Friday (11 March) saw us at Gilgal Church, Lost Mountain
Line, Mud Creek Line, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park Visitors’
Center, the top of Big Kennesaw, and Brushy Mountain. A highlight was Ed’s
review of area maps he had drawn in 1964. The maps are part of the Visitors’
Center archives. Friday dinner was at the Southern Museum of Civil War &
Locomotive History, where the locomotive General is on display.
We began Saturday (12 March) at Kolb’s Farm, site of the 22
June battle. Next came the fighting of 27 June at Pigeon Hill and Cheatham
Hill, and we finished at the site of the 24-gun Federal battery, where four
guns had been installed only days before. Saturday dinner was at Shilling’s on
the Marietta Square.
Sunday (13 March) morning was spent seeing sites along the
Smyrna Line, including Concord Woolen Mill and Smyrna.
Click here to see some photos of the tour.
March 12-15, 2015:
Rome Crossroads to Pine Mountain
GBA had another great tour with Ed Bearss and Jim Ogden. We covered the
Atlanta Campaign from 16 May 1864 to 14 June 1864.
Despite wind driven rain on Friday (13 March) we learned
about Rome Crossroads (near Calhoun), Armuchee Creek, the Rome defenses, the
brief but intense fight at Adairsville, the Federal march past the Howard house
to Kingston, and Sherman's days in Kingston planning the next phase of the
Saturday (14 March) gave us only a brief morning rain. We
learned of the abortive Confederate attack planned at Cassville, the
destruction of Cooper Iron Works, and the Hell Hole battles at New Hope Church,
Pickett's Mill, and Dallas.
We finished Sunday morning (15 March) at the Polk monument
on Pine Mountain and the Ector trench near the site of Latimer's Farm.
Click here to see some photos of the tour.
March 13-16, 2014:
Opening of the Atlanta Campaign
We had both Ed Bearss and Jim Ogden as our guides. At the Thursday evening
reception, we were addressed by Mike Babb, Chairman of the Whitfield County
Board of Commissioners, who has supported preservation during his two tenures
on the Board.
On Friday (14 March), we began at Ringgold, then proceeded
to Tunnel Hill and the newly opened Clisby Austin House, which served as
Sherman’s Headquarters. We drove through Varnell to Prater’s Mill for lunch,
then to several sites in Crow Valley, including the newly opened park at Potato
Hill, which GBA helped to purchase. With help from Whitfield County and the Boy
Scouts, Save the Dalton Battlefields has installed a new parking area, a new
trail, and signs. We stopped at Poplar Springs Church to see more earthworks, then
drove past the site of Ault’s Mill and the Hamilton House to the Cook-Huff
House, where Johnston had his headquarters. We stopped at the Johnston statue
and finished with dinner at the historic Dalton Depot.
Saturday (15 March) began with an extended visit to the
sites in Mill Creek Gap, including several earthworks. We visited the Dalton
Cemetery, then had lunch downtown before heading to Dug Gap. After a trip
through Snake Creek Gap, we went to the recently opened Fort Wayne park in
Resaca. We next saw the van den Corput battery site, then headed back to Dalton
On Sunday (16 March), we endured a heavy rain to explore the
new Resaca historic site, opened especially for our group. Our appreciation for
our guides Ed Bearss and Jim Ogden and our excitement about the new park
weren’t dampened by the weather.
Many people took many photos. To see a few, click here.
March 14-17, 2013:
Our 2013 tour covered the Chickamauga campaign. While we missed Ed Bearss,
we could not have had a better guide than Jim Ogden, historian for the
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.
On 15 March, we covered the
Federal crossings of the Tennessee River at Bridgeport, Alabama, and Battle
Creek and Shellmound, Tennessee. We then followed the Federal approach over
Sand Mountain and Lookout Mountain to Davis’ Crossroads and the site of the
frustrated Confederate attempt to trap a Federal force in McLemore’s Cove. We
visited Lafayette and Leet’s Tanyard to see where Braxton Bragg had his
headquarters in the weeks before the battle.
Saturday (16 March) began at the site of Catoosa Platform,
where Confederate reinforcements arrived by train. We followed the approach of
some Confederate divisions to the battlefield and spent the rest of the morning
on events of 18 September 1863. Saturday afternoon covered the intense fighting
of 19 September, and Sunday (17 March) morning covered the fighting and
eventual Confederate breakthrough of 20 September.
