Part 2: Sherman heads to the Sea and Hood Moves North
A BGES Civil War Field University Program
November 14-17, 2018
With Eric Jacobson, Len Riedel and Lee White from Spring Hill, TN
Unleashed from the shackles of Atlanta, Hood has moved against the Western and Atlantic Railroad. In response Sherman has moved back across land he has already won. This seems to be counter productive-it is dancing to Hood’s band and Sherman knows it. In a bold decision he splits his forces determined to establish a new line of supply while helping Grant dispose of Lee in Virginia. He leaves George Thomas to hold Nashville and handle Hood. Later he sends John Schofield to join Thomas’ forces.
Hood has discovered that he cannot use Decatur as his base of operations-the Federal garrison there will not yield so he looks for a new supply base which he will find at Florence, Alabama. As Hood plans at Florence, Schofield places himself in Tennessee at Pulaski. This tour will study that dance. This three part series will run until 2019 and will feature Len Riedel, Lee White and Eric Jacobson. It is a superb study in detail of a misunderstood or appreciated effort.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
6:00 PM Check in at our Spring Hill headquarters hotel for meet, greet and to pick up your reading books. Eric Jacobson’s opening lecture will discuss the Decision for Tennessee, that will discuss why Hood is in Tennessee. You will meet our other historians Lee White and Len Riedel as we discuss our program for the next three days.
Thursday, November 15, 2018
Our 8:00 start will take us back to Decatur where we will pick up Hood after his failure to push the Federals out of that important communications center. From there we will go to Florence to discuss Hood’s preparations to enter Tennessee. Len and Lee will handle the tour today. As we cross the Tennessee we will follow Hood’s exciting maneuvers that flush Schofield out of Pulaski and send him scurrying back to Columbia and the Duck River. Any fair analysis will admire the manner in which Hood has taken the initiative. If you play chess, Hood has moved to a spot where he will get either the bishop or the rook. Schofield can only attempt to save his force. This is a route that is still extant but never investigated on tours. It is essential to understanding Hood’s initiative. Lunch included.
Friday, November 16, 2018
Today Eric will take the lead and pick us up from Mt. Pleasant to discuss the Confederates’ advance. We will look at the arrival of both armies at Columbia and the military actions there going to Holland’s Ford (another newly accessible site) one of the crossing sites for Hood’s flanking maneuver. Following the route of the Confederate army to Spring Hill we will spend about two hours on the Spring Hill battlefield. It is a lost opportunity. We will finish the day following Hood to Oaklawn and Rippa Villa. Here we will discuss in detail Hood’s instructions to his subordinates and the seemingly impossible escape of Schofield literally under the nose of the unobservant rebel army. Lunch included.
Saturday, November 17, 2018
Over the past decade the reclamation of the Franklin battlefield has been truly remarkable. The man who engineered this is Eric Jacobson. We will leave at 8:15 and follow the Federal army up modern US 31 to Franklin. We will then go to Winstead Hill where we will discuss the arrival of Hood and Cheatham’s Corps. After viewing the panorama we will directly deal with one of the greatest “What if?” of the campaign-the potential flanking maneuver of Nathan Bedford Forrest-you decide. We will then place Alexander Stewart’s Corps to set the stage for the coming attack.
The Federals have fallen back and we will place them in and around the defenses of Franklin. Moving ahead of the lines we will see the placement of Wagner’s troops which offer as splendid opportunity for the assaulting Confederates. The remainder of our day covers the many aspects of the Confederates’ late afternoon attack and the night fighting. We will see a resilient Federal force counter-punching near the Carter Hosue. We then head to Carnton where we will pick up the Eastern Flank attack across a wonderfully recovered battlefield. As the fighting wanes we will finish at Carnton where the hospital scenes are truly heartrending. While there we will have an evening dinner and reception at Carnton. This is a completely new program offered for the first time by BGES-I hope you will join us. Lunch and dinner are included.
Eric Jacobson is the moving force behind the reclamation of the Franklin battlefield. As the CEO of the Battle of Franklin Trust, he has cleared battlefield land, removed structures and restored landscape while enhancing the interpretative experience. His books are the standard works on the battle and an excellent read. He is very good on the battlefield
Len Riedel is the Executive Director of the BGES. As the Editor of the best selling Civil War Guide book in the country, The Civil War, A Travelers Guide, he has insights built over more than 30 years of study. He has taught Hood’s march in Leadership training courses and has a sophisticated and integrated look at the campaign.
Lee White is a staff historian at the Chickamauga-Chattanooga NMP. Lee was introduced to BGES members at the 2017 part 1 program and is a recognized expert on the Army of Tennessee operations.
This program will be based in Spring Hill, Tennessee. The hotel will be posted on this site. The headquarters hotel room block will likely be in the $110 a night range.
The servicing airport is Nashville (BNA). Traffic is atrocious. I strongly recommend that you time your travel to arrive before 3:00 PM. Traffic becomes a problem around 3 PM and remains so until after 7 PM. If you need a rental car, perhaps you can find a dirt cheap rental car on www.priceline.com.
Key Publications and Recommended Reading
You will be provided with a reading book and maps upon arrival. We recommend the following books to enhance your preparation for this tour. Amazon.com 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 is provided to BGES as a donation from Amazon. This will apply not only on this purchase but others you may make at other times.
- Steven M. Hood: The Lost Papers of Confederate General John Bell Hood
- Stephen Woodworth: Jefferson Davis and His Generals, The Failure of Confederate Command in the West.
- Jefferson Davis: The Rise and Fall of the Confederate States of America
- Eric Jacobson: For Cause and Country: the Affair at Spring Hill and The Battle of Franklin
- Jamie Gillium: Twenty Five Hours to Tragedy (Battle of Spring Hill)
Registration includes three lunches a reception and dinner, a reading book with maps, the academic program, support of three professional historians, tour director and transportation appropriate to the registration which will be limited to three vans: 27 people. We will also provide snacks, bottled water and a limited selection of sodas.
Register for this program online using our secure Sutler’s Tent ecommerce site: Register for Hood’s 1864 TN Campaign Part 2.
Register by mail, or fax
Download a printable itinerary and registration form.