A 2023 BGES Weekend Warrior Program
Presented by Robert Jenkins
March 17-19, 2023; from Atlanta, GA
As the tentacles of Sherman’s massive army group of three potent and aggressive individual armies embraced the outskirts of Atlanta and the diminishing Army of Tennessee in its embrace elements of Sherman’s well rested cavalry were deployed to cut off lines of communications for Atlanta and to bring the force of the campaign to heretofore secure regions of Georgia. Join us for the Stoneman, Kilpatrick and McCook Raids, in addition we will add a few bonus engagements from Sherman’s March to the sea in November (The Battles of Walnut Creek and Griswoldville)
Friday, March 17, 2023
We will meet at the headquarters hotel at 6 PM to meet and greet your fellow students. Bob will follow with an opening discussion of the Georgia Campaign to date, the strategies of each side, the significance of cavalry operations in the campaign, the key horsemen and the challenges faced by army commanders William Sherman and John Bell Hood. These operations are frequently overlooked in the larger context of the campaign and are thus an essential component to this comprehensive examination. We will break so you can get your dinner.
Saturday, March 18, 2023
With the infantry embroiled in and around Atlanta, Cavalry under George Stoneman were deployed to operate against the Central Georgia Railroad. Fielding about 2,000 men in three brigades Stoneman departed Decatur on a ride towards Macon. After 3 days Stoneman reached the vicinity of Macon where his 14th Illinois Cavalry wreck railroad supplies, trestles and railroad lines in and around Clinton. An attack on Macon was stopped by militia who held strong positions in Macon. The failure to gain Macon caused Stoneman to retreat and on July 31st surrendered 600 men and his artillery to Brigadier General Alfred Iverson while covering the escape of two of his brigades.
Today’s activities will take us to Macon, Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park (here we will discuss the battle of Dunlap Hill and the November engagement at Walnut Creek which is tied to the March to the Sea campaign). After lunch we will again leap to the March to the Sea and see the battle at Griswoldville. We then loop back to the culminating battle at Sunshine Church where the surrender occurs. Lunch included but dinner is on your own.
Sunday, March 19, 2023
With George Stoneman now in our rearview mirror we will now meet two more men of name recognition whose contributions are not in the range of a Sheridan or Custer. We will leave at 8:30 to engage in Judson Kilpatrick’s raid on Jonesboro. Made famous in Gone with the Wind and as the last battle of the Atlanta Campaign, the railroad through Jonesborough. The Macon and Western Railroad and the Atlanta and West Point Railroads both fed Hood’s army. As we work towards Lovejoy Station we will see a raid that caught people’s attention but in the final analysis had little practical impact as the railroad was restored to service in just two days.
After lunch we will head west of Atlanta and return to the 27th of July when 1,600 other Federal troopers crossed the Chattahoochie River at Turner’s Ferry. Commanded by General Edward McCook, ordered to cooperate with Stoneman and Garrard who had ridden from the area around Decatur, McCook was late to Lovejoy Station and proceeded to operate independently against the railroads in the vicinity. Here they ran into Joseph Wheeler’s troops and were defeated near Newnan in the battle of Brown’s Mill. Interpreted just 10 years ago this is a real treat hardly known or visited in the numerous studies of the Civil War—perhaps the undiscovered pearl of the campaign. Lunch is included and dinner is on your own. We will return to the hotel by 5 PM and you will be good to go.
About the Faculty
Bob Jenkins is a practicing attorney in Dalton, Georgia. An active preservationist, Bob has played a significant role in expanding the story of the start of the 1864 Atlanta Campaign. He has completed two outstanding books: The first being The Battle of Peachtree Creek, Hood’s First Sortie July 20, 1864 (2014) and To the Gates of Atlanta: from Kennesaw Mountain to Peachtree Creek 1-19 July 1864 (2015). Bob is an animated and detailed interpreter and you will be regaled with new and thought provoking information and stunning vistas.
This program will be based in or near Atlanta, Georgia and the hotel will be announced on this site. A block of rooms will be established.
The servicing airport is Atlanta (ATL). For people driving in, the hotel will be convenient to Interstate 75.
You will be provided with maps upon arrival. The following books are suggested to enhance your readiness for the program. These books are available online:
- Albert Castel: Decision in the West, The Atlanta Campaign 1864
- David Evans: Sherman’s Horsemen: Union Cavalry Operations in the Atlanta Campaign
- Robert C. Jones: McCook’s Raid and the Battle of Brown’s Mill
- Joseph Wheeler: Campaigns of Wheeler and His Cavalry 1862-1865
Registration includes two lunches, all paid admissions, maps, the academic program, support of a professional historian, tour director and transportation by passenger bus or van. We will also provide snacks and bottled water.
Register for this program using a secure PayPal link
To register by mail or fax, download this printable registration form: The Siege of Atlanta
Questions? Need more information? Please contact us.