Saturday, July 31, 2010

Learn about 38 Tennessee battles online

The Tennessee State Library and Archives will develop an online database of the state’s Civil War battlefields. • Article

Friday, July 30, 2010

The one and only 'Kill-Cavalry' Kilpatrick

I ran across this column on Union Gen. Judson Kilpatrick, the cavalry commander. An excerpt: "Reckless bravado soon earned him the name "Kill-Cavalry" Kilpatrick, a nickname that was not bestowed with fondness. He certainly had his flaws: he was arrogant, ambitious, blustery and egocentric, loved to use political influence to further his career, risked his men needlessly, maintained his camps poorly, got involved in sexual indiscretions, was bedeviled by rumors of bribery and corruption, and drank a lot (well, so did Grant, eh?). For all that, he was also regarded as fearless, and that counted for a whole lot." • Column

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Piano that survived Civil War gets attention

New York students are studying a piano hidden in a Kentucky barn where it was not burned as troops crisscrossed the area. The family legend was that someone played “Dixie” when Confederates were within earshot. • Article

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Remembering Atlanta's formidable defenses

Engineer Lemuel P. Grant had quite a chore ahead of him beginning in the summer of 1863. The possibility of Union forces one day besieging Atlanta was becoming a reality.

With seed money of $5,000 to buy property and equipment, Grant, a native of Maine, and Col. Moses Wright began erecting the South’s fiercest defenses.

“They told him put to a fort on somebody’s pasture,” said living historian Robert Mitchell of Loganville, Ga. “It doesn’t matter whose.”

Grant (photo below) began buying private property and placating homeowners who had to move out of the way.

The 12-mile circle around the city had 25 forts/redoubts when it was completed using civilian and slave labor by the summer of 1864. The photo by George Barnard above was taken near the current Georgia Tech campus.

Using old maps and photos, Mitchell (bottom photo) gave visitors at the recent B*ATL an overview of just how dug in the city had become.

The defenses roughly track the boundaries of modern downtown Atlanta. You have to remember this was a pretty small city, although it had become the industrial and transportation center of the Deep South.

Union Gen. William T. Sherman knew a frontal assault on Fort Peachtree and Fort Hood, for example, would be costly.

His chief engineer found the fortifications “too strong to assault and too extensive to invest.”

"They completely encircled the city," Capt. O.M. Poe reported, "at a distance of about one and a half miles from the center and consisted of a system of batteries, open to the rear and connected by infantry parapets, with complete abatis, in some places in three or four rows, with rows of pointed stakes, and long lines of chevaux-de-frise.

"In many places rows of palisading were planted along the foot of the exterior slope of the infantry parapet with sufficient openings be¬tween the timbers to permit the infantry fire, if carefully delivered, to pass freely through it, but not sufficient to permit a person to pass through, and having a height of twelve to fourteen feet. The ground in front of these palisades was always completely swept by fire from the adjacent batteries, which enabled a very small force to hold them."

In the end, attacking the defenses wasn’t necessary. After three key battles outside the defenses, Sherman won the vital railroads he wanted. Gen. John Bell Hood and his forces had to evacuate Atlanta on Sept. 1, 1864.

Today, practically nothing from the fortifications survives.

Shell causes lockdown at Army center

A Civil War-era shell which a man tried to donate to the Army Heritage and Education Center in Pennsylvania caused a lockdown of the facility for about an hour when employees thought the shell might be live. • Article

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Soldier's headstone finally corrected

The headstone of a former slave and Union soldier no longer identifies him as a member of the Confederate army, after his family failed to notice the error for years. More than 100 of Samuel Brown Sr.'s surviving descendants and Civil War buffs gathered at Vallejo's Sunrise Memorial Cemetery in California for the dedication of his new headstone. • Article

Monday, July 26, 2010

Update on 42 Union artillery shells

I caught up with Henry County (Ga.) Civil War historian Mark Pollard on the status of the 42 Union artillery shells unearthed last year near Lovejoy.

As you may recall from a Picket article in October 2009, a contractor installing a new water line at a home made the discovery. The homeowner donated most of the Hotchkiss rounds to Nash Farm Battlefield, owned by Henry County.

