Local News

April 19, 2014

Civil War tour group learns about the battle that wasn’t

Nearly 150 years ago, Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston stationed his troops where Poplar Springs Baptist Church now sits on the outskirts of Dalton and waited for Union Gen. William T. Sherman’s forces to arrive.

They never came.

Johnston made an educated guess as to where Sherman’s officers would make their attack during the Atlanta Campaign of the War Between the States in the spring of 1864, historian Richard McMurry explained to about 50 people who participated in a Civil War tour sponsored by Dalton State College’s Bandy Heritage Center for Northwest Georgia on Saturday.

“‘This is the spot,’ Johnston thought, ‘where Sherman ought to fight ... It’s close to his supply place, and it’s far from my supply place,’” McMurry explained.

What the Confederate leader didn’t know, McMurry said, is that Sherman was forced to change tactics after two cavalry brigades and more than 10,000 foot soldiers he was expecting for the affront encountered problems that left his forces weakened.

“It’s what did not happen here at Dalton that makes this important,” McMurry said.

McMurry and Bandy Center employees led the group on a day-long tour bus trip Saturday that began at Poplar Springs Baptist and stopped at sites along the way to Kennesaw Mountain. The trek follows a trail Union leaders made during the Nearly 150 years ago, Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston stationed his troops where Poplar Springs Baptist Church now sits on the outskirts of Dalton and waited for Union Gen. William T. Sherman’s forces to arrive.

They never came.

Johnston made an educated guess as to where Sherman’s officers would make their attack during the Atlanta Campaign of the War Between the States in the spring of 1864, historian Richard McMurry explained to about 50 people who participated in a Civil War tour sponsored by Dalton State College’s Bandy Heritage Center for Northwest Georgia on Saturday.

“‘This is the spot,’ Johnston thought, ‘where Sherman ought to fight ... It’s close to his supply place, and it’s far from my supply place,’” McMurry explained.

What the Confederate leader didn’t know, McMurry said, is that Sherman was forced to change tactics after two cavalry brigades and more than 10,000 foot soldiers he was expecting for the affront encountered problems that left his forces weakened.

“It’s what did not happen here at Dalton that makes this important,” McMurry said.

McMurry and Bandy Center employees led the group on a day-long tour bus trip Saturday that began at Poplar Springs Baptist and stopped at sites along the way to Kennesaw Mountain. The trek follows a trail Union leaders made during the war in an effort that eventually saw Atlanta burned by Union forces and contributed to the downfall of the Confederacy.

McMurry said Union troops eventually made their way through Taylor’s Ridge near Ringgold. Had Confederate Cavalry commander Joseph Wheeler had outposts there as he should have, the Confederates would have seen the enemy making their way through, McMurry said. McMurry said Wheeler was a successful leader when he was in charge of small units of a couple thousand men, but he was less adept when it came to commanding larger forces as in this case.

John Fowler of the Bandy Center said Saturday marked the first time the Center has sponsored a bus tour, and there are plans to add more tours.ar in an effort that eventually saw Atlanta burned by Union forces and contributed to the downfall of the Confederacy.

McMurry said Union troops eventually made their way through Taylor’s Ridge near Ringgold. Had Confederate Cavalry commander Joseph Wheeler had outposts there as he should have, the Confederates would have seen the enemy making their way through, McMurry said. McMurry said Wheeler was a successful leader when he was in charge of small units of a couple thousand men, but he was less adept when it came to commanding larger forces as in this case.

John Fowler of the Bandy Center said Saturday marked the first time the Center has sponsored a bus tour, and there are plans to add more tours.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Little library 1 mlh.jpg Little Libraries, big goal

    Whitfield County just received a new library.
    And better yet, 26 more are on the way to the region.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Picture 3.jpg Rock solid

    A great number of things have come and gone since 1974.
    One that hasn’t: a small Dalton school founded by parents wanting a unique learning environment for their children.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vann House Day '14 6 mlh.jpg History comes alive at Vann House

    SPRING PLACE — In the early 1800s, the 1,000-acre plantation belonging to Cherokee Indian leader James Vann was a bustling place.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • Local congressmen agree with Deal

    Regarding news last week that approximately 30 unaccompanied minors from Central America, who had crossed the southern border into the United States, were sent without warning to Dalton last year and enrolled in Dalton Public Schools, Republican politicians representing portions of Murray and Whitfield Counties agree — state and local school officials deserved to know in advance, they say.

    July 26, 2014

  • Former chamber location 2 mlh.jpg Plan could cut flooding, stormwater damage in Dalton

    On a recent day, McClellan Creek flowed gently through Harlan Godfrey Civitan Park. But some park goers who live near the area say that even a mild rain can turn the creek into a torrent that eats away at their property.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Civil War anniversary: The Battle of Crow Valley, May 9-12, 1864

    The Atlanta Campaign began during the first two weeks of May 1864 in and around Dalton. Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s strategy was to target two of his armies, about 80,000 men, against Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s Army of Tennessee at Dalton. Then, while Johnston’s attention was diverted by these forces, he would secretly send his third army, about 25,000 troops under Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson, in a flanking movement to the southwest through Snake Creek Gap. Sherman’s goal was to break Johnston’s railroad supply line some 15 miles south at Resaca and trap Johnston’s Confederates in Dalton.

    July 26, 2014

  • New church being  built mlh.jpg Church construction continues

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Avans.jpg Three arrested in arson plot to claim insurance money

    Three people have been arrested for their role in a fire at a Chatsworth home as part of an insurance scam to collect money, officials said.

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • Investigation into MFG chemical accident continues

    An investigation is still ongoing after a MFG Chemical employee was injured earlier this month at a plant on Kimberly Park Drive.

    July 25, 2014

  • Judge sets $100,000 bond for Cohutta man accused of incest, molestation

    A Cohutta man charged with incest, aggravated sodomy and child molestation was granted a $100,000 bond over the prosecutor’s objection on Friday.

    July 25, 2014