Battle of Chattanooga Leadership Program

"It indeed looked as if two options were available: One to starve, the other to surrender or be captured."

Major General Ulysses S. Grant upon arriving in Chattanooga, October 1863

In the fall of 1863, an entire Union army was trapped in the strategically important southern town of Chattanooga, Tenn. If the Confederates could force a Union surrender, their dream of an independent country might soon be realized. Recognizing this, the Lincoln administration immediately dispatched the hard-charging Ulysses S. Grant to break the rebel siege. A combination of Confederate leadership dysfunction, Grant’s bold actions and unexpected events ultimately led to a Federal victory. The stunning events at Chattanooga, which served as a springboard to Grant’s future presidency, were a major catalyst to ending the Civil War just 17 months later.

The Delivery

The program is delivered onsite in Chattanooga over the course of one day.  We travel by executive transportation to major historical areas, including Lookout Mountain, Orchard Knob and Missionary Ridge. By standing in the actual footsteps of history, the format is highly memorable and enriching.  The day concludes with an after action review to ensure each group and participant departs with immediate actions for implementation back in the work environment.  With a focus on maximum participant engagement, the session can be used in conjunction with:

  • Annual Strategic Planning
  • Team Building
  • New Employee Onboarding
  • Ongoing Professional Development & Training
  • Creative or Strategic Ideation Sessions
  • Sales Meetings
  • Customer Events

The Need

No matter the industry, organizations of all sizes need to have strategic alignment, effective communication and the ability to resolve conflict. Moreover, every organization needs to engage its employees at every level to achieve their ultimate objectives.

Who Should Attend

With its focus on leadership, team building and communication, the program is most applicable for executives, managers and rising leaders.  However, the program can be customized to meet any group, team or set of individuals regardless of their title, role or experience.

The Benefits

Participants will learn new communication and leadership concepts that can further benefit their existing skill sets. The program is a compelling platform that can help organizations focus on critical leadership and team-building elements such as:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Resource Allocation
  • Resiliency
  • Adaptability
  • Clarity of Mission
  • Effective Communication
  • Employee Engagement

Special Effectiveness

The Battle of Chattanooga Leadership Program has proven to be highly effective for:


  • Leadership Teams
    Supports strategic planning
  • Rising Leaders
    Supports next-level readiness
  • Sales Force Teams
    Supports communication

The Materials

Each participant will receive a Battle of Chattanooga Program Booklet several weeks in advance of a session. Each booklet contains the elements needed for a successful engagement, including: Case studies on key leaders and situations; a Strategic Overview that sets the historical context; maps; and bios of every historical figure discussed.  The full day’s agenda with each stop and business discussion points can be provided upon request.


Lookout Mountain

A majestic site, it is here where the Confederate leadership dysfunction reached its zenith.  We explore the Confederate army’s lack of strategic alignment from President Jefferson Davis down to generals Braxton Bragg and James Longstreet.

We review the strained dynamic between Bragg and his number-two commander, Longstreet, and what, if anything, could have been done to repair their relationship.   

Orchard Knob

Serving as Union General Ulysses S. Grant’s headquarters, it is from this spot that Grant ordered a hasty and poorly communicated order — a suicide mission for his men to attack the heavily fortified Missionary Ridge directly in front of them.

We dig deep to understand what motivates decisions, how to weigh options and what happens when decisions are made quickly and under stress. 

Missionary Ridge

A Confederate strategic advantage, Missionary Ridge offered a commanding view of the Union army trapped in downtown Chattanooga. Fortified with cannon at the top and rifle pits at the base, it was an imposing prospect should the Union attempt an attack on it. Yet Confederate General Braxton Bragg’s preoccupation with other personal priorities created a distraction where attention to details were overlooked. 

We discuss how teams and organizations can easily lose focus and their strategic advantage.  We delve into the role of team morale and the “sunk cost fallacy.”

Schedule a Session for Your Team

Your Guide

Matt Spaulding

Matt Spaulding

Founder & President

Matt Spaulding is the founder and president of Spaulding Communications. With more than 25 years of marketing communications experience, Matt is a former instructor of business communication at Georgia State University and a Resource Speaker with Vistage, an global executive coaching company. A frequent writer on PR and leadership communication, Matt has been quoted in outlets ranging from The Wall Street Journal to PR Weekly to the

Contact Us

For pricing and how we can customize a session for you, drop a note or give us a call.

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"I would highly recommend Matt and Spaulding Communications to any organization looking to provide communication training for its people. Matt is an engaging presenter who is a true expert at the subject matter."

Marc KoretzkyChief Operating Officer
Complete Benefit Alliance

"Matt’s one-hour Chaos to Clarity presentation provided some great tips and was an excellent primer to get me and my team thinking about how we can be better communicators with each other and with our partners. We look forward to continuing our leadership journey with Matt’s good guidance."

Alice RollsExecutive Director
Georgia Organics

"A great presentation! Thank you!"

Abbie KingFarm to School Coordinator
Georgia Organics

"Great value in the information that was shared. I’ll be adding many of these tips to my communication skills."

Popeye’s Women’s Leadership Forum

"Multiply him and distribute him throughout the university. This would be the only way to improve over what he presently offers our school."

Matt Spaulding’s GSU Business Communication Course

"Mr. Spaulding is a perfect match for this course. Were time and money of no issue, I would take this course (and with him as the instructor) again just for the added learning benefit."

Matt Spaulding’s GSU Business Communication Course

"I thoroughly enjoyed the information shared. Personally, it gave me encouragement and insight on the intention of being a leader and how best to communicate with the owner and my staff."

Elisa IannilliGeneral Manager
Decatur CoWorks

"The Battle of Chattanooga program was an exceptional experience! If you need a truly unique leadership- or team-building program, I would highly encourage you to consider this. The 1-day program exceeded my expectations and received high marks from every team member."

Russ DeLozierPresident
The Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI)

Hotel Reservations

The beautiful Chattanoogan Hotel serves as our HQ and meeting space for the program.  For more, visit

Further Support

After a one-day program is complete, we offer additional training or individual coaching to ensure the lessons learned are turned into long-term results for your team and participants.

Download a Case Study

Get an inside look at how the historical events are utilized to bring leadership and effective communication into the workplace. Download a Washington Program case study now

Schedule a Session for Your Team

If you’re ready to schedule a training program for your team or organization, contact us at: or 404.324.6031.

Let’s start a conversation. Send us a message or give us a call.

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5-Step Strategic Plan Process

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