Pollard told me at the B*ATL event in Atlanta this past weekend that the shells have been cleaned and are waiting to go into the farm's museum. The slow economy has hurt fund-raising efforts to make repairs and upgrades on the property below Atlanta. The museum did raise nearly $800 at a July 4 event and Nash Farm is planning the Simply Southern Jubilee and Re-enactment Battle in September.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

B*ATL: Civil War field hospitals

During the week, Dave Furukawa is a physician assistant in Atlanta. On weekends, you might find have wearing a woolen blue uniform and laboring under a canvas shelter.

The living historian with the 21st Ohio Volunteers ran a field dressing station and hospital at B*ATL (Battle of Atlanta), an annual festival held in East Atlanta/Kirkwood.

Furukawa and Thomas Federico (below) educated visitors about the Civil War version of a triage station. A field dressing station might be 300-400 yards from the battle. Once they stabilized a patient, doctors would send him back to a hospital a few miles away for surgery or more complete treatment.

The enemy wasn’t always a guy with a rifle.

“Everybody got infection,” Furukawa said Saturday at the encampment at Gilliam Park in Kirkwood.

A recent Picket article talked about the advancements in medicine and field treatment that came from the Civil War.

At the time, though, there were no antibiotics. Gangrene and amputation were common. Doctors did have some morphine and patients also might receive opium or laudanum for pain and surgery.

Doctors and assistants had to make life-or-death decisions. A gut shot or serious head wound usually meant certain death. The soldier would be made comfortable, Furukawa said. Sometimes he would be propped up as he wrote or dictated a last letter home.

“That’s where you get the term ‘dying tree,’’’ Furukawa said.

Photos: Battle of Atlanta (B*ATL) weekend

Streets cover the Atlanta battlefield. Mike Ventura and Patrick Peterson were among the living historians at Gilliam Park in the Kirkwood neighborhood. The sixth annual event included tours, storytelling, displays and wreath-laying ceremonies. • More 2010 B*ATL photos

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cap, pistol, buckle stolen from museum

Some $2,000 worth of Civil War relics were taken from the Old Court House Museum in Vicksburg, Ms. • Article

Friday, July 23, 2010

Use Google Earth to tour battlefield

If only Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman had Google Earth when he marched through Georgia in 1864.

He would have known exactly where Cleburne’s Division and other Confederate troops were entrenched down to the parapet and traverse level at Kennesaw Mountain northwest of Atlanta.

Instead, modern-day Civil War buffs and recreational users of Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park can take advantage of GIS technology and Google Earth to get a virtual tour.

The park posted the new Google Earth map on its website in June, said Superintendent Stanley Bond.

“I’ve heard comments from people in the history field that it is a good tool,” said Bond, who hired two students at nearby Kennesaw State University to build the map.

The work produced by Tom Powers and Ed Dean, who are geography/GIS majors, is impressive.

With a little practice, you can use a menu of click boxes and folders to bring up multiple overlays of the park.

Powers, a technical writer who has “moved into the digital arena,” did some old-fashioned leg work to produce the text and pop-up windows. He used the park’s library, talked with NPS historian Willie Johnson and found public domain pictures.

“The goal is to increase park visitation,” said Powers.

Powers and Dean converted NPS data files and then figured out how to produce a map that was informative without being overwhelming. Powers put in 150 hours on the project, Dean about 80.

The map is largely organized by where generals were entrenched or moved in the battle during the Atlanta Campaign. Pop-ups feature details on specific engagements during the fighting, which was a brief but costly setback during Sherman’s move on Atlanta.

Walking and horse trails, rivers, streams and railroads also are featured. Google Earth allows you to get a sense of the mountainous terrain and what an advantage it gave to Confederate forces.

Bond hopes one day for the map to drill down with even more detail and list regiments that participated in the June 1864 battle.

Interestingly, neither Powers nor Dean knew much about the history of the site before they started the project last fall.

“I knew there was a battle ... I didn’t know a lot about it,” said Dean, a KSU junior from nearby Mableton.

