A 2024 BGES Weekend Warrior Program
Presented by Robert Jenkins
March 8-10, 2024; from Kennesaw, GA
With the surrender of Atlanta, John Bell Hood unloaded a heavy burden from his shoulders. Having previously discussed, during his Richmond convalescence, a Tennessee operation with President Davis, he now made it a matter of morale for his Tennessee troops in the wake of the devastating results at Atlanta. A visit and conference between Hood, his theater boss, P. G. T. Beauregard, and the president hatched an operation that would sweep into Tennessee and perhaps back to the Ohio River with an egress if needed through the mountains to Virginia to cooperate with Robert E. Lee’s besieged army. This ninth part of the Atlanta Campaign seeks an operation that will liberate and draw Sherman’s armies back out of Atlanta toward Tennessee to fight for its supply line.
Friday, March 8, 2024
We will gather at the headquarters hotel at 6 p.m. to meet and greet your fellow students. Bob will summarize the results of the Atlanta Campaign and the reconstitution of Hood’s army now shadowing the fallen city of Atlanta. Released from the burden of defending a city, Hood successfully argues for an offensive action that will compel Sherman to fight for his supply line while his Tennessee soldiers look fondly toward the redemption of their state, which is now under Federal occupation.
We will break so you can have dinner on your own.
Saturday, March 9, 2024
The essence of Sherman’s Atlanta encampment is the security of his lines of communication. Sherman gets his supplies and moves people along the Western and Atlantic Railroad to Chattanooga, then to Nashville and finally to the depot at Louisville. Sherman had repaired and secured critical points building block houses at river crossings and small fortifications from Chattanooga to Altoona Pass just north of Atlanta. The train came to Atlanta and then went to Big Shanty (Kennesaw) and then farther north.
We will leave the hotel in Kennesaw and go to the Big Shanty Depot. This site, made mostly famous by the Great Locomotive Chase, was an important waypoint and station on the route. Fully capable of servicing engines that needed wood and water every 10 or 15 miles, its destruction would slow provisioning operations coming from Chattanooga.
We will then go over to Acworth at the base of Allatoona Pass. It, too, was a water station along the Western and Atlantic line. From here and into the pass, Confederates under the command of Gen. Samuel French sought to dislodge and obstruct the vulnerable pass and move on to the Etowah River to burn the bridge crossing there. Responsibility for the defense of this vulnerable choke point rested with Gen. John Corse. We will have lunch in Acworth and discuss the impact of the Civil War on the town.
Following lunch, the afternoon will be spent on an extensive examination of the fortifications built and defended by the Federals. The Confederates attacked at 7 a.m. on October 5, bombarding the fortifications with artillery and attacking a blockhouse. When French demanded that Corse surrender, Corse refused. The fighting continued until noon when French was told that Federal reinforcements were imminent—by 2 p.m., he had withdrawn.
We will return to the hotel where you may have dinner on your own. Lunch included.
Sunday, March 10, 2024
With Hood moving north, Sherman was forced to respond. Leaving at 8 a.m., we, too, will head north, where our morning will be spent at Resaca and Fort Wayne and Tilton. Atlanta had been taken by Sherman’s army group, but Hood’s newfound mobility proved that much work remained to be done. Could Hood draw Sherman away and back over ground that had been taken in May and June?
Hood crossed the Coosa River near Rome, Georgia, and turned toward Resaca, where he joined up with General Wheeler’s cavalry, which came in from Tennessee. He asked the surrender of Resaca and, when refused, left Gen. Stephen D. Lee to invest the town. Hood sent Gen. A. P. Stewart to Tunnel Hill, intending to damage the tunnel and other critical points on the railroad.
After lunch, we will look at Stewart’s successful capture of the Federals at Dalton. Many of the Federal soldiers captured at Dalton were USCT, and more than 600 of them were forced to take off their shoes and tear up some 2 miles of track, being treated like slaves. While the white Federal officers were paroled, some of the black soldiers were returned to slavery; others who refused to be so treated were executed.
We will conclude the day at Shipp’s Gap where elements of Gist’s Brigade fought off the vanguard of Sherman’s pursuing troop. As Hood moved into Alabama, the six-day march would conclude at Gadsden, where Hood would contemplate how to cross the Tennessee River once his supplies were recruited. Sherman let him go and returned to Atlanta to plan his move to the sea.
We will return to the hotel by 5 p.m. and you will be good to go.
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 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. He is working on a book about Cassville.
This program will be based at TownPlace Suites, 1074 Cobb Place Blvd, Kennesaw, GA (770-794-8282). A Blue and Gray block has been established (click here for a hot link to registration). Our rate of $109 a night, plus taxes, has a cut-off date of March 1, 2024.
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.
- Stephen Davis: Into Tennessee and Failure, John Bell Hood
- John Bell Hood: Advance and Retreat: Personal Experiences in the United States and Confederate Armies
- William Scaife: Allatoona Pass, A Needless Effusion of Blood
- Joseph Wheeler: Campaigns of Wheeler and His Cavalry 1862-1865
Registration includes 2 lunches, all paid admissions, maps, the academic program, support of a professional historian and a 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: Hood Unleashed: Chapter 9 of the 1864 Georgia Campaign
Questions? Need more information? Please contact us.