Emory Launching Civil War Mobile Tour and App

Civil War buffs will love a new app that brings history to the palm of a person's hand.
Credit Emory University

It's not a time machine, but it might just be the next best thing.

On June 18, Emory University's Center for Digital Scholarship is launching a mobile app that will allow a smart phone be a tour guide for the Battle of Atlanta.

"It's the pivotal point that we feel within the Civil War itself," says co-director Wayne Morse.

The battle began on July 22, 1864 and it remains an important part of U.S. history.

"It really ensured the re-election of Abraham Lincoln as president.  It wasn't entirely clear that Lincoln was going to be re-elected at all until this battle took place and the tide shifted in the war," says fellow co-director Allen Tullos.

The tour is formatted for smart phones and mobile devices.

See below for detailed information about the Battle of Atlanta, the app and the tour.

  As people walk, bike or drive along spots in the city, they'll have access to images, video clips and other information about the battle.

It took researchers about four years to gather the information needed for the app.

But that was the hard part.

"In fact, the engineer who built it for us demonstrated how easy it was by creating another tour....in addition to the battle.....on his favorite burrito locations around town," says Morse. 

The Confederate Army suffered about 5,500 casualties in the battle, about 2,000 more than the Union forces.

The app is scheduled to be available on June 18. 

Note: since the Battle of Atlanta app is formatted as a mobile web site, it will work on iPhones, Android phones and even desktop computers.

The Battle of Atlanta: History and Remembrance

The Battle of Atlanta app is to be released June 18, but a detailed companion web piece is available now.  An essay called "The Battle of Atlanta: History and Remembrance," by Daniel A. Pollock, discusses the battle and the places on the app's tour.  It was published May 30, 2014, in Southern Spaces, a publication which describes itself as "an interdisciplinary journal about regions, places, and cultures of the US South and their global connections."

Here's how the essay begins:

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. "The Battle of Atlanta: History and Remembrance" chronicles this engagement while considering the war's larger meaning and legacy. This extensive essay combines a narrative of battlefield events, photographs, postcard views, images from the Atlanta cyclorama, original maps, and other visual and textual artifacts with a web-based mobile application (battleatl.org will launch on June 18) that enables virtual touring of battlefield sites.

Well-preserved Civil War battle sites are among the most popular historical destinations in the United States, but they comprise a small fraction of the battlefields that can be explored. In the aftermath of the war, the Atlanta battlefield also served as a major site for commemorating the four-year conflict and expressing particular versions of the war's history. Urban development has largely altered the landscape on which the Battle of Atlanta was fought, yet, 150 years after the fierce fighting east of the city on July 22, 1864, many remnants of the battlefield remain visible and provide a rewarding encounter with the past.

The tour stops and segments are listed below:

  • Gen. Sherman's Headquarters during the Battle
  • Gen. Hood's Observation Post and Oakland Cemetery
  • Fort Walker and Rifle Pit
  • Hardee's Night March
  • Death of Gen. Walker
  • Where the Battle Began
  • Death of Gen. McPherson
  • Leggett's Hill
  • Confederate Line
  • Battlefield Terrain
  • Troup Hurt House and De Gress Battery
  • Grant Park and Cyclorama