Click here to download Kennesaw Mountain Google Earth map.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Neighborhood marks Battle of Atlanta

Today is the 146th anniversary of the main battle for the city. An East Atlanta association is marking the observation with a mix of solemnity and fun. Most of the B*ATL activities take place Saturday. “The history we have here, it runs from Civil War to civil rights,” said resident Wayne Carey. • Article

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Upcoming on Picket

Look for these in the coming days.... Battlefield has a cool new downloadable Google Earth map ... Non-profit group gets federal grant to survey the site of a little-known engagement.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Teachers study Harpers Ferry

Workshop looks at how Harpers Ferry, W. Va., residents dealt with the aftermath of John Brown’s raid, the politics of the time, news of the first Southern states to secede from the Union, the effects of Lincoln’s election in 1860, the question of which side Virginia would take and the run-up to Civil War. • Article

Monday, July 19, 2010

Battle of Ezra Church and the 'New South'

A field trip to the site of the Battle of Ezra Church in western Atlanta requires imagination, a visit to the largest cemetery in the Southeastern United States and the reading of a biblical verse.

Interstate 20 slices through much of the battlefield. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Mozley Park and other residential streets and small homes stand where columns of gray troops vainly smashed into an entrenched Union force.

As in much of Atlanta, only historic markers tell of the Confederacy’s litany of woe in the vital city.

Sunday, we spent a couple of hours in Westview Cemetery, built in 1884, some 20 years after the July 28, 1864, fighting at Ezra Church. Many famous Georgians are among the 110,000 souls resting on 582 acres.

(If you make a visit, stop by the beautiful abbey-mausoleum in the back part of the property. It’s breathtaking.)

Rebel troops under Gens. Stephen D. Lee and Alexander P. Stewart, days after losses at Peachtree Creek and the Battle of Atlanta, pushed through what would become Westview as they made an attack at Ezra Church.

Previously, Union Gen. William T. Sherman had ordered Maj. Gen. O.O. Howard to move from the left wing to the right and cut Gen. John Bell Hood’s last railroad supply line between Atlanta and nearby East Point.

Hood moved to intercept the Federals and ordered the assault. Howard was ready for them and repulsed the Confederates after fierce fighting, inflicting more than 4,500 casualties compared to about 700 for the North.

Westview includes a small section of trenches and a large monument of a soldier looking toward battle.

The inscription on the base speaks of peace, much it from Isaiah 2:4: "Nation shall not rise up against nation. They shall beat their swords into plough shares and their spears into pruning hooks. Neither shall they learn war anymore. Of Liberty born of a Patriots dream; of a storm cradled Nation that fell."

A semicircle of graves surrounds the memorial.

Interestingly, the graves are of white-bearded veterans who died in the early 20th century and the dawn of a new era in the South and Atlanta. Westview years ago allowed people of color to be buried on its grounds. The city became home to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement. Morehouse College and other African-American institutions are only two miles away from Ezra Church.

The family of Henry Woodfin Grady, an orator and editor of The Atlanta Constitution, rests in a small crypt at Wesview.

Grady, who died at only 39 in 1889, believed in white supremacy but spoke of the need of the cooperation between races “because of a mutual appreciation of the rewards that lay ahead.”

He is remembered for pushing northern investment, Southern industrial growth and an important speech in New York in 1886.

"There was a South of slavery and secession - that South is dead. There is now a South of union and freedom - that South, thank God, is living, breathing, and growing every hour," he said.

See 1964 map superimposing Battle of Ezra Church over streets and highways.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

He brings re-enactors to Jesus

From his Old Testament beard down to his scuffed boots and battered Bible, Alan Farley looks the perfect picture of a Civil War chaplain. On a dusty field five miles from where the Battle of Gettysburg was fought 147 years ago, Farley acts the part as well, thundering sermons from his homemade pulpit, praying with bedraggled soldiers, and handing out tracts with titles like "Everlasting Punishment." • Article

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The day the ax fell on Joe Johnston

Five days a week, I board a train near I-285 in DeKalb County and ride west to work in downtown Atlanta. The line rolls through revitalized neighborhoods along DeKalb Avenue. We fly past coffee houses, trendy restaurants and an array of new condos and lofts.

I occasionally think about the Battle of Atlanta that was fought just outside the train windows. Moreland Avenue, Degress Avenue and what is now a parking lot in Inman Park-Reynoldstown saw furious combat.

