Thursday, January 13, 2011

Family ties 4: Your Civil War stories

The Picket is sharing readers' accounts of their ancestors who served or were affected by the Civil War. We encourage you to get involved by e-mailing us at David Walker, who grew up in Atlanta and now lives in Canton, Ga., provided this account of a relative with connections to pieces of Georgia history.

My great-great-grandfather Thomas Bailey was born Oct. 13, 1839. at Ross Landing Ga. outside of Chattanooga, Tenn. With the family he moved to Athens, Ga. in the early 1850s, where he began a life long career in fabrication with the Athens Steam Company(renamed Athens Foundry and Metal Works).

Grandfather Bailey joined the Confederate Army in July of 1862 and served with the Adams’ Battalion, which appears to be part of the Athens Reserve Corps, Georgia Infantry, until April of 1865. While serving, he is accredited with the casting of the double-barrel cannon designed by John Gilleland, an employee of Cook’s Armory and a private in the Mitchell Thunderbolts also a unit in the Athens Reserve Corps.

The double-barrel cannon can be seen sitting in front of City Hall in Athens today.

On April 26, 1900, in Athens he was given the Southern Cross of Honor for service in the army of the Confederacy.

Also, Thomas Bailey owned and operated the Bailey Foundry and Metal Works located on Thomas Street in Athens, which fabricated the “Arch” seen on the campus of the University of Georgia and other decorative iron pieces for homes and businesses which can still be seen today. Later in life, he worked with his sons in the hardware business in and around Athens.

Thomas Bailey passed away Jan. 29, 1922, at the age of 83 and was considered one of Athens’ oldest and most highly esteemed citizens at that time.

He is buried in the Oconee Hills Cemetery across from Sanford Stadium.


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