ATLANTA- May 26, 2011- Belles and Yankees rubbed elbows at the 27th Battle of Resaca Reenactment May 21. At least 1,000 reenactors and 5,000 spectators journeyed to northwest Georgia to soak in the tradition-rich history and culture of the Civil War. Though the cannon smoke has settled and reenactors have resumed their day jobs, the reenactment brought to light the harsh realities of Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign.
The reenactment allowed spectators and reenactors alike to interact with living history. Whether strolling down sutler’s row to view Civil War goods or visiting Union and Confederate camps to see the reality of a 19th century soldier’s life, visitors were immersed in an experience that is uniquely American. The Resaca battle reenactment took visitors back to the tumultuous May of 1864 through gun fire, fallen soldiers and battle cries.
The Battle of Resaca Reenactment is held on Chitwood Farm, a 480 acre portion of the original battlefield. This unique opportunity to host a reenactment on a portion of the original battlefield provides visitors with opportunities to view the original land encampments used by Confederate soldiers. The preservation of the battlefield and the importance of Resaca in the war will lead to the development of the Resaca Battlefield State Historic Site in 2012.
The Battle of Resaca was the first major battle of Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign. Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman and his 110,000 Union troops faced Gen. Joseph E. Johnston and his 55,000 Confederate troops in the midst of Resaca’s rolling hills. Lasting May 13-15 1864, the battle led to 11,000 men dead.
May 13 was characterized by skirmishes that led to full-scale fighting on May 14. After a full day of back and forth fighting, Maj. Gen. Sherman decided to send troops to outflank the Rebels and take their railroad line. Noticing the strategy, the Confederate troops snuck away in the night. The next morning, Federal troops advanced only to find that the earthworks once holding Confederate soldiers were now empty.
The battle was a draw, but was just the beginning of the pivotal Atlanta Campaign. Other major battles on the campaign were the battles of New Hope Church, Dallas, Pickett’s Mill, Kennesaw and Jonesborough. The campaign eventually ended with Sherman’s capture of Atlanta, solidifying the importance of Georgia in the outcome of the Civil War.
Click here to view a photo gallery of the May 21, 2011, Battle of Resaca Reenactment.