Well, it wasn’t actually the old departed souls there that were tormented by my appearance at the park, but rather one old stogy local Kennesaw resident. I had just finished reading the U.S. Infantry memorial plaque at Pigeon Hill and was walking back to the main footpath when he appeared from the opposite direction.
“Anything worth reading over there?” he inquired.
“Yes,” I replied. “It’s a dedication to the Northern troops who crossed this field and stormed the hill.”
This, I soon came to know, was the wrong answer.
He said “Where are you from?”
“Originally from upstate New York, but I have lived in Florida and Atlanta for most of my adult life.” I replied.
“Have you ever heard the saying, ‘The only good Yankee is a dead one?'”
Nervously, I chuckled to buy a nanosecond of time and try to respond wisely and sympathetically.
“No, but I have heard ‘The only good injun is a dead one.'”
“Not down here,” he replied. “You guys come down here because you like our weather, and to escape the snow. Family ties run deep down here, and things are not easily forgotten.”
Realizing this conversation wasn’t going anywhere constructive—or shall I say re-constructive?—I then asked, “Anything interesting over where you just came from?”
He replied, “Oh, yeah! Lots of trenches and rifle pits.” He then said, “War is a terrible thing for both sides.” Have a nice day!
Bewildered, I took my leave in the opposite direction and started for Pigeon Hill; and hopefully some peace and quiet while hiking.
“Pigeon Hill” is probably the biggest understatement I’ve run across lately. Don’t let anyone fool you: It’s a mountain, a big mountain! After an almost vertical hike up you reach the summit and there you will find an alien lunar surface. Big black boulders interspersed with smaller ones, and some small trees and scrub growing from the lichen-covered rocks. It was here that I decided a breather was in order, so I planted myself down on a smooth rock and took in the scenery from the top.
Pigeon Hill is a natural fortress. Its vertical ascent and solid rock formations remind one of a castle found in Europe, only situated on this strange otherworldly landscape. I wouldn’t have wanted to be on the Union receiving end of this assault. Today you can still see the Confederate rifle pits and trenches situated between the massive rocks.
There is a rough trail that heads East towards Little and Big Kennesaw Mountains. You will encounter the occasional hiker or jogger, but for the most part on weekday afternoons there is not too much traffic and you will be mostly on your own.
After a very brief rest, I decided time had flown by much too quickly and so I decided to descend. It was nice exploring and being alone.
Or so I thought.
To be continued…