Cobb County - Metro Atlanta Guidebook

A Look At The History Of Cobb County Georgia

The region known today as Cobb County is situated on the Piedmont Plateau of north central Georgia. Traveling the modern, bustling streets and highways that criss-cross the country, it is hard to believe the loudest sounds once heard along these routes were the soft footfalls of Creek and Cherokee Indian moccasins. Yet today, the familiar names of Sweetwater, Sope, Allatoona and Kennesaw affirm the native American heritage of an area once dotted with Indian settlements and hunting grounds.
The early years of the area were marked by successive waves of Indians being displaced by new arrivals. First, the Creeks were driven south by the arrival of the Cherokees. Then the North Georgia Gold Rush of the 1820s and 1830s brought English and Scotch-Irish settlers who encroached on Cherokee lands in their search for riches and farmland.
In the conflict that resulted, a lottery system was devised by the state in 1832 to divide the Indian territory among white Georgians. With the odds stacked against them, the Cherokees finally agreed in 1835 to give up their lands. More than 17,000 were relocated by the federal government to Oklahoma by way of the infamous "Trail of Tears."
As trade began to move in, many of those original Indian trails were widened to accommodate wagons and settlers. Burnt Hickory, Shallow Ford, Stilesboro, Alabama and Villa Rica became major arteries linking the entire area. The now familiar names of Powers, Johnson, Montgomery and Pace are all that remain of the river ferries used to transport wagons and livestock across the Chattahoochee River during the mid-1830s.
Cobb County was officially organized in 1832 and named for Thomas Willis Cobb, a United States Senator, Congressman and Superior Court Judge.
Cobb County is one of the fastest growing areas in the nation. Located north of Atlanta along the scenic Chattahoochee River, Cobb is bounded on the northwest by Lake Allatoona, while its southern boundary lies south of Interstate 20. There are six municipalities in Cobb County: Acworth, Austell, Kennesaw, Marietta, Powder Springs and Smyrna.
Civil War
Cobb's progress was one of the first casualties of the Civil War. Camp McDonald in Kennesaw became a major training area for Confederate soldiers until 1864 when Union troops drove south into the area. One of the war's most colorful adventures occurred here in 1862. Union spies disguised as Southerners set out from the Kennesaw House in Marietta on a Confederate train bound for Chattanooga. The group, Andrew's Raiders, captured a locomotive (The General) at Big Shanty and attempted to sabotage the railroad as it made its way north. The Confederates gave chase in another train and eventually thwarted the Yankee spies. (Walt Disney made a movie about this event called "The Great Locomotive Chase.")
As the armies of the North advanced toward Atlanta, Cobb County became a last line of defense. Several major battles were waged. After occupying Marietta from July to November 1864, Sherman's troops burned every public building on the square. One building that escaped intact was the Bushy Park Plantation (it is now the 1848 House Restaurant) which was used by Sherman as a Union hospital.
Battles at Kennesaw Mountain, Latimore's Farm, Gilgal Church, Pine Mountain and other western parts of Cobb left their mark on the landscape. Battle fortifications and trenches can still be seen at historic sites throughout the area. Cobb County boasts 27 sites that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
(For more information on historic battles, the Trail of Tears and other general historical information on Cobb County, be sure to visit

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