Georgia On My Mind

The Civil War and Georgia

"In a nation of historical amnesiacs, there are worse sins than passionate remembrance."-Peter Applebome

The Blue & The Gray

The American Civil War ended in 1865. I was born 100 years later in the shadow of Kennesaw Mountain. In 1864, Union troops under the command of General Sherman fought for a month at the mountain.

Growing up in Georgia, near a major battlefield, I couldn't help but have at least a passing interest in the Civil War. However, it wasn't until years later that I learned more about its history. I also discovered that my relatives fought on both sides. Since my ancestors have been in the South since the early 1800s, this was an unusual discovery.

I cannot qualify as a history buff, but I am intrigued by the stories and people that came from the Civil War. The photos on these two pages are from historic sites around Georgia, and history re-enactors.

Also See: My Civil War Ancestors

"Like my father before me, I will work the land,
Like my brother above me, who took a rebel stand.
He was just eighteen, proud and brave,
But a Yankee laid him in his grave."
-Robbie Robertson ("The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" by The Band)

General William T. Sherman marched across Georgia to the sea, leaving devastated towns and civilians in his wake. He was a hero to the North, but to the South, he was the war's biggest villain.

There are several historic sites and parks in Georgia commemorating the war. These range from the Chickamauga National Battlefield Park in the northwest corner to Fort Pulaski on the coast.

There are also hundreds of historical markers for Civil War events that happened in the state.

Georgia was also home of one of the war's most notorious prison camp. Andersonville saw the deaths of almost 13,000 Union soldiers captured during the war.

I have photos of Andersonville along with the lyrics of Dave Alvin's song: Andersonville

Many people are unaware that there were many Southerners who were against succession. Some of these men joined divisions of the Union Army which were formed in the South.

One of the most dramatic episodes of the Civil War occurred when Union spies captured the locomotive The General. The train was stolen in Big Shanty (now Kennesaw), Georgia. Heroic efforts by the conductor and a railroad worker led to the recovery of the train. All of the spies were captured. 8 of the men were executed for their part in the theft.

"The remark has been made that in the Civil War the North reaped the victory and the South the glory."-Richard Weaver

There are hundreds (maybe thousands) of Civil War re-enactors throughout the state. They can often be found at battle anniversary ceremonies, festivals, living history demonstrations, and parades.
"When I first went down South, I remember that a quite common expression would be, 'Well don't worry, the South's gonna rise again.' At one point when I heard it I thought it was kind of a funny statement and then I heard it another time and I was really touched by it. I thought, 'God, because I keep hearing this, there's pain here, there is a sadness here.' In Americana land, it's a kind of a beautiful sadness."-Robbie Robertson

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