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Re: Crow Valley Topography

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  • hartshje
    Brad, Thank you very much for this extremely detailed information. It sure does explain why Sherman wouldn t want to use this route unless it became
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 25 3:16 PM
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      Brad,

      Thank you very much for this extremely detailed information. It
      sure does explain why Sherman wouldn't want to use this route unless
      it became absolutely necessary. It appears the defenses at the
      northern end of the valley would be sufficient to delay any Union
      forces long enough to allow sufficient Confederate reinforcements to
      be transferred to the point of danger, and the valley is narrow
      enough to allow an in-depth defense that would be hard, if not
      impossible, to penetrate.

      Joe H.

      --- In civilwarwest@y..., "Brad & Julie Hefner" <gg_dd_aa_ee@y...>
      wrote:
      >
      > By looking at most maps, one would wonder why Crow Valley wasn't
      utilized to
      > benefit the Union attack. The maps show no sizeable variation in
      incline nor
      > any obstacles that would stand in the way of an invasion. In
      reality, this
      > area is not flat at all. From West to East here is the layout;
      Northern
      > Rocky Face Ridge drops sharply into Crow Valley which rises quickly
      back to
      > another ridge. This ridge falls sharply and rises again to form
      Hamilton
      > Mountain (actually a ridge). All of this occurs within 2 miles east
      of the
      > Northern part of Rocky Face Ridge. Now on the size of the valley.
      Crow
      > Valley proper (the actual valley) starts right where Mill Creek Gap
      divides
      > Rocky Face Ridge. The valley runs parallel to the ridge for roughly
      3 to 4
      > miles. The width of the valley ranges from a little less than 1/6
      of a mile
      > wide (actual flat ground) at the southern most part, to 1/2 mile
      wide, 2 1/2
      > miles northeast of Mill Creek Gap. The incline on the eastern side
      of Rocky
      > Face ridge is basically vertical. The ridge falls right into the
      valley. The
      > second and third steep ridge, the third ridge being named Hamilton
      Mountain,
      > hem in the eastern side of the valley. Johnston used this
      topography to help
      > defend Dalton. Johnston placed his artillery in an inverted J
      formation on
      > top of these ridges. The northern half of Rocky Face Ridge was
      lined with
      > Confederate fortifications and some artillery. This line of
      fortifications
      > ran North for roughly 1 & 1/2 miles and then curved east, jumping
      over Crow
      > Valley and reestablishing the fortifications on the second ridge
      and then on
      > the northern part of Hamilton Mountain. Once on Hamilton Mountain,
      the
      > fortifications turned again and ran south for about 1/2 mile. There
      were
      > massed artillery on the "second" ridge and some on Hamilton
      Mountain. As
      > for creeks, there are basically three creeks that run North/South
      through
      > the Crow Valley area, Crow Valley Creek, Haig Mill Creek, and
      Poplar Springs
      > Creek. Due to the inclement weather that occurred throughout the
      spring of
      > '64, I would imaging that these creeks were somewhat "wet" at the
      time of
      > the invasion. Plus, the roads of Northwest Georgia at this time, up
      until
      > the turn of the Century were very poor. The roads that would have
      existed in
      > this area were mostly "dry weather roads". If you have been to North
      > Georgia, then you know about the red clay. As the roads became wet,
      the red
      > clay would turn the roads into mush. Lastly, The Crow Valley Area,
      which
      > local folks call Crow Valley Proper all the way to the eastern side
      of
      > Hamilton Mountain, is still heavily forested in areas. I am sure
      that this
      > was no different in the Spring of '64. Combine all of these factors
      and I'm
      > guessing that Crow Valley didn't look too appealing to Sherman.
      > If you are interested, there are two really helpful resources that
      I have
      > found concerning this area. One is a book entitled "The Grey Winter
      of 1864
      > in Dalton" by Derrell C. Roberts. This 120 page book covers in
      detail the
      > winter and spring of 1864 in Dalton, GA. It is researched fairly
      well, using
      > the ORs, papers of the period, and assorted memoirs. It was
      published by the
      > local historical society, with all proceeds going to the society.
      The second
      > resource that I have found to be helpful is William R. Scaife's
      > topographical military map of Tunnel Hill and Dalton. He has worked
      for
      > years putting together topographical maps pertaining to the Atlanta
      > Campaign. This particular maps shows the fortifications of Rocky
      Face Ridge
      > and the surrounding areas, overlaid on a somewhat recent
      topographical map.
      > I hope that this helps. Again, if I have failed to answer any
      questions just
      > let me know. I will try to add a local's opinion to this discussion.
      >
      > Brad Hefner
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