The siege of Atlanta followed months of cat-and-mouse maneuvering between Union Gen. William T. Sherman and Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston.

By July 1864, President Jefferson Davis, who had a thorny relationship with Johnston, had grown tired of the general’s defensive posture, loss of ground and belief that the vital Southern city couldn’t be saved.

The ax fell on July 17, 146 years ago today.

Davis wrote to Johnston, “As you failed to arrest the advance of the enemy to the vicinity of Atlanta, far in the interior of Georgia, and express no confidence that you can defeat or repel him, you are hereby relieved from command...”

John Bell Hood (left) now commanded the Army of Tennessee. Within days, the army suffered stinging losses at the battles of Atlanta, Peachtree Creek and Ezra Church. The city fell a few weeks later.

Some contend that perhaps Johnston was not aggressive or daring enough. But I know in Atlanta Bell was too aggressive. And he lost much of his troops shortly afterward at Franklin, Tenn.

Would Atlanta have been saved if Johnston remained in command? Probably not.

I’ve encountered Joe Johnston several times over the years during my trips to Manassas, Seven Pines, Kennesaw Mountain and at Bennett Place near Durham, N.C., where he surrendered his army in April 1865.

He was a different general from Robert E. Lee. I think he may have been more practical, given the circumstances.

Which of them was more suited for the Confederacy’s situation?

I’ll keep pondering that on my daily train rides.

Friday, July 16, 2010

54th re-enactors honor black troops

Black re-enactors from as far away as Florida and Washington, D.C., gathered Friday near Charleston, S.C., to commemorate the 54th Massachusetts' heroic charge on Confederate Battery Wagner and an earlier Civil War skirmish that gave the famed regiment an early taste of battle. • Article

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Daughter of Civil War soldier dies at 103

Edna Marie Hetrick, the daughter of a Union Civil War veteran, at age 103 in Findlay, Ohio. Hetrick was born Dec. 2, 1906, to David and Chloe (Helsel) Huffman. David Huffman served with Company F, 21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He fought in battles in Tennessee and Georgia and was wounded in the battle of Chickamauga. • Article

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wrangling over Wal-Mart back in court

Attorneys are due back in court next month in the battle over a Walmart Supercenter proposed near an endangered battlefield in northern Virginia. A trial date was expected to be scheduled at a hearing Tuesday in Orange Circuit Court, but lingering issues delayed that decision until an Aug. 13 hearing. • Article

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Kennesaw devises plan to protect earthworks

Kennesaw Mountain’s 11 miles of earthworks have long outlived the young men who hastily erected them before the momentous battle in June 1864.

“We probably have the best set of field earthworks anywhere in the country,” says Stanley Bond, superintendent of Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park in suburban Atlanta.

But that doesn’t mean time, erosion and humans aren’t taking their toll.

Some visitors have worn down gun emplacements. Invasive vegetative species have moved in and trees have risen in the trenches.

This summer, about 10 high school and college students from Atlanta’s Greening Youth Foundation, along with other volunteers, have been removing saplings that could tear away entrenchments if they tip over.

But the park wants to do more. An outside consulting firm is finalizing an earthworks management plan for Kennesaw Mountain.

Bond says he expects the action plan to recommend steps to prevent erosion, remove some trees, include more fencing and use signage to educate visitors.

“How do we interpret them to the public?” Bond asks.

Kennesaw is an unusual Civil War battlefield in that about 80 percent of its users come for recreational reasons. The park has miles of jogging and horse-riding trails.

“Most of them [earthworks] are in places where people don’t go,” Bond says.

Liz Sargent, a historic landscape architecht in Charlottesville, Va., has been devising the plan on behalf of John Milner Associates, which provides cultural management and historic preservation services.

While she can’t speak specifically about the Kennesaw plan, Sargent says her work includes looking at how land or water affected a battle, such as at Vickburg, Ms., and Stones River, Tenn. Kennesaw Mountain, of course, has its mountains.

Sargent agrees that in some cases fences are needed to protect areas, especially in city settings. Signs and fences “can diminish the sense of history and going back in time” but also can be useful and educational.

The NPS’s “Sustainable Military Earthworks Management” provides a framework for saving fortifications.

