Battle of Atlanta Walking Tour

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Battle of Atlanta Walking Tour

Hood vs. McPherson

When and where

Date and time


Joe's East Atlanta Coffee Shop 510 Flat Shoals Avenue Southeast Atlanta, GA 30316

Map and directions

How to get there

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

About this event

This interpretive walking tour will focus on the southern end of the battlefield (McPherson's Left Flank). We will discuss the events that occurred on the evening of July 21, 1864 (Hardee's Night March) and the morning of July 22 (Unexpected Clash, Deaths of Generals Walker / McPherson, Leggett's Hill and more). We will also visit the locations where these events took place.


On the evening of July 21, General John Bell Hood, commander of the Confederate Army that was defending Atlanta, came up with a plan to thwart the progress of the Union Army of the Tennessee, led by General James Birdseye McPherson, which was approaching Atlanta from the east. Hood ordered General William Joseph Hardee to lead his four divisions (Bate, Walker, Cleburne and Maney) on a daring mission designed to crush McPherson's "left flank" in an early-morning surprise attack. The grueling 15-mile mission, which involved tens of thousands of soldiers, accompanied by artillery and cavalry, would come to be known as "Hardee's Night March."

Not surprisingly, Hardee and his four commanders encountered many challenges that caused them to arrive at their intended location (in the modern-day neighborhoods of East Atlanta and Kirkwood) several hours late. As a result of some prescient decisions by McPherson, two of Hardee's divisions (Bate and Walker) found themselves face-to-face with two divisions of Dodge's XVI corps (Fuller & Sweeny) as they emerged from the Sugar Creek Valley after marching all night.

This "Unintended Clash," which occurred near the modern-day intersection of Memorial Drive and Clay Street in Kirkwood would mark the beginning of the Battle of Atlanta, a massive battle raged in the modern-day neighborhoods of Inman Park, Reynoldstown, Edgewood, Candler Park, Kirkwood, East Atlanta and Grant Park. The battle's front line ran along (what is now) Moreland Avenue and stretched from East Atlanta Village to the Inman Park MARTA station.

During the fateful encounter, 75,000 troops engaged in fierce hand-to-hand combat. By the time the sun set that day, eyewitnesses reported seeing a "river of blood" flowing down Bald Hill, which stood where the eastbound exit ramp for Moreland Ave comes off of I-20 today. The nine-hour battle, which resulted in 9,200 casualties, would claim the lives of two major generals: James Birdseye McPherson (USA, 35 years old) and William Henry Talbot Walker (CSA, 47 years old).

The purpose of this educational tour is to help participants understand what happened during the Battle of Atlanta and place that into context with our modern-day city. It is not to celebrate or honor anyone or anything in any way.

Tour Information

  • $30/person
  • Full refund if you cancel at least seven days before the event. After that, no refunds will be issued. Tickets are transferrable.
  • Tour is limited to 20 people
  • Minimum age is 21 (no exceptions)
  • You should be in excellent physical condition to participate due to the distance. We will be walking 4-5 miles at a moderate pace.
  • The tour, itself, is about three hours long. There will be an optional lunch after the tour in East Atlanta Village. Food and beverages are not included in the ticket price.
  • Dogs are permitted if leashed and well-behaved at all times. That said, please keep in mind that we will be walking along busy streets for 3+ hours.
  • The walking tour begins at 1000. Please arrive at meeting location by 1015. You will NOT need a printed ticket. All check in is done digitally. We will meet at the picnic tables shown in the first video below.
  • In the event of severe weather, the tour will be rescheduled to Oct 15. If you cannot make that new date, you can request a full refund. Weather updates will be sent 24 hours before the tour if necessary.
  • Tour participants will receive at least one email update after registering.


  • Tour begins at 10:00AM sharp. Please arrive at the meeting location (Joe's Coffee Shop) by 0945. Their address is 510 Flat Shoals Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30316
  • If you want to grab some coffee and a muffin (highly recommended) you should arrive no later than 0930.
  • We will be following the "Battlefield East" route on this interactive map
  • The total distance is about five miles, and we will be walking at a 'peppy' pace.
  • The walking tour will end at approx. 1400 at the same place we started.
  • There will be an optional get-together (Dutch Treat) at the Midway Pub after the tour.


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Battle of Atlanta Walking Tour image
Battle of Atlanta Walking Tour image
Battle of Atlanta Walking Tour image
Battle of Atlanta Walking Tour image
Battle of Atlanta Walking Tour image
Battle of Atlanta Walking Tour image