The Battle of Atlanta figures prominently in the Union's conquest of the Confederacy in the final year of the Civil War and in Abraham Lincoln's re-election to the US presidency. This web-based mobile application combines a narrative of events, maps, video clips, and images into a handheld resource directing visitors to 12 tour stops.
The narrative tells the story of an eight-hour struggle on July 22, 1864, that was one of the biggest battles in the final months of the Civil War. The mobile app guides users to specific places where they can view physical traces of the battlefield, remnants of a Civil War fort and rifle pit, and monuments to fallen generals on opposing sides.
The 12 tour stops are listed in order of the battlefield events, beginning with the prelude to the battle, followed by stops where the first fighting occurred, proceeding to the site of an intense clash for the strategic high ground, and concluding with the location of the final and most famous combat action of the day. The app provides a recommended tour route, driving directions, and suggestions for parking at each stop. A driver should not attempt to drive while using the tour app but should receive directions from a passenger serving as navigator. A typical tour takes three hours.
A Battle of Atlanta tour requires more active engagement than a trip to a well-preserved Civil War battlefield park. However, by juxtaposing a narrative account of the combat action with maps, historic images, and present-day visual evidence, visitors using the mobile app can learn about the Battle of Atlanta for the first time or gain fresh insights into the tactical movements and topographic features that figured in the battle's outcome. Touring in pairs or larger groups is a useful way to identify features that a single person might overlook.
The mobile app also lends itself to learning about the Battle of Atlanta without an actual visit to the battlefield sites. It presupposes no prior knowledge of military maneuvers and events and can serve as a classroom resource for understanding a major Civil War battle. A companion essay about the Battle of Atlanta, published by Southern Spaces, includes more detailed information about each tour stop, lengthier profiles of opposing army commanders, an account of the battle's aftermath and legacy, and recommendations for additional reading.