandtown rd. (at Mableton), July 4, 1864, was again assailed by the 17th A. C. [US] July 5. Gresham's 4th div., astride the road, together with Leggett's 3d, & Stoneman's cav. S. of it on Howell's Fy. rd., forced the Georgia Militia & cavalry E. to Johnston's line at the river, to which he had withdrawn, night of the 4th, from his Smyrna-Ruff's mill line.Johnston stated he left the Smyrna - Ruff's mill line because of Smith's & Ross' failure to hold his left flank on Turner's Ferry rd.
The Hargrove House Historical Marker
Located in the cemetery at 2500 Windy Hill Rd. between U.S. 41 and I-75
THE HARGROVE HOUSE Ante-bellum residence of Asbury Hargrove 1809-1879.Headquarters of Brig. Gen. Edward M. McCook, July 6 - 15, 1864.McCook's (1st) div. (Dorr's & Lamson's brigades), Elliott's Cav. Corps (Army of the Cumberland) [US], was posted here to patrol the Chattahoochee between Rottenwood Cr. (S.) & Roswell (N.). McCook's horsemen served as a screen, behind which the 23d & 4th Corps moved to crossings at the mouth of Soap Cr. & at Power's Fy.July 15. McCook's cav. left Hargrove's to patrol the river, on the Cobb Co. side, above & below the State R. R. (at Bolton) until the 22d.
The March to Soap Creek State Historical Marker
Located at Concord Rd. and Hicks Rd.
THE MARCH TO SOAP CREEKSchofield's 23d A. C. [US] marked time in this vicinity while McPherson's Army of the Tenn. [US] made demonstrations at Chattahoochee ferries below Johnston's River Line [CS] -- indicating, falsely, that crossings would be made there while actual passages upstream were planned.July 6, 1864. The 23d A. C. began its march to upper reaches of the river by moving E. on this, the old Concord Road via the battlefields of Ruff's Mill & Smyrna, to the mouth of Soap Creek, 11 miles N. E.Passage of the river there, July 8, forced Johnston to evacuate his River Line, July 9.
Turner's, Howell's, Baker's & Sandtown State Historical Marker
Located on Ga. 139 just southeast of U.S. 78 in Mableton
TURNER'S, HOWELL'SBAKER'S & SANDTOWNFERRIESThis, the old Sandtown Road was the route of McPherson's Army of the Tennessee [US], south to the Mitchell house, July 5, 1864.From Mitchell's, an old road ran east to the Chattahoochee River at Turner's Ferry, most of its course being U.S. Highway 78. South of Mitchell's, the E. fork (State Highway 139) leads to Howell's Ferry; the W. fork to Baker's & Sandtown Ferries.From Mitchell's, McPherson sent detachments to these crossings to threaten the left & rear of Johnston's forces [CS] at the RIVER LINE.
Mitchell House State Historical Marker
Located on Ga. 139 southeast of Mableton (at Old Alabama Rd.)
Ante-bellum res. of Wiley Martin Mitchell
1800 - 1857
Cited in Official Records of the Atlanta Campaign, 1864, as the "Widow Mitchell" house. A key position of the Federal right wing in military operations on the Sandtown rd. during the retreat of Johnston's forces S. from Kennesaw to the Chattahoochee River. McPherson's Army of the Tennessee [US] occupied this intersection of the Sandtown & Turner's Ferry roads, July 5-9. From this strategic position, demonstrations made toward crossings at & below Turner's Ferry, signified an intention to outflank Johnston's River line [CS].
Toward the River State Historical Marker
Located at the Cobb County Library on Ga. 139 southeast of Mableton, Ga.
TOWARD THE RIVER During the 5 days when Army of the Tennessee headquarters were here, the troops of the 15th & 17th A. C. [US] were posted on a ridge just W. of Nickajack Creek, facing the left of Johnston's River Line. (July 5-9, 1864). 16th A. C. [US] troops were sent to Howell's, Baker's & Sandtown ferries, below Nickajack Cr., where demonstrations were made as if crossings at those points were intended.Johnston's formidable River Line [CS] forbade a frontal attack by the outnumbering Federals; only by feinting on the right & thrusting on the left (up river at Soap Creek), were the Federals able to pass the Chattahoochee.
23d Army Corps State Historical Marker
Located on US 41 north of Terrell Mill Rd. in Marietta, Ga.
July 6, 1864. Schofield's Federal 23d A.C. having been shifted N.E. from Sandtown Rd. (at Floyd Station), camped at Smyrna. Resuming the march, July 7, it traversed only 2 mi. (to this point) where it camped. July 8, 4 A.M. the march continued to Soap Creek -- four miles N.E. This was a strategic maneuver to effect a river crossing at Soap Cr., N. of Johnston's defense line [CS] on Cobb County side (at & S. of the State R.R. bridge). The move was designed to render the Confederate line untenable. Being thus outflanked July 8, Johnston withdrew his army to the Fulton Co. side. July 9.


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