“Military earthworks are complex and fragile resources that are often the only surviving above-ground structural remnants of a battle. These resources are highly authentic to the historic battle and require specialized management within the general principles of battlefield landscape preservation.”

Over the past 30 years or so, parks have looked at features like entrenchments with a more scientific and preservation focus, Sargent says. Sites are trying to manage competing needs.

“They want something that is sustainable,” says Sargent.

Click here to learn about earthworks management.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Coming up in Picket

Planning to post this week an item on a battlefield in Georgia working from management plan to protect entrenchments.

Battle of Bloody Bridge mostly forgotten

This is the Civil War ambush you likely have never heard of, in a place you likely have driven right by. Some 2,000 South Carolina cavalry militiamen withstood four times as many Union soldiers for three days in suffocating summer swelter in a tidal swamp on Johns Island near Charleston. • Article

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Some cringe at pipeline work at Manassas

An Oklahoma-based energy firm is seeking to expand and replace a natural gas pipeline under a Northern Virginia Civil War battleground, work that local officials and history enthusiasts fear would disturb the Manassas hallowed ground and disrupt next year's planned 150th anniversary of the battle. • Article

Friday, July 9, 2010

Battlefield sketch artists worked quickly

A Civil War sketch artist sat on a stool, or stood silently at a spot where he could observe the battle. His hands worked feverishly, trying to capture moments in history with pencil sketches. He was dressed as a civilian, and hoped no one would take him for a soldier—and shoot in his direction. His purpose was to give an accurate description of Civil War conflicts for such publications as Harper's Weekly. As a Civil War re-enactor, Doug Laman, of rural Pineville, Mo., portrays a Harper's Weekly special correspondent and sketch artist. • Article

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Descendants want to mark prisoners' graves

Another battle has broken out over the memorial for Confederate soldiers who died at Point Lookout in Maryland during the Civil War. Descendants want to mark a mass burial plot and want to dig to find its exact boundaries. But the federal National Cemetery Association says remains should not be disturbed. • Article

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Living history this weekend at Malvern Hill

Richmond (Va.) National Battlefield Park is holding a two-day Malvern Hill living history this weekend. Rangers will talk about the final battle of the Seven Days campaign fought July 1, 1862, near the Confederate capital.

Walking tours and Union artillery and infantry demonstrations are planned Saturday (July 10) and Sunday (July 11). The free events last from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

At sunset Saturday, rangers will hold a program about the battles fought around Richmond in 1862 and 1864.

Gen. Robert E. Lee launched several fruitless attacks on strong Union positions at Malvern Hill, suffering 5,300 casualties. Despite the victory, Union Gen. George B. McClellan withdrew his forces to Harrison’s Landing on the James River, ending his Peninsula Campaign. From there, Lee took the offensive against Maj. Gen. John Pope, culminating at Second Manassas.

Click here for more information on the NPS program.

Picket poll: In uniform

Monday, July 5, 2010

Loss of Vicksburg sealed South's fate

The 1863 Battle of Vicksburg may have been the Civil War’s most consequential fight. The Vicksburg Siege split the Confederacy in two, brought Ulysses S. Grant to the fore, and sealed the fate of the South, says novelist-historian Winston Groom. • Listen

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Bill would add land at Kennesaw Mountain

In late April, U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) introduced H.R. 5152, which would adjust the boundary of Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park to include the Wallis House and Harriston Hill.

The eight acres containing the house and hill are owned by Cobb County. The house was the headquarters for Union Gen. O. O. Howard in mid-June 1864, and the hill behind it was used as a Federal signal station.

According to the Georgia Battlefields Association, additions to existing battlefield parks are rare. The bill stipulates that the added land must come through donation or exchange.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Sickles 2010: Dumb moves at Gettysburg

Some of you may recall the item the Picket did on Gettysburg Daily, the cool website that posts a photo from the battlefield daily. A lot of research goes into the captions. The creators also solicit nominations annually for the Sickles award, which recognizes stupid encroachments or silliness at or near this hallowed ground. The list was issued July 2. • This year's winners

Remembering Pickett's Charge

At this hour 147 years ago today, 12,500 men were assembling for the assault meant to break the Union back at Gettysburg.

At 1 p.m. Confederate artillery fired the signal shot. The waves of gray moved forward on a hot afternoon.

