New film highlights ‘Western Theater'

by Haisten Willis April 01, 2014 04:00 AM Many people can remember the names of famous Civil…

Georgia (Apr 1, 2014) —  


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by Haisten Willis
April 01, 2014 04:00 AM
Many people can remember the names of famous Civil War battles they learned about in school, names such as Gettysburg, Bull Run and Antietam. 

But the battles of the “Western Theater” — then considered the land between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River — had a great impact on the war that often gets overlooked.

Those battles are the focus of a new television miniseries called “Civil War: The Untold Story.” 

Airing Sunday night from 7 p.m. to midnight on WPBA, one of two PBS member TV stations in Atlanta, the miniseries depicts some of the most important battles fought in north Georgia. …

Timed to coincide with 150th anniversary

The series is timed to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the “Campaign for Atlanta,” including that year’s presidential campaign and the Battle of Kennesaw.

Though many of the film’s battle re-enactments took place on the actual battlegrounds, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park was not a filming site. 

Several factors contributed, including the park’s accessibility to the public and the need to build trenches, according to Kennesaw State history professor Michael Shaffer.

Instead, the small town of Resaca, about an hour north of Cobb, was used, becoming a replacement for Kennesaw. Filming for the Battle of Kennesaw took place in the summer of 2012.

Kennesaw State students got a special look at “Civil War: The Untold Story” ahead of its television debut last month, with Wheeler and local historian Willie Ray Johnson conducting a question and answer session afterward.

“They do a good job of interweaving into the story line the plight of the African-Americans, both enslaved persons as well as some of what they call the United States Colored Troops who were part of Sherman’s army,” Shaffer said. 

“They singled out a few individuals in Marietta, like an African-American nurse who tended to wounded federal troops.”

Upon the nurse’s death, soldiers she had cared for insisted she be buried in the Marietta National Cemetery, and many of those soldiers are buried next to her today.

“It’s a moving part of the story,” said Shaffer. …



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit