Tag Archives: Sherman’s March to the Sea

Western and Atlantic Railroad Depot, 1854, Cartersville

One of just a handful of surviving Western and Atlantic Railroad depots, the Cartersville depot now serves as the town’s Welcome Center. That it has survived at all is a bit of a miracle, considering it was in the direct path of Sherman’s forces as they headed into Atlanta. On 20 May 1864, Confederate forces occupied the depot in an effort to protect it, knocking out sections of the wall for use as gun ports. Due to other concerns, Sherman, let the depot stand, but there were light skirmishes between the Confederate and Union forces at the site. About six months later, when Sherman returned to Cartersville, a Union soldier cut the telegraph line from the depot, isolating Cartersville from the outside world, and the March to the Sea was underway.

Cartersville Downtown Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Leave a comment

Filed under --BARTOW COUNTY GA--, Cartersville GA

Stilesboro Academy, 1859, Bartow County

Stilesboro was incorporated in 1866 and retained that distinction until 1995. It was named for Savannah attorney William Henry Stiles, who served in Congress and the Georgia House of Representatives.

A high school was established here in the late 1850s and the community raised funds and completed the present structure in 1859. It was the center of the community and during the Civil War was used for sewing Confederate uniforms. Though it is likely apocryphal, a legend persists that in May 1864 Sherman spared the Academy due to an interior inscription: Deo ac Patriae [God and Country]. [I say it’s likely apocryphal because there’s a story like this for nearly every surviving antebellum building in the South].

The Stilesboro Improvement Club, a woman’s benevolent society, lobbied to save the old Academy when a new school was built nearby, and has owned the building since the school closed in 1939-1940. Formed in 1910, the club, at the suggestion of Miss Campie Hawkins, began holding an annual chrysanthemum show in 1912. The Stilesboro Chrysanthemum Show continues to be a popular event, 108 years later. It has taken place every year, except during the Great Influenza (1918) and World War II (1942).

The Etowah Valley Historical Society notes that research on the history of the Academy is incomplete.


Leave a comment

Filed under --BARTOW COUNTY GA--, Stilesboro GA

Civil War Memorials, Palmetto

The marker placed by the Georgia Historical Commission in 1956 notes: The Army of Tennessee [Confederate] abandoned Atlanta Sept. 2, 1864, moved to Lovejoy, then to Palmetto, Sept. 19. Most of the Army entrenched 3 miles N. Gen. John B. Hood had headquarters here from Sept. 19 to 29, 1864. Pres. Jefferson Davis visited here Sept. 25th and on the 26th made a speech to the troops 3 miles N. where he was serenaded by the 20th Louisiana Ban. That same night Gen. Howell Cobb and Gov. Isham Harris of Tenn. spoke. On the 27th Pres. Davis left for Montgomery. Gen. Hardee was relieved of his command here, Sept. 28, and on the 29th Gen. Hood moved from here to start the disastrous Tennessee Campaign.

The obelisk was placed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1906 to honor Company C, 19th Georgia Infantry and Company I, 2nd Regiment, Georgia Volunteers, Wheeler’s Cavalry.

Leave a comment

Filed under --FULTON COUNTY GA--, Palmetto GA

Sunshine United Methodist Church, 1880, Round Oak


Historic Sunshine Methodist Church Round Oak GA Jones County GA Site of Civil War Battle Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

Known at its organization as Round Oak Methodist, and now called Sunshine Methodist or Sunshine II, the church seen here was organized sometime after the burning of a more primitive log structure known as Sunshine Church, which was a Baptist congregation.

That church was the site of the Battle of Sunshine Church (30-31 July 1864), one of the few Confederate victories in the Atlanta campaign. Stoneman’s raiders, attempting to meet up with Sherman’s forces, encountered three brigades commanded by Clinton native General Alfred Iverson. A decisive Confederate victory forced Stoneman’s surrender. Four months later, Sherman’s troops burned the old church as they passed through the area en route to Savannah.

Leave a comment

Filed under --JONES COUNTY GA--, Round Oak GA

Rock Mills United Methodist Church, 1840, Jewell

Rock Mills Methodist Church Jewell GA Hancock County National Register of Historic Places Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

This lovingly restored antebellum church was spared during Sherman’s March to the Sea thanks to the Masonic affiliation of Daniel Ashley Jewell. Moved from nearby Rock Mill Plantation in 1894, it’s an integral part of Jewell today. Jewell is one of numerous Georgia communities whose town limits fall within more than one county.

Rock Mills Methodist Church Jewell GA Hancock County Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

Jewell Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Leave a comment

Filed under --HANCOCK COUNTY GA--, Jewell GA

Old Governor’s Mansion, 1839, Milledgeville

Milledgeville GA Baldwin County Old Governors Executive Mansion National Historic Landmark Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

Designed by Charles Clusky, who was already known for building the first light house on St. Simons Island in 1810, the Governor’s Mansion in Milledgeville is considered one of the finest extant examples of High Greek Revival architecture in America. General William T. Sherman occupied the building on 23 November 1864. After the capital was moved to Atlanta after the Civil War, the mansion fell into disrepair but was given to the Georgia Normal & Industrial College (now Georgia College) in 1889 and is now the most treasured building on the campus. An extensive restoration was undertaken in the early 2000s and today the home of Georgia’s governors from 1839-1868 is one of the finest residential museums in the state.

National Historic Landmark

Leave a comment

Filed under --BALDWIN COUNTY GA--, Milledgeville GA

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 1843, Milledgeville

St Stephens Episcopal Church Milledgeville GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

Milledgeville’s oldest standing church, St. Stephen’s is located adjacent to the old capitol building on Statehouse Square. It was occupied in late November 1864 by members of the 107th New York Cavalry Regiment as part of Sherman’s detachment bound for Savannah on their infamous march through Georgia. They burned pews and poured syrup into the pipes of the church’s organ.  A Georgia historic marker placed in 1955 notes: This Church was organized in 1841 through the efforts of Bishop Stephen Elliott. the church building was completed in 1843 and consecrated Dec. 10. The vestibule, annex and Gothic roof were added later. The handmade chancel furniture was given by an early parishioner, John Wilcox. Rev. Rufus White was probably the first Rector and J.M. Cotting and C.J. Paine the first Wardens. In 1864 the building was damaged when Federal troops dynamited the nearby arsenal. In 1909 a new organ was presented by George W. Perkins of New York who had heard that Sherman’s troops stabled horses in the building and further damaged its contents.

Milledgeville Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Leave a comment

Filed under --BALDWIN COUNTY GA--, Milledgeville GA