The non-profit organization Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails® and the Whitfield County Board of GeoCommissioners will dedicate the Atlanta Campaign Heritage Trail® at a 1:00 PM ceremony on Saturday, May 10, at the Tunnel Hill Heritage Center in Tunnel Hill, Georgia.
Occurring on the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the decisive 1864 Atlanta Campaign during the Civil War, the dedication ceremony will culminate a full day of interesting and family-oriented fun activities with the unveiling of the 13th interpretive marker along this historical driving trail, entitled “Tunnel Hill.”
When fully completed later this year the Atlanta Campaign Heritage Trail will wind its way some 340 miles from northwest Georgia through metro Atlanta to its culmination in Jonesboro. The Atlanta Campaign Heritage Trail follows many of the same historic roads traveled by both the Union and Confederate armies during the Atlanta Campaign.
About 350 colorful Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails roadway “trailblazer” directional signs, featuring an outline of Georgia surrounding a Civil War cannon, mark the historic trail route. Fifty new National Park Service-styled interpretive markers are already installed along the Atlanta Campaign Heritage Trail or will be in coming weeks.
The Dedicatory Speaker at the 1:00 PM ceremony will be former University of Georgia Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Vince Dooley. An avid amateur Civil War historian, Dooley earned a master’s degree in History from Auburn University. Other speakers are to include National Park Service Historian Jim Ogden, Georgia State Transportation Board member Roger Williams, Georgia Deputy Commissioner for Tourism Kevin Langston and Chairman of the Whitfield County Board of Commissioners, Mike Babb.
In addition to the dedication ceremony and marker unveiling on May 10, a variety of family fun and totally FREE activities will also occur throughout the day. They include guided tours between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM of the famous Western & Atlantic Railroad tunnel and the historic Clisby Austin House, used by Union Major General William T. Sherman as his headquarters during the beginning of the Atlanta Campaign.
A concert of Civil War era music by the Eighth Regiment Band of Rome, Georgia, will begin at 12:30 PM and continue after the dedication ceremony. Both Union and Confederate Civil War reenactors, including a full-scale cannon, will demonstrate military skills throughout the day and present a firing salute during the dedication ceremony.
Other organizations assisting in this special day include the Dalton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Tunnel Hill Heritage Foundation and the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Tourism Division.
Both public and private funding for Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails and construction of the Atlanta Campaign Heritage Trail has been provided by numerous individuals, organizations and participating communities, the State of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Transportation.
For more information visit the Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails website at www.CivilWarHeritageTrails.org.