News Column

Atlanta Campaign Battle App Guides Visitors to a Wealth of Civil War Gems

May 15, 2014



WASHINGTON, May 15 -- The Civil War Trust issued the following news release:

One hundred and fifty years ago this week, Union forces under Maj. Gen William Tecumseh Sherman faced off against Gen. Joseph E. Johnston in the early battles of the Atlanta Campaign, which would culminate at summer's end in the surrender of that critical railroad nexus. To mark the anniversary of these significant events, the Civil War Trust, the nation's largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization, has unveiled the latest installment in its suite of digital interpretation offerings. The Atlanta Campaign Battle App (http://www.civilwar.org/battleapps) guide, optimized for iOS and Android devices, is now available for free download.

"Using the latest in 21st-century technology, travelers to the battlefields around Atlanta -- and those making a virtual visit from afar -- will have the opportunity to gain specific, place-based insight into these historic events," said Trust president James Lighthizer. "From well-known sites to hidden gems, the Atlanta Campaign Battle App (http://www.civilwar.org/battleapps/) guide will give users the full picture of this complex and important aspect of the war."

Features in the free Atlanta Campaign Battle App (http://www.civilwar.org/battleapps/) guide enhance users' experiences from Rocky Face Ridge (http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/rocky-face-ridge.html) to Jonesborough (http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/jonesborough.html), placing history at their fingertips. The resources available through the guide allow users to move at their own leisure through three individual tours stopping at 29 Virtual Signs, which provide access to audio of first-hand accounts of the action and video of battlefield experts offering their interpretation of key events, plus images relevant artifacts from the peerless collection of the Atlanta History Center (http://www.atlantahistorycenter.com/). An additional 36 points of interest are also highlighted on the GPS-enabled map. A new, multi-layered interface allows users to view the area of operations for the whole campaign or zoom in for more tactical detail. As with other titles in the Battle App guide series (http://www.civilwar.org/battleapps/), time-phased troop movements help tie historical events to the modern landscape. Other reference features in the app include orders of battle, chronologies and a facts page.

The Civil War Trust continues working to develop more Battle App (http://www.civilwar.org/battleapps/) guide offerings thanks in part to the support of the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Trust's technology partner, NeoTreks, Inc. The Atlanta Campaign Battle App (http://www.civilwar.org/battleapps/) guide was made possible with the sponsorship and assistance of the Frances and Beverly DuBose Foundation, the Atlanta History Center and historian Steve Davis. For more information about the content, use and availability of GPS-enable Civil War Trust Battle App guides for Apple devices and Android phones, please visit www.civilwar.org/battleapps. To date, more than 200,000 people have downloaded the 12 titles in our growing series of Battle App guides (http://www.civilwar.org/battleapps/).

"Even in the midst of modern development, there is a surprisingly large number of surviving historic sites that tell the story of the Atlanta Campaign," said Gordon Jones, Atlanta History Center Senior Military Historian. "This is a terrific resource for locating and understanding them and the Atlanta History Center is proud to have been a partner in this important Sesquicentennial legacy project."

While Sherman clashed with Johnston and Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood outside Atlanta, major campaigns were simultaneously taking place in other theaters of the war, including the Overland Campaign in Virginia. Throughout the summer, the Civil War Trust will explore the interactions between these contemporaneous events through a new Twitter account. Follow @Summerof1864 to learn about these events as they unfolded -- exactly 150 years removed from "real time" -- through interpretive media, like video, photos and essays.

As home to one of the most comprehensive curated Civil War collections in the nation, the Atlanta History Center will feature the new Atlanta Campaign Battle App as a key part of their ongoing Civil War Sesquicentennial series, which includes the award-winning exhibition Turning Point: The American Civil War; a new television series produced in partnership with Georgia Public Broadcasting, 37 Weeks: Sherman on the March; and a full calendar of lectures, exhibitions, programming, partnerships, and community events.

In early May 1864 Federal forces under Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman began battling the Confederate Army of Tennessee for possession of north Georgia. At stake was Atlanta, major manufacturing center and railroad hub. Sherman enjoyed clear numerical superiority, but he did not use it in blunt frontal attacks as Grant was doing against Lee in Virginia. Rather, he used one force to demonstrate against the Rebels, while another would threaten its supply line, the Western & Atlantic Railroad. In a series of battles at Resaca, Dallas, New Hope Church and Kennesaw Mountain, the Southern army repeatedly lost ground, until, by mid-July, 80,000 Union troops stood just five miles from Atlanta. Under newly elevated commander Lt. Gen. John B. Hood, the Confederates reclaimed the offensive, launching unsuccessful attacks at Peachtree Creek, before Sherman laid siege to the city. Fighting continued, as both sides sought to cut the rail lines supplying their opponent. On August 31, with the last rail line effectively cut, Hood was forced to abandon Atlanta. Battle casualties for the four-month campaign totaled 69,000. Begin your journey learning about the Atlanta Campaign at www.civilwar.org/battlefields/rocky-face-ridge.

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Source: Targeted News Service