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The directions below will take you from your present location to the **beginning** of the Hardee's Night March driving tour, which traces the overnight march led by Confederate Lieutenant General William J. Hardee on July 21–22, 1864. For driving directions for the remainder of the Night March, see the Notes field.

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Most of 15-mile overnight march led by Confederate Lieutenant General William J. Hardee on July 21­–22, 1864 was along the route of roads that still exist. A driving tour can closely follow the Confederates's wide circling maneuver led by Hardee south and east of the city. The recommended eight-mile tour is much shorter than Hardee's Night March and departs from it in several places. Still, the driving tour covers virtually all the major landmarks outside of Atlanta's city limits and serves as a segue to the battlefield tour stops that follow.

(1) Leaving Atlanta and Moving South of the City

Wheeler’s cavalry and Hardee’s infantry left Atlanta at nightfall and headed due south toward the South River, a city river that begins near the present-day Atlanta airport and enters Lake Jackson, approximately 45 miles to the southeast. The troops exited the city’s walled fortifications along old McDonough Road (present-day Capitol Avenue and Hank Aaron Drive).

  • Begin the Hardee’s Night March tour at Grant Park, after completing the Fort Walker tour stop.
  • Drive south on Boulevard for 1.1 miles, until it ends at McDonough Boulevard.
  • Turn left on to McDonough Boulevard.
  • Drive past the US prison on the right and continue southeast for 1.3 miles until it ends at Moreland Avenue.
  • Turn right on to Moreland Avenue and drive south for 0.6 miles to Key Road.
  • Turn left on Key Road and continue east until the end of that road.

(2) Heading Northeast to the Site of Cobb’s Mill

After reaching its southernmost point, at or near the South River, five or six miles outside Atlanta, Hardee’s March shifted direction and moved northeast to Cobb’s Mill on Intrenchment Creek, a local landmark that the head of the column reached at dawn on July 22, 1864.

  • Continue eastward on Key Road and turn left at the fork (heading northeast) for a total of 1.1 miles through rolling terrain.
  • At a small bridge, Key Road crosses Intrenchment Creek. Park to the right of the road before the creek.
  • In 1864, this was Old Fayetteville Road and William Cobb’s Mill was located here at the creek. The video for this stop of the tour provides details about this location.
  • Two Georgia Historical Markers, describing Cobb’s Mill and Cobb’s House, are located just north of the creek and west of Key Road, near the entrance to a Water Reclamation Center and an Atlanta Police Academy.

(3) Leaving Intrenchment Creek

Hardee and his four division commanders met Cobb at his house north of the creek at daybreak or shortly thereafter on July 22.  Cobb and a mill worker named Case Turner agreed to serve as guides as the march continued northward. Thus far, the route of the march was relatively clear, but the road north from Intrenchment Creek meandered through more heavily wooded countryside that was unfamiliar to Hardee and his division commanders.

  • Continue on Key Road for 0.4 miles and turn left on to Bouldercrest Road.
  • Drive north for 1.1 miles to the fork in the road, where Bouldercrest Road heads northwest and Fayetteville Road continues northeast.
  • Bear right and take Fayetteville Road for 1.5 miles.
  • As described on a Georgia Historical Marker at the road fork, Hardee’s four divisions divided into two columns at this country road intersection in 1864: Cleburne and Maney’s divisions moved northwest, eventually reaching Flat Shoals Road and marching on it to East Atlanta; Walker and Bate’s divisions moved northeast, on Fayetteville Road, the same road on which Wheeler’s cavalry rode, on their way to Decatur. 

(4) Detour around Terry’s Mill Pond

Following Walker and Bate’s route, continue on Fayetteville Road, which drops in elevation at Sugar Creek Valley.  As noted on the roadside historical marker, located just east of the dip in the road, the two divisions detoured off Fayetteville Road at this point, moved slowly along the west bank of the creek, and struggled through marsh and thickets around Terry’s Mill Pond. The mill pond, which no longer exists, was comprised of the impounded waters of Sugar Creek. Walker and Bate’s detour around the western side of the mill pond took considerable time and further delayed the Confederate attack, which was already hours behind schedule.  

  • After bearing right on Fayetteville Road, continue for 1.5 miles until to Terry Mill Road.
  • Turn left on Terry Mill Road and follow it for 0.7 miles until it dead-ends at Glenwood Avenue.
  • Turn left on Glenwood Avenue and continue for 0.2 miles to Wilkinson Drive.
  • Turn right on Wilkinson Drive and park by the Walker Monument, the next tour stop.