Rome, Lafayette, and Cassville Chapter 10 of the 1864 Georgia Campaign

A BGES Weekend Warrior Program

With Robert Jenkins

September 6-8, 2024; from Rome, GA

While most Atlanta Campaign tours cover the events between Dalton and Atlanta, none have delved into Rome and Lafayette, where important action occurred as well. In this special tour, you will cover the battles for Rome and the engagements at Farmer’s Bridge and Lafayette in a tour that has never been covered in this detail before! You will also revisit Cassville and discover the new ground-breaking evidence about what really happened there.

As Sherman’s legions battled Johnston’s army along the banks of the Oostanaula River at Resaca, the Federal commander sent two separate probes toward Rome to get at Johnston’s line of supply, the Western & Atlantic Railroad at Kingston. Sherman also sought to prevent the connection of reinforcements traveling from Alabama and Mississippi who were striving to join the embattled and outnumbered Confederates. The first probe, led by Federal cavalry Brig. Gen. Kenner Garrard, would fail, while the second probe, under the command of Brig. Gen. Jefferson C. Davis, would capture the City of Seven Hills and thereby remove its vast manufacturing capacity from further use by the Confederacy.

Your tour guide, Historian Bob Jenkins, has just completed a new book on the Cassville Affairs that includes chapters on Rome, Adairsville, and the events of the region. It was released in February 2024, and signed copies will be available for purchase on the tour. You will also be provided with new and detailed maps of the fighting at Rome, Farmer’s Bridge, Adairsville, and Cassville, complete with details that have never been published before.

Itinerary

Friday, September 6, 2024

We will meet at the headquarters hotel at 6 PM to meet and greet your fellow students. Bob will cover a synopsis of the Atlanta Campaign and provide an introduction into the new materials that he has recently uncovered concerning Rome and Cassville and the surrounding area. He will also challenge your conception of the armies’ principal leaders, Sherman, Thomas, Johnston, and Hood.

We will break so you can have dinner on your own in the beautiful city of Rome, or with others in the group if you choose.

Saturday, September 7, 2024

We will begin with a visit to the off-the-beaten-path town of Lafayette (pronounced by the northwest Georgia locals “la fay’-et”), Georgia. A severe cavalry clash occurred here on June 24, 1864, as Confederate cavalry attempted to disrupt Sherman’s supply and communication lines while the fighting was going on in earnest around Atlanta between the Federals and the Confederates on the Kennesaw Mountain Line. During the drive, we will also discuss some of the other Confederate attempts to strike at Sherman’s supply line, including Wheeler’s failed raid into north Georgia in August 1864.

Next, we will return to the May 1864 action and follow the route of Garrard’s Federal cavalry through “the Pocket” south to Farmer’s Bridge on Armuchee Creek, where a few Confederate cavalrymen of Company G of the 12th Alabama Cavalry Battalion held off 2,200 Federal troopers for over two hours. We will continue south toward Rome, tracing the steps of the Federals as they approached from the Old Summerville and Old Dalton Roads.

We will stop for lunch in Rome.

After lunch, you are in for a real treat as you will go to the sites of four sets of earthworks that ringed the City of Rome as part of a series of forts. In Bob’s new book, the use of these earthworks and the Confederate troops who fought there has been interpreted in detail for the first time. You will see the earthworks of Fort Attaway, Fort Jackson, and Fort Stovall, and see and interpret the ground of the fighting between Confederate brigadier general Sul Ross’ Texas Cavalry units and Davis’ Second Division, including the sites of Federal brigadier general Daniel McCook’s brigade, Confederate brigadier general Daniel Ector’s brigade, and the other units from each side. You will also visit Clock Tower Hill and Myrtle Hill and Cemetery, where we will end the day overlooking the city as we discuss the Fall of Rome!

We will return to the hotel where you will be free to roam about the beautiful downtown streets of Rome and catch dinner with others in the group if you choose.

Lunch is included, but dinner is on your own.

