Kennesaw is a city in Cobb County, Georgia, United States. It had a population of 29,783 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. Founded in 1887, Kennesaw has a past surrounded with railroad history. In the 1830s, Kennesaw, then known as Big Shanty, was home to a haphazard construction camp for workers converging on Cobb County to take part in the railroad building craze. During the Civil War, Kennesaw was the staging ground for the Great Locomotive Chase on April 12, 1862.
The city of Kennesaw was selected by Family Circle magazine as one of the nation's "10 best towns for families". The award was aimed at identifying the best communities nationally that combine big-city opportunities with suburban charm, a blend of affordable housing, good jobs, top-rated public schools, wide-open spaces, and less stress.
During the American Civil War, Big Shanty was the site of major fighting in the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, part of the larger Atlanta Campaign. Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, located southeast of the city limits, now contains many of these historic areas, though much of the surrounding land has been developed, and some buried artifacts taken by people with metal detectors.