Battle of Resaca Reenactment
May 21st & 22nd
During May 14-15, 1864, the first major battle of the Atlanta Campaign was fought around the tiny village of Resaca, Georgia. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s Confederate army of 55,000 soldiers had fallen back from Dalton and had occupied the strong defensive fortifications around the town. In hot pursuit and now directly facing them across the breastworks was the 110,000 strong Federal army under the command of Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman. For two days, unrelenting attacks and counter-attacks took place all along the length of the lines, with neither side gaining an advantage.
Gen. Sherman, finally sensing the futility of the frontal attack, quietly sent part of his army south around the flank of the Confederate line in an attempt to cut the Confederates off from their railroad supply line. Gen. Johnston, seeing the Federal army outflanking him, was forced to abandon his stronghold and the Confederate army slipped away unseen during the night across the Oostanaula River. When the Federal forces advanced the following morning, they found the earthworks empty. The Battle of Resaca had ended. During the fierce fighting that took place here, more soldiers were engaged in battle than at either the Battle of Chickamauga or the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. When the thunder ceased and the smoke finally cleared, more than 11,000 known casualties from both armies lay on the fields of Georgia.
The Battle of Resaca Reenactment is hosted each year by the many volunteers of the Georgia Division of Reenactors Association, one of the nation’s oldest and most respected Civil War reenacting organizations. A portion of the proceeds will go towards the Resaca Battlefield area preservation efforts, while the balance will go towards funding next year’s event.
The reenactment will again be held on the historic Chitwood Farm, a 650 acre section of the original battlefield, which in itself is a rare privilege. This farm hosted some of the heaviest fighting during the conflict. Two Federal soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor for the capture of the Van den Corput’s four gun Confederate battery, whose earthworks are still preserved and intact after 150 years. Also evident within the property are the original Federal and Confederate entrenchments and the 1864 Western & Atlantic Railroad line located close to the present day camps and fields of battle.
As most participants are aware, many major improvements have been made during the past several events and our staff and volunteers are working to provide another quality event for Resaca. Again this year, scenarios are being planned from the research of William R. Scaife, a noted historian and author of Campaign for Atlanta. Both Saturday and Sunday’s battles will be held on the same field but with a different scenario – and maybe a surprise or two. Since 1999, the Battle of Resaca Reenactment has become famous for its aggressive battles and surprise tacticals.
Various civilian activities will be conducted during the event. On Saturday morning, all reenactors are encouraged to attend the Memorial Service at the Resaca Confederate Cemetery located at the south end of the farm. The cemetery is the final resting place of 450 soldiers and is one of the first two such Confederate Cemeteries established in our nation. Later Saturday evening, a period social and dance will be held for all reenactors, with period music.
All admission tickets are purchased at the gate. No advance ticket purchases are available.
Children 6 to 12 years of age: $2:00
Children 5 and under: Free
Event Parking: Free
Spectator parking will be available. Follow the event signs to Spectator Parking.
Handicapped parking will be available next to the battlefield site.
Shuttle service will be provided from Spectator Parking to the battlefield site.
Camps open to the public at 9:00 a.m.
Battles begin at 2:00 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.
Resaca is generally hot in May, so visitors may want to dress in warm weather clothing and bring sun screen and water bottles.
You may also want to bring lawn chairs or portable stadium chairs.
Please keep in mind that the original battlefield terrain may be difficult for some to traverse.
Exciting battles both Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 p.m.
Memorial service at the C.S.A. cemetery
Camp tours and talks with the soldiers
Continuous living history activities
Period medical demonstrations
Ladies Tea with Guest Speaker
Period church service
Period dance on Saturday night
Reenactor used clothing “yard sale”
Shopping at sutler row for period wares
Food and beverage vendorS
The event will be held rain or shine!
The battles may be delayed while lightning is in the area, but they will begin as soon as possible.