Click here to see some photos from the tour.
March 9-12, 2012:
Our 2012 tour took us to the seaward defenses of Savannah on the first day
and the landward defenses on the second day.
For the seaward defenses, we started at Battery Halleck,
which contained mortars that bombarded Fort Pulaski April 10-11, 1862. We next
visited the fort itself, then boarded a boat to see the remnants of five
Confederate positions: Gibson's Point, Turner's Rock, Thunderbolt, Bonaventure,
and Fort Bartow/Causton's Bluff. Our next stop was Fort Jackson, where we saw a
large gun on the parapet being fired. We proceeded to the remains of fort
Wimberly on the grounds of Wormsloe State Historic Site and finished the day
with a visit to the impressive earthworks at Rose Dhu.
On the second day, we started at the privately-owned site
where the Old Augusta Road crosses Ebenezer Creek. We were the first tour group
to visit the site. We then visited the site of the engagement known as Monteith
Swamp, proceeded past Federal HQ sites, and stopped to see the remains of both
Federal and Confederate earthworks near Shaw's Dam. A stop at Salt Creek near
the site of Battery Jones illustrated how the Confederates used the marshy
terrain to advantage. We then saw the major Federal supply point at King's
Bridge, and finished the day at the well preserved Fort McAllister State
Our last morning was spent on a walking tour of Civil War
sites in downtown Savannah.
Click here to see some photos from the 2012 tour.
March 10-13, 2011:
Our 2011 tour took us to Crawfordville on Friday and the home of Alexander
Stephens, Confederate Vice President. From there, we visited the Revolutionary
War battlefield of Kettle Creek. Next was Washington, where the Confederate
government disbanded and Robert Toombs lived. We finished the day at Chennault,
where the Richmond bank funds were stolen in late May 1865.
Saturday began with a walking tour of downtown Augusta,
finishing in Magnolia Cemetery, burial place of seven Confederate generals.
After lunch, we went to the Walker Family Cemetery and the grave of Major
General W.H.T. Walker, killed in the Battle of Atlanta. We then walked the
campus of Augusta State University, site of the former U.S. and Confederate
arsenals, with some of the arsenal buildings still being used by the college.
Sunday began at the Confederate Powderworks chimney,
followed by a visit to the Augusta Canal Museum and a canal boat tour that
helped put in context the significance of the canal and Augusta's role in
manufacturing war materiel.
Click here to see some photos from the 2011 tour.
Mar 11-14, 2010: Fall
We managed to dodge the most of the rain and had a great tour that covered
the period from late September to mid November 1864, when Hood led his army
against the Federal supply lines and Sherman pursued Hood. We were pleased to
show Ed Bearss—by his actual count—eight sites that he hadn’t seen before. In
all, we visited Palmetto, Campbellton, Rockmart, Cedartown, Cave Spring, Rome,
Resaca, Tilton, Dalton, Ship’s Gap, LaFayette, Gaylesville, Cedar Bluff,
Kingston, and Allatoona Pass. As always, we thank the local historians and
guides who added so much to our knowledge and enjoyment.
Click here to see some photos from the 2010 tour.
Mar 12-15, 2009: Cavalry operations and Jonesboro
We covered a lot of ground to follow the Federal cavalry operations, and we
finished with the climatic Battle of Jonesboro.
Friday took us to Newnan, Brown’s Mill, and Lovejoy’s
Station. As usual, the local preservation organizations provided great support.
We were even hosted by the chair of the Henry County Board of Commissioners at
On Saturday, we started at Sunshine church, then followed
the Federal troopers as they tried to get back to Atlanta. This took us to
Athens, where Don Parr was the superb local guide, and we had a great meal at
the T.R.R. Cobb house.
For all the cavalry actions, David Evans was an unequalled
guide and added immeasurably to our understanding of events and the people
Sunday morning was rainy, but we were still regaled by Ed
Bearss’ recounting of the two day fight at Jonesboro. We finished with a visit
to Rough and Ready.
