Dug Gap Mountain and Battlefield
Dug Gap Mountain, located in Dalton, Georgia, just west of Interstate 75, is a beautiful rocky mountain with some of the most picturesque tails for hiking and biking in Northwest Georgia. The 335 mile Pinhoti Trail goes through Dug Gap Mountain and down into Dalton as it makes its way to the start of the Appalachian Trail at Amicalola falls.
Dug Gap Battle Park is also located atop Dug Gap Mountain. The Battle for Dug Gap Mountain was a small battle that took place in 1864 and the first official engagement in William T. Shermans Atlanta Campaign. Sherman ordered General George Thomas’s Army of the Cumberland to move against General Joseph E. Johnston’s Confederates entrenched along Rocky Face Ridge. While Thomas’s force attacked Johnston, General James B. McPherson’s Union Army of the Tennessee would march south toward Resaca and threaten the Confederate rear. On May 8, 1864, Union troops under General John W. Geary advanced up the steep slopes at a place called Dug Gap. Geary’s men, many of whom had scaled Lookout Mountain six months earlier, reached the Confederate line. Hand-to-hand fighting broke out along the craggy mountain crest as daring Yankees vaulted over rocks and boulders to break the Rebel line. Ultimately, Confederate reinforcements under the command of General Patrick Cleburne arrived on the scene and successfully drove the Federals back down the mountainside. Though, the first battle of the Atlanta Campaign had been a victory, McPherson’s march went undetected. Sherman’s move to take Atlanta was well underway.
Breastworks built by Confederate soldiers during the Atlanta Campaign are still intact for the most part and visible to those who visit Dug Gap Battle Park. The park features a scenic view from the top of Dug Gap Mountain hiking trail that overlooks the Dalton area as well as the Georgia mountains. The park is open Sunday through Saturday during daylight hours only.
From I75 at exit 333 travel west up Dug Gap Mountain via Walnut Avenue. You will pass the Dalton Convention Center on your left hand side. Dug Gap Battle Park will be on your right hand side a little ways past the Convention Center.