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Worthy of a painting

In Washington, D.C., there is a memorial to Major General James B. McPherson.  It was erected after his Civil War death in Atlanta. When McPherson fell, his 2nd in command led the charge.  Several years later, John Logan’s wartime exploits were commemorated by Logan himself.  The result of his efforts stands to this day and that is the […]

Thanks to him…we know

Much of our knowledge of Civil War Atlanta comes from the work of the official photographer of the Army of the Mississippi, George Barnard. Assigned to document military camps, fortifications and rail lines, Barnard followed General William Sherman and his troops on their infamous March to the Sea. In the process of completing his assigned […]

From Prussia to Peachtree

When the Civil War ended in 1865, life, as you can imagine, did not just magically return to normal. There was no “normal.” Chaos was the order of the day and the State of Georgia had been particularly hard hit. Its politics was scattered, the economy was in shambles and in June of 1865 the […]

Who among us hasn’t made a mistake

Mistakes are a part of life, that’s the way it is and that’s the way it has always been. “Errare Humanum Est,” to err is human. The hope is that our mistakes aren’t too visible and, in general, are of the minor variety and not of the George Custer variety. But it doesn’t always go […]

Once upon a time

What is it about stories? Myths, legends, folk tales, fairy tales, tall tales, sagas, yarns, it doesn’t matter what type of story. We are captivated by all of them. We always have been. It probably has something to do with the fact that a good story skips the brain and goes right to the heart. […]

Chattahoochee River past, present: Two speakers part of Paddle Georgia

Two local authorities are on deck to talk about the past and present roles of the Chattahoochee River in as part of the annual Paddle Georgia festival.

The speakers are Tom Baxter, a political correspondent with SaportaReport, and Clarke Otten, a Civil War historian who focuses on Sandy Springs and overlooked aspects of the war – such as how the Union army crossed the river.

The free events are scheduled June 23 and 24 along the banks of the river at Riverview Landing, a former industrial tract in Mableton that’s to be retooled into a mixed-use community by the company redeveloping Ponce City Market in Atlanta.

After Civil War, Atlanta’s leaders were ready to return to business, says upcoming speaker at History Center

The way Decatur historian Wendy Venet tells the story, Atlanta residents were weary of the Civil War by the time Union General William T. Sherman advanced on the city and “schmoozed” the Union general who presided over the city during Reconstruction.

“After 1863, loyalty becomes a highly contested issue in Atlanta,” Venet said. “It took a variety of forms including acts of lawlessness, particularly the draft, people hiding horses or mules to keep them from being impressed. So by the time Sherman seized the city in 1864, Atlanta was becoming unglued.”

Chickamauga Battlefield to benefit from “complete streets” project

Visitors to the sacred grounds in the Chickamauga Battlefield in northwest Georgia will enter the park along an enhanced gateway in Fort Oglethorpe once the state completes a project that’s just received a $3 million federal grant

Casualties numbered 34,000 in the three-day Battle of Chickamauga in September 1863. The losses were second during the Civil War only to the 51,000 recorded the previous July at the Battle of Gettysburg.

Today, the main road leading to the battlefield is flanked by towering power lines and disjointed commercial developments. The federal grant will pay for a retooling of 0.8 mile of LaFayette Road to improve its appearance and use by pedestrians and bicyclists.

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War and cornbread make for savory history

Samuel McKittrick’s Civil War correspondence described the food at the front line, and highlights were read last week at  “Cornbread Through the Ages,” one of 50 anniversary programs marking the 149th anniversary of the Battle of Atlanta last week.

His great-great-granddaughter Millie Huff Coleman, a dietary anthropologist and lifelong Atlantan, wore a period costume as she read from his letters. She also served up a savory taste for the audience members at the DeKalb History Center from two skillets filled with cornbread made in the style of different historical eras.

Letters and cornbread connected McKittrick's separate worlds of home and combat. From the battlefront near Marietta, he expressed his fears and expectations that he was going to die, instructions on the upkeep of the farm as well as a belief in the afterlife.