March 13-16, 2008: Atlanta, Ezra Church, Utoy Creek
We were pleased to have Ed Bearss healthy and back with us for the 2008
tour. On Friday, March 14, we covered the Battle of Atlanta while we endured
occasional rain. The touring concluded at Oakland Cemetery, which was hit hard
by a tornado six hours after our visit. Dinner that night was at the Atlanta
Cyclorama, and we got a good view of the tornado that passed to the north, even
driving through the debris on the return to the hotel. On Saturday, March 15,
we covered the city defense line, the Battles of Ezra Church and Utoy Creek,
and the trench digging contest of August 1864. Our Sunday excursion was a
walking tour of downtown Atlanta, seeing the sites of many of the George
Barnard photos of September 1864. Viewing the damage from Friday night’s tornado
added to the tour.
March 15-18, 2007: Crossing the Chattahoochee and Peachtree Creek
When Ed Bearss broke his arm on February 27, we hoped that he might make it
to Atlanta to lead our tour; but the doctors cautioned Ed not to risk any
further injury to his arm, so we improvised with local guides. We still made it
to the mill sites that the Federals destroyed as they approached the
Chattahoochee River: New Manchester Mill (now in Sweetwater Creek State Park),
Sope Creek Paper Mill (in the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area), and the
Roswell Mill. We saw where the Federals crossed the river: The fish dam near
Isom's Ford, Sope Creek, the Shallow Ford at Roswell, Power's Ferry, and Pace's
Ferry. Saturday was spent exploring the Confederate Outer Defense Line and the
Battle of Peachtree Creek. On Sunday, we followed the approach of the Army of
the Tennessee as it marched from Roswell to Decatur, then west towards Atlanta,
precipitating the July 21, 1864, fighting at the bald hill. We finished at the
Augustus Hurt/Howard House, just as the Battle of Atlanta was about to begin.
March 2–5, 2006: Pine Mountain to the River Line
We had good weather and Ed Bearss' incomparable knowledge and insights
for our three days in Cobb County. We followed the action from June 1 to
July 5, 1864. Friday's stops included the end of the Dallas-New Hope Line,
Pine Mountain, Ector's sector, Gilgal Church, the Kennesaw Mountain National
Battlefield Park Visitors Center, the top of Big Kennesaw, the 24 gun
battery, and Brushy Mountain. Friday's dinner was at the Southern Museum
of Civil War and Locomotive History. Saturday's travels took us to Kolb's
Farm, the Oatman House, Pigeon Hill, Cheatham Hill, Ruff's Mill, the Concord
Woolen Mill, Smyrna, and the Marietta City Museum. We capped off the
tour with a Sunday morning trip along the Chattahoochee River Line,
stopping at a Confederate 8 gun anchor fort and three Shoupades as
well as two Federal battery sites and McCrae's Hill, now known as Vinings
March 10-13, 2005: Rome to Dallas
Ed Bearss just keeps getting better! Ed led us to sites which included Rome
(where GBA received royal treatment complete with red carpet and a police
escort), Adairsville, Kingston, Cassville, Cooper Ironworks, Euharlee, New Hope
Church, Pickett's Mill, Dallas, and Allatoona Pass.
March 18-21, 2004: Opening of the Atlanta Campaign
Ed Bearss led another memorable tour. We saw where the Great Locomotive
Chase ended, Ringgold Gap, where the Atlanta Campaign began, Tunnell Hill,
Prater's Mill, Varnell, Crow Valley, Mill Creek Gap, Dug Gap, Resaca, Rome
Crossroads, and Calhoun.
February 20-23, 2003: Central Georgia
Our third tour was in February 2003, again led by Ed Bearss. We toured
sites in central Georgia, including Andersonville, Columbus, Macon,
Griswoldville, Milledgeville, Dublin, and Irwinville relating to Wilson's Raid,
Stoneman's Raid, the March to the Sea, and Jefferson Davis's capture.
February 2002: Savannah
GBA's second tour was in February 2002. The incomparable Ed Bearss led a
three-day tour of sites in the Savannah area, including Fort Pulaski, Fort
Jackson, Fort McAllister, the prison camp near Millen, cavalry actions at
Buckhead Church and Waynesboro, the Federal siege line and Confederate defense
lines. The Coastal Heritage Society hosted a dinner at the Savannah History
April 2001: One day at the Hell Hole
GBA's first tour for members was in April 2001. Guide Jeff Dean led a
one-day tour of battlefields at Allatoona Pass, New Hope Church, Pickett's
Mill, and Dallas.