A 2021 BGES Weekend Warrior Program
With Robert Jenkins
November 5-7, 2021, from Marietta, GA
For many years, the pivotal Atlanta Campaign has been presented in the shadow of the great eastern showdown between Grant and Lee. Yet the capture of Atlanta is widely regarded as the final nail in the Confederacy’s coffin. It provided the national morale lift needed to propel Lincoln to be the first president to be reelected since Andrew Jackson. Several notable historians have undertaken campaign studies, but none has shown more fresh scholarship than Dalton attorney Robert Jenkins.
The opening of the campaign set the tone for the four months that followed. In Chapters 1, 2 and 3, we saw the terrain was daunting and the challenges each commander faced were real and thought-provoking. As opportunities increased, so, too, did the contact between the forces. Soon Sherman would roll the dice in a grand effort to break the Confederate lines. Now, in Chapter 4, the temp increases with five engagements in June 1864. Each engagement, from Gilgal Church to Pine Mountain, Lost Mountain, and Kolb Farm, is dramatic in its own right; but Kennesaw is rightly deemed the major engagement of this period. Enjoy!
Friday, November 5, 2021
7 PM. We will meet at the headquarters hotel at 7 PM to meet and greet your fellow students. Bob will follow with a discussion of the fourth phase of the Georgia Campaign, over-viewing the why and how of the movements of each army across north-central Georgia, and the positioning of each force within a figurative stone’s throw of the Atlanta fortifications. We will review the strategies of each side, the significance of the campaign, and the challenges faced by army commanders William Sherman and Joe Johnston. The narrative covers the month of June 1864. We will break so you can get your dinner.
Saturday, November 6, 2021
8:30 AM. We will start this morning at 0830 with a full plate of topics and sites—indeed, we rapidly will survey the key sites related to Lost Mountain: the fighting at Gilgal Church on June 15, Pine Mountain, to kill off Leonidas Polk, and then over to Brushy Mountain, before stopping at Latimer’s Farm, where there was an engagement on June 18.
Following lunch, which is included, we will move along the Mud Creek Line, which was significant between June 16 and 18, to include the site where Gen. Lucius Polk is wounded. The Polks certainly didn’t enjoy the geography north of Atlanta. Our day concludes with Hood’s attack at Kolb’s Farm, and we will stretch our legs walking about a mile and a half of the battlefield. This has been a lot to swallow, but it is essential to understand why Kennesaw Mountain is possible.
Dinner is on your own.
Sunday, November 7, 2021
8:30 AM. We will leave at 0830 headed for the national battlefield park at Kennesaw. Sadly, this is the largest recreational park in the region, and we will fight for parking space. Locals just find this an easy way to get their walks or runs in. Of course, the good news of this is the park is fairly extensive, and our entire day is devoted to Kennesaw, with numerous walks of several hundred yards each.
This morning we will open by orienting ourselves to the Confederate lines and then to the Federal lines. We will see the placement of artillery and will consider the advantages and impact of massing of multiple batteries. The remainder of the morning will take in sequence the assaults launched by the Army of Tennessee in order of Francis Blair’s XVII Corps, Grenville Dodge’s XVI Corps, and John Logan’s XV Corps.
Following lunch, which is included, we will then pick up and follow the full throated attack of the Army of the Cumberland in sequence O. O. Howard’s IV Corps, John Palmer’s XIV Corps, and Joe Hooker’s XX Corps. This all-in approach seeking a decisive victory also included the Army of the Ohio and John Scofield’s XXIII Corps attack and maneuvers. With all this firepower, the reality is the Confederates were well prepared to receive all these sledgehammer blows, and Sherman leaves the field with several significantly broken units and a newfound respect for the steel of their Confederate opponents.
In and of itself, these two days are intense and meaningful to an understanding of how the two forces have expected to function. The advantages of Sherman’s army group is clear, but Johnston’s skillful use of terrain and positions have permitted him to conserve his forces for precisely the challenges something like Kennesaw presented. When combined with Chapter 3, you have had a great grounding in this evolving and decisive campaign.
We will return to the hotel by 5 PM, and you will be good to go. Chapter 5 will take place in early 2022, and Chapter 6 in November 2022. The seventh and eighth parts will take place in 2023.
Lunch is included.
Check out the Zoom presentation of Robert Jenkins presenting the first chapter of the Georgia Campaign here.
Read the interview with Robert Jenkins about the first chapter of the Georgia Campaign here.
Read the interview with Robert Jenkins about the second chapter of the Georgia campaign here.
About the Faculty
Bob Jenkins is a practicing attorney in Dalton, Georgia. An active preservationist, he has played a significant role in expanding the story of the start of the 1864 Atlanta Campaign. He has completed two outstanding books on the campaign: The Battle of Peach Tree Creek: Hood’s First Sortie, July 20, 1864 (2014) and To the Gates of Atlanta: From Kennesaw Mountain to Peach Tree Creek, 1-19 July 1864 (2015). Bob is an animated and detailed interpreter, and you will be regaled with new and thought-provoking information as you take in stunning vistas.
This program will be based in Marietta, Georgia at the Fairfield Inn, 2490 Delk Rd., Marietta, GA 30067. Call 678-737-3715 and ask for the Atlanta Campaign Room, The block the rate is $119, plus 14% tax, plus $8 a night in state and local surcharges. The block goes away on October 20.
The servicing airport is Atlanta Hartsfield Airport (ATL). On a good day, the hotel is 25 minutes distant. There are multiple options from ATL, but I strongly encourage you to arrive between 9:30 AM and 2 PM—ingoing and outgoing traffic for Atlanta is painfully slow during morning and afternoon rush hours. Evening rush hour often runs to 7 PM.
You will be provided with maps and articles that Bob has selected for your edification upon arrival. If you are a user of Amazon and would consider signing up for AmazonSmile, name Blue and Gray Education Society as the beneficiary of your purchases—we are getting a quarterly check from Amazon from supporters who shop on Amazon. A percentage of every purchase, this one and all other purchases, comes to BGES. Thank you.
- Albert Castel: Decision in the West, The Atlanta Campaign 1864
- Jacob D. Cox: Atlanta
- Earl Hess: Fighting for Atlanta: Tactics, Terrain, and Trenches in the Civil War
- Earl Hess: Kennesaw Mountain, Sherman, Johnston and the Atlanta Campaign
- Joseph E. Johnston: Narrative of Military Operations during the Civil War
- Jim Miles: Fields of Glory: A History and Tour Guide of the War in the West, the Atlanta Campaign, 1864
- Lawrence K. Peterson: Decisions of the Atlanta Campaign: The Twenty-One Critical Decisions That Defined the Operation
Register for this program using a secure PayPal link
To register by mail or fax, download this printable registration form: From Cassville to the Hell Hole
Questions? Need more information? Please contact us.