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gs logo Savannah Oaks RV Resort
Savannah, Georgia

Georgia: Sherman’s march to the sea

General William Tecumseh Sherman’s legacy is controversial, but his Civil War victories were decisive. He marched across Georgia, scorching the earth as he went and effectively ending the South’s hope of victory. This trip, from the Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta to the beaches of Tybee Island, follows Sherman’s route through the most relevant and revitalized cities in the state.

Drive 344.5 miles, 7 hours, 16 minutes

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

1. Atlanta

Starting Point

Forever immortalized in “Gone with the Wind,” the reality of Atlanta’s destruction wasn’t very romantic. Thankfully, after being burned to the ground, the capital city has been renewed as a bustling and vibrant cultural hub. To learn more, head to the historic Buckhead neighborhood, where the Atlanta History Center showcases an extensive Civil War exhibition. It also offers tours of historic homes and farms. Less than a mile from the heart of downtown, the Oakland Cemetery offers a singular look at the war’s consequences—nearly 3,000 Confederate troops are buried there. From its hilltop location, you’ll see sculptures hidden among the grounds’ magnolia trees when you’re not taking in stunning views of the city’s growing skyline.


Lake Pines RV Park & Campground
Columbus, GA
(706) 561-9675

2. Augusta

148.5 miles, 2 hours, 39 minutes

As the second-oldest city in Georgia, Augusta has grown into a vibrant town with a compelling historic district, unique restaurants and splendid views of the Savannah River. Delve into the past at the Magnolia Cemetery, resting place for 300 soldiers and seven generals. Then stroll the banks of the Savannah River, where you’ll find locally grown produce, fresh-baked goodies, locally roasted coffee and regional artisans. You can also hop on the Patriot Riverboat for a tour down the historic waterway, or browse the Morris Museum of Art. When it’s time to eat, check out the many restaurants that serve up cuisine steeped in local tradition. Nosh on mile-high layered cakes at the Boll Weevil Restaurant.

3. Fort McAllister 
State Park

148.7 miles, 3 hours, 21 minutes

On a bluff overlooking the Ogeechee River, the best-preserved earthwork forts of the Confederacy remain as a testament to one of the final battles of the Civil War. Explore the walls and bombproof interiors of the structures, built into the hills themselves, where soldiers were able to hold off Union gun ships from multiple attacks. Sherman’s arrival signaled the end for the fortifications, but the grounds now hold an information area and recreational site. Enjoy a picnic on the riverbank, go fishing or explore the 3-mile nature trail, all in the shadow of towering oaks that stood when the park was a battleground.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

4. Savannah

30.4 miles, 46 minutes

The cobblestone streets, manicured gardens and weeping willow-shaded parks made this historic city too pretty for Sherman to destroy. Instead, upon capturing the port in 1864, he “offered” it to Lincoln as a birthday present. Today, it stands as the largest National Historic Landmark district in the country and a must-see destination. First, explore River Street, where music pours from venues and street performers. Try the famous Bernie’s Oyster Bar or the pralines at Savannah Sweets for an authentic taste of the city. The old cotton mills and iron works have been turned into the boutiques and galleries that define the city’s new Bohemian flare, keeping one of the country’s classic towns truly timeless.


Savannah Oaks RV Resort
Savannah, GA
(800) 851-0717

5. Tybee Island

16.9 miles, 30 minutes

Known more for its long stretches of sandy beach than its military history, this barrier island just 18 miles from Savannah is full of surprises. Fort Pulaski was a Confederate stronghold until Union soldiers used newly invented rifle cannons to pierce the thick walls from more than a mile away, forcing surrender. The landmark victory helped turn the tides on the war and the fort now stands as a monument and museum to military innovation. The Tybee Island Light Station and Museum offers more insight into the island’s diverse occupants.