Sunday, September 8, 2024

We will begin our day with a visit to the world-famous Barnsley Gardens, where Lord Godfrey Barnsley built an estate inspired by the Tuscany region of Italy for his wife, Julia. Sadly, she would die before its completion. Named Woodlands by Lord Barnsley, the estate and grounds were the scene of a vicious cavalry action between portions of Garrard’s Second Division of Federal cavalry and Confederate cavalry from Ferguson’s and Allen’s brigades. Next, we will make a whistle stop at Kingston where Sherman stayed from May 19 to May 23 and planned his next phase of the campaign. Here, Sherman would choose to flank the Allatoona mountains and head toward Dallas, Georgia, west of Marietta, instead of risking battle in the Allatoona mountain range. Some historians believe this was a decisive decision in the campaign.

We will then head to Cassville and spend the balance of the morning learning the correct story of the confusing events of May 19, 1864, and cover the ground as we discuss the newfound information. We will follow Hood’s Corps out of town, passing Johnston’s morning headquarters, and discover where Hood’s men were surprised and suddenly attacked by Edward McCook’s Federal troopers.

We will next trace the course of Hooker’s XX Corps between Adairsville and Cassville.

We will visit Adairsville on our way to lunch.

We will next go by Iron Mountain and Mosteller’s Mill and then follow the course of McCook’s troopers along the correct Spring Place Road to Cassville, stopping at Five Forks where two guns of Eli Lily’s 18th Indiana Independent Artillery fired into the 9th Mississippi Battalion and 41st Mississippi Infantry of Sharp’s (Tucker’s) Brigade of Hindman’s Division as Hood watched on in surprise.

We next follow the 2nd Indiana Cavalry along with Lt. Col. James W. Stewart and Maj. David A. Briggs through the Five Forks across the Spring Place and Pine Log Roads, and into the Canton Road as they lead the second prong of McCook’s surprise morning attack. Here they will encounter the men of the 63rd Virginia Infantry who were marching in column from Cassville.

We will return to Cassville as we come full circle on our route and our knowledge of the Morning Cassville Affair.

We will then interpret the afternoon action as we follow McCook’s and Stoneman’s afternoon attack across the Two Run Creek valley.

We then turn our attention on the Evening Cassville Affair as we visit a few sites, including the site of Johnston’s evening headquarters and Polk’s headquarters, where the controversial meeting between Hood and Polk and Johnston occurred on that fateful day.

You will be the first to officially tour Cassville in light of the newly discovered evidence that Bob (and a team of researchers and historians that he has banded together to examine his new findings) has uncovered and to learn what really happened at Cassville.

Lunch is included.

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 is an animated and detailed interpreter, and you will be regaled with new and thought-provoking information and stunning vistas. He has completed three outstanding books on the campaign, including The Battle of Peachtree Creek: Hood’s First Sortie July 20, 1864 (2013) and To the Gates of Atlanta: from Kennesaw Mountain to Peachtree Creek 1-19 July 1864 (2015). Bob has just published The Cassville Affairs: Johnston, Hood, and the Failed Confederate Strategy in the Atlanta Campaign (Mercer University Press, February 2024). Signed copies will be available for purchase on the tour for $40.

Hotel Information

This program will be based at Holiday Inn Express, 35 Hobson Way, Rome, GA; 706-232-0021. A Blue and Gray block has been established at our rate of $124 a night plus taxes, with a cut-off date of August 6, 2024. Call the hotel to assure this negotiated rate.

Transportation

The servicing airport is Atlanta (ATL). For people driving in, Rome can be accessed via Interstate 75 to US 411.

Recommended Reading

You will be provided maps upon arrival. The following books are suggested to enhance your readiness for the program. These books are available online.

Robert Jenkins: The Cassville Affairs: Johnston, Hood, and the Failed Confederate Strategy in the Atlanta Campaign, 19 May 1864, Mercer University Press, Macon, GA, 2024. (signed copies will be available for purchase at Tour ($40).

Registration

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

Registration Type


To register by mail or fax, download this printable registration form: Rome, Lafayette, and Cassville – Chapter 10 of the 1864 Georgia Campaign

Questions? Need more information? Please contact us.