Regardless of which side the actors are on in this weekend's re-enactment at Resaca, Ga., they all should see signs that they are winning.
Since the last re-enactment in 2010, the Trust for Public Land obtained a conversation easement to protect part of the land where the battle was fought. This month, crews placed a new sign near the exit 320 interchange on Interstate 75 marking the entrance to the long-awaited Resaca Battlefield Park.
Local historians and preservationists have been working for more than 20 years to secure some of the land and get it marked and recognized.
"It's been a big boost to us," said Ken Padgett, one of the re-enactment's chief organizers and a leader in the charge for preservation for two decades. "Right now we're on a roller coaster. We've been thrown off so many times, we're enjoying it now."
From May 13-15, 1864, Union forces lead by Maj. Gen. William Sherman clashed with Gen. Joseph Johnston's Confederate army. What began as a cautious probe by Union troops quickly became a full-scale battle.
About 160,000 troops, roughly the population of Chattanooga, were involved and 11,500, about the population of Red Bank, were killed or injured.
For the weekend, Padgett and other organizers expect more than 1,000 re-enactors and several thousand spectators coming to see history in action.
"They can feel the ground shake, smell the powder burning and hear the rifles fire," Padgett said.
And the actors won't be the only ones shooting - a German film crew is shooting a documentary during the re-enactment.
"We hope to have the biggest spectator crowd we've ever had," Padgett said.
The event is located on the historic Chitwood Farm just north of Resaca at the Gordon-Whitfield County line off U.S. Highway 41.