The story of Iowans in the Civil War Battle of Allatoona Pass will be told in an upcoming historical program at Iowa Wesleyan College. The program will be held Tuesday, March 17, at noon in the Chadwick Library International Room on the IWC campus in Mt. Pleasant.
The presenter, Tom Gaard, is a Civil War aficionado from Clive, Iowa. He raised funds for an Iowa monument at Allatoona Pass, which was dedicated in October 2008.
The Battle of Allatoona Pass has Southeast Iowa connections as the Federal Commander was General John Corse from Burlington. The Iowa 39th was in the battle. One of the companies was from Des Moines County, with some soldiers from Henry County.
The Battle of Allatoona Pass was fought in Georgia on October 5, 1864, less than five weeks after the fall of Atlanta. The strategic importance of the battlefield site was the Union's defense of the Western and Atlantic Railroad through a cut in the Allatoona Mountain range known as the Allatoona Pass.
The Battle of Allatoona Pass has been described one of the most dramatic and tragic episodes of the Civil War. It is believed to be the inspiration for the hymn, "Hold the Fort," and is remembered for the summons to surrender message by Confederate General Samuel G. French, "in order to avoid a needless effusion of blood."
The program is sponsored by the Friends of the Harlan-Lincoln House at Iowa Wesleyan College. It is the third in a series of Brown Bag Lunch programs, held weekly in March. Attendees are encouraged to bring a lunch to enjoy during the program.