The Battles of Dalton–Chapter 1 of the 1864 Georgia Campaign

A 2021 BGES Weekend Warrior Program

With Robert Jenkins

April 21-23, 2021, from Dalton, GA

Dug Gap
Battle of Dug Gap
Drawn May 8, 1864. Alfred R. Waud. Courtesy Library of Congress

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.

Click here to watch Robert’s January 2021 interview concerning this program and the Resaca program.

The opening of the campaign sets the tone for the four months that follow. The terrain is daunting and the challenges each commander faced were real and thought-provoking, demanding dramatic and decisive action to maintain the relative security of their forces. This initial program will set a high bar for the seven programs to follow in this multi-year program.

Please note this program is being conducted under the restrictions required to battle the pandemic, and you will be expected to cooperate and comply with the restrictions in place at the time. Proof of vaccination that is no later than April 6 will permit you the maximum freedoms of this program. But it will still have mandatory restrictions. If these are not acceptable to you, you may cancel and have your money refunded.


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

7:30 PM. We will gather at the headquarters hotel at 7:30 PM to pick up maps and to meet and greet your fellow students at a socially distanced lecture. Bob will follow with an opening discussion overviewing the Georgia Campaign, the strategies of each side, the significance of the campaign, and the challenges faced by army commanders William Sherman and Joe Johnston. Make sure to have dinner before we start.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

8:30 AM. We will start this morning at 8:30 AM, headed for Tunnel Hill, which was Sherman’s headquarters between May 8 and 12, 1864. As we survey Sherman’s order of battle presenting a three-army group, we will move to Blue Mountain, which was his field headquarters. From there it is into the Crow Valley, where the Confederate forces were deployed in the winter of 1864. This tip of the spear was Johnston’s face against Sherman’s army group. We will finish our work there, discussing Johnston’s review of his new command in the winter of ’64. We then return to Johnston’s headquarters at the Huff House and discuss the controversy in Dalton, where we will have lunch.

Following lunch, we will head to Mill Creek, setting up and fighting the battle of Dug Gap on May 8, 1864. This afternoon will involve perhaps three hours of walking as opposed to just standing at interpretative stops. The scenery is stunning, and the terrain intimidating—if you are a Confederate soldier, you feel pretty good about your positions; if you are in Union commander John Geary’s Division, this is a challenge unlike any you have seen in the Civil War. It’s simply a great day that sets the table for the special opportunities you will experience on Friday. Lunch is included, but dinner is on your own.

Friday, November 23, 2021

8:30 AM. We will leave at 8:30 AM, headed for the crest of Rocky Face Ridge, where we will spend the morning. We will hike the spine of the ridge as we study the multiple and various types of Confederate earthworks, trenches, rock walls, batteries. and signal stations. It is hard to believe, but this was the scene of a battle as well on May 9 as Harker’s Federals ascended the ridge and attacked Pettus’ Alabamians. Of the many special places we have visited over the years, this ranks in the top five. Very few Civil War students will ever get to see what you and those soldiers experienced. After lunch at the Buckin’ Burrito in Dalton, we will see the Dalton Depot and Fort Hill before heading back to the area north of Dalton to address operations and pre-campaign life in Crow Valley and at Potato Hill.

While there, we will discuss the winter of 1863–1864 at the Hamilton House near Mt. Rachel. Then it is off to the new addition to the Rocky Face Ridge/Crow Valley Battlefield Park at Grant’s Farm, the site of fighting in both February and May 1864. Not to be overlooked are Cummings’ Georgia Brigade earthworks and a twelve-gun battery site and Mercer’s Brigade and Van der Corput’s Battery near Poplar Springs Baptist Church. We will end the day visiting sites along Potato Hill and Battleline Drive with Walthall’s Mississippi Brigade. As with Thursday, you will get a chance to walk off your lunch as we will be walking extensive lines with detailed interpretation for at least three hours. Lunch is included. We will finish by 5 PM and return to the hotel.

Chapter 2 in the series starts at 7:30 PM tonight, April 23-25, 2021, from Dalton. Click here to see that program and plan to do the entire eight-part series with Bob!

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 prelims of the 1864 Atlanta Campaign, which you will see on this program. He has completed two outstanding books on the campaign: 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 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 and stunning vistas.

Hotel Information

This program will be based at the LaQuinta Inn and Suites, 715 College Drive, Dalton, Georgia; call 706-272-9099 and ask for the Blue and Gray Tour rate of $93 plus tax. A block of 15 rooms was established. We will seek to extend the cut-off date of April 7, 2021. If you can get a better rate on your own, feel free.


The servicing airport is Chattanooga (CHA). Atlanta (ATL) is perhaps 85 miles south. Nashville (BNA) is also a possibility. Both have excellent airfares. In every instance you would need a rental car. For people driving in, the hotel will be convenient to Interstate 75.

Recommended Reading

You will be provided with maps upon arrival. The following books are suggested to enhance your readiness for the program. has a program to support non-profits IF YOU SIGN UP to support Blue and Gray Education Society (EIN 54-1720582) at AmazonSmile. When you sign up there rather than the normal Amazon site, one-half of one percent of your purchase price will be provided to BGES as a donation from Amazon. This will apply not only on this purchase but others you may make at other times. Thank you.

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Registration Type

To register by mail or fax, download this printable registration form: The Battles of Dalton

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