top of page

The Atlanta Campaign



February 17, 2024

Welcome to our virtual lecture series focused on The Atlanta Campaign. The event will be 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. via Zoom on February 17.  Eric Wittenberg will moderate the program with the following speakers & talks:

  • David Powell: The Atlanta Campaign: Missed Opportunities

  • Bob Jenkins: The “Truth” at Cassville: Johnston, Hood, and the Failed Confederate Strategy in the Atlanta Campaign

  • Keith Bohannon: Wheeler’s Cavalry Corps in the Atlantic Campaign

  • Greg Biggs: “The Question was One of Supplies” - The Logistics for William T. Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign

  • Lee White: Into the Hell Hole: The Battles of New Hope Church, 
    Pickett’s Mill, and Dallas


*Please note talks will be recorded and available to view after the program. 



  • Conference held virtually via Zoom. Registered guests receive the Zoom link to watch the conference prior to the event.

  • Speakers will be available LIVE to give their presentations and answer questions excluding Greg Biggs - his will be pre-recorded.

  • Each participant will receive a downloadable packet of digital maps & program.

  • $10 from every registration will be donated directly to the Friends of Resaca Battlefield group to support the Resaca Battlefield. 

  • The conference will be recorded and available to view afterward to those registered in advance.


9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. via Zoom I  Break 12 – 1:30 p.m.  I  Q&A follows each talk

9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. are the following talks:

The Atlanta Campaign: Missed Opportunities by David Powell

“I’ve got Joe Johnston Dead!” Or so Sherman is said to have exclaimed upon hearing that James B. McPherson had seized Resaca. Famously, that turned out not to be true, one of the great “lost opportunities” of the entire war. But in fact, there were other such turning points in the first month of the campaign, each perhaps more significant than Resaca. On May 16, Sherman’s armies stumbled crossing the Oostenaula River, offering Johnston a chance to damage one or more of the Federal corps; and at Dallas, McPherson hesitated again when facing just a single small Confederate division. What would have happened if either of these moments had gone differently? 

The “Truth” at Cassville: Johnston, Hood, and the Failed Confederate Strategy in the Atlanta Campaign by Bob Jenkins
Civil War historians have remained baffled over the Cassville controversies for the past 150 plus years. There are two versions of events: Confederate commanding General Joseph E. Johnston's story, and Lieutenant General John Bell Hood's story. But Federal General William T. Sherman had other plans, and it was Confederates who would be "surprised" instead. There were two Confederate dilemmas at Cassville: first, whether to attack a portion of the Federal army in the morning; and second, once the morning attack was no longer feasible, whether to stay and fight the next day. Both decisions were the responsibility of Johnston, and both decisions involved the advice and assistance by Hood. Johnston issued a General Order to all soldiers that morning proclaiming that the army had fallen back enough and would now turn and face the enemy. After a series of unforeseen circumstances, however, the Southern commander withdrew without a fight. Before the war even concluded, Johnston and Hood began finger-pointing as they wrote their own versions of what happened that day. Since then, historians have been scratching their heads as to who was telling the truth, or if either one was honest. Bob’s newest book promises to change our understanding of the events surrounding the Cassville controversies and close the gap in its history.


12-1:30 p.m. Lunch Break


1:30-2 p.m. Meet & Greet (video on!)


2-5 p.m. are the following talks:


to Utter Submission…” The Overland Campaign and the Transformation of a Nation by John Hennessy

Wheeler’s Cavalry Corps in the Atlantic Campaign by Keith Bohannon
We will briefly explore the background and competence of Confederate General Joseph Wheeler and the training and condition of his units in the spring of 1864.  The talk will also provide an overview of Wheeler's operations during the Atlanta Campaign from May to September 1864, including Wheeler's relentless pursuit and capture of Union General George Stoneman's command in  late July 1864.  David Evans, author of an outstanding detailed study of the McCook-Stoneman Raid entitled Sherman's Horsemen, characterizes Wheeler's pursuit of the Federals as being "nothing short of brilliant."  Lastly, the talk will offer an overall assessment of Wheeler's performance in the Atlanta Campaign, drawing on the scholarship of several prominent historians who have written on the topic.


“The Question was One of Supplies” - The Logistics for William T. Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign by Greg Biggs
No army in history moved without a secure line of supplies especially if it moved into enemy territory.  If an army got cut off from its supplies, then calamity usually followed often ending in defeat and/or destruction.  When William T. Sherman set his sights on Atlanta, he prepared for the supplying of his army in a manner that surpassed every other Civil War general.  Rebuilding railroads and confiscating locomotives and cars to haul supplies, Sherman set a daily goal for shipments to his forward base in Chattanooga. Ruthless in making sure that only supplies got on the cars, Sherman also had to worry about protecting the line of rails that ran back to Louisville, Kentucky from Confederate raiders.  Building on a system begun by William S. Rosecrans, Sherman's engineers built forts and blockhouses and prepared pre-fabricated trestles for replacing those brought down by Confederate raiders.  While his preparations were masterful and thorough, they were not without some flaws.  This program will examine the nuts and bolts of these logistics and cover the errors that were also made.  In the end, his supply line performed as expected and Atlanta was captured. This set the stage for two more campaigns that Sherman would undertake before the war ended in April 1865 as well as logistics for more modern wars.  


Into the Hell Hole: The Battles of New Hope Church, Pickett’s Mill, and Dallas by Lee White
The battles that occurred between May 25 and May 29th, 1864 have been collectively referred to as the Hell Hole and they were nightmarish on many levels. Lee White will examine these engagements place and impact on the Atlanta Campaign and how they revealed the new face of war that the Campaign was unveiling. 


Conference Cost:​ $75/members and $80/non-members

  • Includes downloadable packet of digital maps & program

  • ** $10 from every registration will be donated directly to the Friends of Resaca Battlefield group to support the Resaca Battlefield.

  • Talks will be recorded and available to view after the event.


Cancellation Policy: -Virtual conference registrations cancelled up two weeks before the scheduled event are subject to a $20 per person administrative fee; cancellations received within two weeks of the event will not be refunded.

►  We reserve the right to make changes in the tours where necessary, due to unforeseen circumstances. We do not like to cancel tours but if we must cancel due to insufficient participation or other circumstances, our total obligation will be to refund all monies paid to us for the specific event.

►  All photos/videos taken before, during, and after events are the property of Chambersburg Civil War Seminars & Tours. These will be used at the discretion of the organization and may be used for marketing and advertising purposes both online and in print.

Subscribe to our newsletter • Upcoming tours & more!

Thanks for subscribing!

GCCC Logo White.png

Chambersburg Civil War Seminars & Tours is an affiliate of the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce. The purpose of this partnership is to drive awareness about our local military heritage and support local businesses.

bottom of page