Sherman’s March Tour scheduled for March 25


One of the most important campaigns of the American Civil War occurred in Georgia, when General William Tecumseh Sherman's blue-coated soldiers conducted their March to the Sea from Atlanta to Savannah. One of the major campaigns that hastened the war's end, Sherman's March to the Sea in the Fall of 1864 targeted the civilian population along its path, opening a continuing controversy about its morality.

Join Dr. John K. Derden, Professor Emeritus of History at East Georgia State College, for a day tour through Emanuel, Jenkins and Burke Counties retracing the route of Sherman's soldiers as they moved through the area on their way to the coast. The event will be held Saturday, March 25. Participants will travel some of the actual roads (among the best pre-served in the state) traversed by Sherman's soldiers and defended by Confederate troops, see several camp sites actually used by the General, and visit Antebellum plantation sites.

In addition, Dr. Derden, who has published the first full-length, documented history of Camp Lawton (The World's Largest Prison: The Story of Camp Lawton [Mercer University Press, 2012]), the Confederate prison located on the grounds of what is now Magnolia Springs State Park, will lead a tour of the site and give an illustrated talk about its history and its resurrection in the public mind as a result of the ongoing archeologi¬cal findings there. Throughout the day, local anecdotes pertaining to the March will be shared relating to the Union soldiers, the Confederate forces arrayed against them, and the local citizens they encountered, both slave and free.

The tour will begin on the campus of East Georgia State College in Swainsboro at 9 a.m. Participants will gather at the Sudie A. Fulford Community Learning Center located on Madison Dixon Drive and depart from there by bus after a brief orientation. Lunch will be provided during the tour, and the tour should return by 6 p.m. There is very little walking involved with the trip. However, dress comfortably, and be prepared for weather changes.

This year's event will mark the 34th anniversary of the tour, and this year will mark the 159th anniversary of the March and the operation of Camp Lawton. Anyone with an interest in Georgia history, the Civil War, local history, or the past in general will enjoy this opportunity. The registration fee for the event is $85 per person and $15 for EGSC students. To register, visit or call Diana Cochran at 478-289-2033. Registration ends March 23, 2023.

Join us for a day of fun, fellowship, learning, and appreciation for the sacrifices of our forbearers as well as the rich heritage of our part of the state.


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