Johnston’s River Line
July 5-9, 1864. Johnston’s Army of Tenn. held a fortified line N. of the Chattahoochee from Nickajack Cr. To one mile above Peachtree Cr, Federal crossings several miles upriver July 8, making the line untenable, Johnston crossed his force July 9 to this side on 5 bridges: a traffic bridge here: the State R.R. bridge and 3 pontoon bridges downstream.
Until Federal movements from upriver crossings to Peachtree Cr. Valley became evident, Johnston’s force marked time here until the 18th when they were placed in the outer defense line of Atlanta N. and E. of the city.
060-85 Georgia Historic Marker 1985
Location:    Waterworks gate off Bolton Rd (at Nixon), Bolton
LATITUDE    33.8212224988
LONGITUDE    -84.460150487
County:    Fulton
July, 1864, a heavy, intrenched line of field works, from the mouth of Nickajack Cr. (.8 mi. S. W.) extended N. E. to a point 1 mi. above State R. R. bridge. This line, prepared in advance, was occupied by Johnston's forces [CS] when they withdrew from the Smyrna - Ruff's Mill line, July 5. Ga. Militia held the ferries below Nickajack. In sequence, N. E., were Hood's, Hardee's & Loring's corps. The line was evacuated July 9, after the Federals cross above State R. R. bridge. This line is said to have been the heaviest field works of the Atlanta Campaign. In 1935 their formidable character was still visible along Oakdale Rd., & just above the State R. R.
June 5, 1864. When Johnston's army [CS] withdrew from Smyrna to the river, Howard's 4th A. C., and Baird's div. (14th A.C.), [US] via highway and R. R. occupied Vining's. Baird's troops kept on down the R. R. until halted by Johnston's River Line. 4th A.C. troops pursued the Confederate wagontrains, escorted by Wheeler's Cav., toward the pontoon bridge at Pace's Ferry where they crossed the river. Morgan's 7th Ind. Battery [US] shelled the column from Vining's Hill.
Also, from this eminence, Generals Sherman, Thomas and Baird, had their first view of Atlanta, across the Chattahoochee, 9.5 mi. S. E.
Located on the north side of Paces Ferry Rd. at the old railroad station in Vining's.
July 5, 1864. Gresham's 4th div., on this rd. and Leggett's 3d (17 A. C.), with Stoneman's cav. [US] on Howell's Fy. Rd. S. of it, drove the Ga. Militia and Ross' cav. E. across Nickajack Dr. where they occupied the left of Johnston's River Line.
Gresham's div., astride this rd. and Leggett's div. on the right, cast up a line on this ridge, facing Johnston's line across Nickajack Cr.
July 7. Logan's 15th A. C. was brought up and prolonged Greshman's line N. on High Ridge. These and 16th A. C. [US] troops down river, threatened to cross, while actual crossings were made above the State R. R. bridge.
C I V I L W A R  P R E S E R V A T I O N  T R U S T
History Under Siege
America’s Most Endangered Civil War Battlefields

The Chattahoochee River Line was revolutionary in its design and formidable in its strength. It was called “one of the strongest pieces of field fortifications I ever saw” by Union general William Tecumseh Sherman.

Johnston’s Confederates took up the line as a defensive position following the battle of Kennesaw Mountain. They occupied 36 distinctive, small forts called “Shoupades” (after their designer, Confederate general Francis Shoup) and a network of trenches connecting them.

The River Line was such a well engineered defensive system that Union forces declined a direct assault; instead they dug themselves in to engage in daily artillery duels. Eventually, however, Johnston abandoned the River Line, drawing immense criticism and leading to his subsequent removal from command.

Threat: As late as the 1950s, a visitor could still walk the length of the River Line, but major suburban development has devastated the site. Of the original Shoupades, the earthen remains of only nine are identifiable. Sadly, most of these are damaged and many are threatened. Cobb County maintains a parcel containing one of the Shoupades, infantry trenches and an artillery position at the far left of the line; the rest are privately owned. Many of the River Line’s features were destroyed over the decades by landowners who feared that such historic details would impede their development plans. In the Fort Drive section of the Confederate Line, three Shoupades remain, one pressed against the fence for I-285. In the same area, recent rezonings have led to approval of a development of 100 detached homes and townhouses. Although the developer will not harm the Shoupades themselves, their context will be erased by the construction, leaving only a view of houses rather than woods and fields. There is no comprehensive CWSAC priority classification for the River Line.
One of the caves made by the citizens 
of Atlanta, to protect their families 
from shells during bombardment.

From Frank Leslies
 Illustrated History of the Civil war.