They spied a copse of trees as their target. A few made it. The rest were either cut down or back to their own lines. Some 5,000 attackers killed or wounded. About 1,500 Union soldiers were casualties.

For the South, any chance of victory was gone. The Lost Cause was born.

I think of that long march across a Pennsylvania field every July 3. Those who died on either side are forever young.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Georgia moves to save Civil War sites or reduce construction impact on them

Acknowledging that Civil War sites are endangered throughout the Atlanta region, the state of Georgia will provide guidelines to local governments on how best to save them or mitigate the effects of highway construction and other forms of development.

“We will do a context study of Civil War resources in all of metro Atlanta,” said Heather Mustonen, archaeologist with the Office of Environmental Services, Georgia Department of Transportation.

Mustonen says planning for the study is in the early stages. The project includes identifying sites and “assessing their current status and preservation potential.”

Working with Cobb County and the Historic Preservation Division of the State Department of Natural Resources, Georgia DOT will provide “useful documentation” to local governments and cultural resource managers who must conduct research and sign off on projects.

Cultural resource managers identify archaeological sites, historic buildings, and other cultural properties so that they can be considered under environmental policy laws and regulations.

“If an archaeologist is hired by a county… this will be putting [a project] in the context of the larger Atlanta Campaign,” says Mustonen.

Officials want planners to know that even a piecemeal loss of or damage to a site could have a larger, contextual effect on metro Atlanta’s Civil War resources. “The idea is to think about the broader picture,” Mustonen said.

The state is inviting groups such as the Georgia Battlefields Association to provide input.

The study would not just look at road building. Guidelines should be used for any development or project. “Folks can use this for their projects whatever they may be,” Mustonen said.

For 100 years after the war, Georgia and Atlanta did little to save Civil War sites. But attitudes and laws have changed in recent years.

Officials know that some losses will continue to happen. Lovett School in Atlanta, for example, last fall destroyed more than 110 yards of trenches (right) to build a sports complex. The school was able to show federal, state and city officials that other locations were too expensive and impractical.

But the state is hoping that the majority of Civil War sites will be saved in the future.

The impetus for the study was the upcoming interchange project (map above) for Atlanta Road at I-285 in the Vinings neighborhood of Cobb County northwest of Atlanta. Georgia DOT is doing an environmental study on the project, which includes a new bridge and other modifications.

The state learned that about 50 feet of Civil War trench line was on private property right next to the interchange. “We just shifted the work so that we are all on the existing right of way,” Mustonen said.

“We aren’t having a direct effect on the resource [trench line]. We are having an indirect effect.”

By that she means there will be more traffic and the higher possibility of commercial or retail development. The property owner could decide to sell the parcel – and its trenches -- to developers.

Cobb County, which was the scene of many engagements, including Kennesaw Mountain, during the war, is helping to fund the study.

Many Georgians may not know that Georgia DOT has an environmental division and archaeologists. Before a federal law passed in 1966, the loss of Civil War resources to road projects wasn’t uncommon. For example, Leggett’s Hill, the scene of vicious fighting during the Battle of Atlanta in 1864, was carved up to make room for Interstate 20 at Moreland Avenue in the early 1960s.

The U.S. DOT Act of 1966 “requires that before land from a significant publicly owned park, recreation area, national wildlife or waterfowl refuge, or any significant historic site (regardless of ownership) can be converted to a transportation use it must be demonstrated that there is no prudent or feasible alternative to that use and that the project includes all possible planning to minimize harm.”

Charlie Crawford, executive director of Georgia Battlefields Association, said the group will help in “mitigation planning” for the busy Atlanta Road interchange, which was near Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s River Line. He said he is not positive whether the trench line was Confederate or Federal.

“There’s a larger effort, especially in Cobb County, to inventory [Civil War] sites when they do future projects,” Crawford said.

Sword makes its way back to museum

A "significant" Civil War sword that may have been sold, stolen or bartered away from Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum is back at the Oakland (Pa.) museum, officials said. A collector purchased the ornate sword, presented to Capt. Augustus Plummer Davis in 1862, at a local antique market last week. Realizing what he had, David Aeberli, 72, of McCandless contacted museum officials. • Details