Tours 

 
Future Tours
 
Our 2018 tour will cover the 22 July 1864 Battle of Atlanta, the 28 July 1864 Battle of Ezra Church, and the 6 August 1864 Battle of Utoy Creek.  On Sunday morning, we'll walk through downtown Atlanta and see the sites of wartime buildings and the locations from which many of the wartime photos of the city were taken.  Watch for details on this page in the Fall of this year.
 
Previous Tours
 
March 9-12, 2017: River Line, Crossing the Chattahoochee, Change of Command, Peachtree Creek.
 
During our Thursday (9 March) night reception at the hotel, we covered the itinerary and handed out maps and supporting materials, then had a good discussion of Georgia Battlefields Association's history and some properties that may be available to save.
 
On Friday (10 March), we picked up where the 2016 tour left off by touring the Confederate defenses known as the River Line, which includes the unique fortifications known as Shoupades.  We then visited a remnant of a Federal trench that opposed the River Line.  After a visit to the Sope Creek papermill ruins, we lunched in Roswell, then visited several sites relating to the Federal crossings of the Chattahoochee River on 8 and 9 July 1864.  We ended the day's touring with a stop in Vinings. 
 
Our first visit on Saturday (11 March) was to Pace's Ferry.  We stopped at the left end of the Confederate outer defense line (10-21 July 1864), saw where Johnston relieved the telegram relieving him of command, and made a thorough inspection of the battlefield of Peachtree Creek by bus and on foot. 
 
Sunday morning (12 March) was a walking tour of the northwest sector of the Atlanta city defense line, which now runs from the Fox theater to the west side of the Georgia Tech campus. 
 
To see some photos from the tour, click here.
 
March 10-13, 2016: Gilgal Church to the Smyrna Line
We had another great tour with Ed Bearss, covering the Atlanta Campaign from 15 June through 4 July 1864. We had good weather throughout.

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 campaign.

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 for dinner.

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: Chickamauga  
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: Savannah  
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 Historic Site.

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: Augusta
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 1864
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 Nash Farm.

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 involved.

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 Overlook.

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 Museum.

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.