History of Smyrna
Visiting The Past
War Historical Markers in the Smyrna Area
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.
the most famous Civil War battles in Cobb County happened
around Kennesaw Mountain, many events of historical significance
happened in and around Smyrna.
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
Carl Vinson Institute of Government. Copyright holder noted.
Site: Wm. Moss House State Historical Marker
Located on Concord Rd. at Westfield Rd.
SITE: WM. MOSS HOUSE
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.
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House State Historical Marker
Located at 5239 Floyd Rd., north of Mableton, Ga.
THE MABLE HOUSE
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.
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Right State Historical Marker
Located at Concord and Hicks Roads
THE EXTENDED RIGHT
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
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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.
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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
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- Ruff's Mill Confederate Line State Historical Marker
Located at intersection of Concord Rd. and Old Concord Rd.
SMYRNA - RUFF'S MILL CONFEDERATE LINE
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Cumberland Army to Power's & Pace's Ferries State Historical
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Johnston's River Line Crossed the River Rd. State Historical
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.
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Militia on Turner's Ferry Rd. State Historical Marker
Located on US 78 at Mt. Harmony Church, 2 mi. west of the Chattahoochee
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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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House State Historical Marker
Located on Ga. 139 southeast of Mableton (at Old Alabama Rd.)
THE MITCHELL HOUSE
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].
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the River State Historical Marker
Located at the Cobb County Library on Ga. 139 southeast of Mableton,
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
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Army Corps State Historical Marker
Located on US 41 north of Terrell Mill Rd. in Marietta, Ga.
23D ARMY CORPS TO SOAP CREEK
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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