Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What did you think of HC's "Gettysburg'?

Last night's two-hour "Gettysburg" on "The History Channel" certainly felt different from most documentaries I have seen.

To be sure, it was intense.

Slow-motion cannon shots captured bodies flying through the air. Blood spurted liberally from impact wounds. The fatigue and dirt etched on the faces was profound.

Produced by Tony and Ridley Scott, the monochromatic documentary was long on technology and short on dialogue. It was a "just the facts, ma'am" approach.

It did tell the July 1863 battle's story, but I often felt it was more about the special effects than the people.

And some of the commercials were just plain weird. I don't watch the History Channel much these days, but a Geico caveman around a Civil War campfire? And a pickup truck in an old barn?

This is Civil War week on the HC. Tonight's program is on Lee and Grant. What did you think of "Gettysburg"? Was it authentic? Will you watch the other programs?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fort Stevens cemetery rededicated

The National Park Service has rededicated a cemetery in Washington that holds the graves of 41 Union soldiers killed during an attack on the capital during the Civil War. • Article

Friday, May 27, 2011

Intriguing 'Queen bee of the Confederacy'

In this New York Times online commentary, Catherine Clinton says Mary Chesnut’s writing "provides a renewable energy source for those of us seeking to better understand the Confederate experience." Chesnut was a South Carolina author noted for her vivid Civil War diary, which was published as a book. • Article

Thursday, May 26, 2011

NPS may cull deer at battlefields

The National Park Service is wrapping up public meetings about the problems caused by white-tailed deer on three Civil War battlefields in Maryland and Virginia. The agency is considering using sharpshooters to kill deer that are preventing forest regeneration by eating seedlings and saplings. • Article

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

At site of city surrender, a resurgence

A section of Marietta Street in northwest Atlanta, site of the city's surrender during the Civil War, is enjoying a rebound after years of stagnation.

In just a few years, the busy thoroughfare near Georgia Tech has seen an extraordinary boom. Apartment buildings and restaurants fill lots that once saw light industrial use near the railroads. Many of those businesses were shuttered by the 1990s.

M Street Atlanta overlooks the site of the Sept. 2, 1864, surrender at what is now the corner of Marietta Street and Northside Drive. The apartment community features a pool, free wifi, on-site retails and skyline views. It markets itself as being in a "vibrant new area known as Midtown West."

Nearby is the Spoiled Opulence Salon, Thumbs Up Diner and a row of other apartment buildings that front Marietta Street.

Confederate defensive lines in the area included Fort Hood. A famous photograph by George Barnard (right) shows the fortifications and the shell-pocked Ponder House.

By late Sept. 1, and after a vital railroad south of the city had fallen to Union forces, Confederate Gen. John B. Hood had left the besieged city, burning military supplies and installations.

The next day, Mayor James Calhoun and several other men, under a white flag, took a dangerous ride to the northwestern edge of Atlanta.

According to Atlanta historian Franklin Garrett, the group set out on Marietta Street, where it hoped to meet Federal forces.

"This route led the party through that section of the city which had suffered most damage from the recent bombardment. Nearly every residence had been abandoned, and many of the houses were piles of splintered timbers. The street was badly tom up, and the riders, even in broad daylight often found it difficult to thread their way through the scattered debris."

The emissaries passed the fort and Ponder home and saw an advance body of 20th Corps Troops, commanded by Capt. H. M. Scott, of the 70th Indiana Volunteer Infantry.

Calhoun wrote the following note:

Atlanta, Ga., September 2, 1864

Brigadier-General Ward,

Comdg. Third Division, Twentieth Corps:

Sir: The fortune of war has placed Atlanta in your hands. As mayor of the city I ask protection to non-combatants and private property.


Mayor of Atlanta

Union forces marched into the city. The Stars and Stripes has flown ever since.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tour gets off beaten path at Fredericksburg

Hikers get a glimpse of little-known piece of Fredericksburg battlefield, where Union army crossed and re-crossed the Rappahannock in Virginia. Site of the Yankees' lower pontoon-bridge crossing during the Battle of Fredericksburg, the place is hidden by woods and an industrial landscape. • Article (Alfred Waud sketch, Library of Congress)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Swiss man hopes ancestor gets pardon

For the past 20 years, Heinrich L. Wirz of Bremgarten, Switzerland, has made it a personal quest to learn as much as he can of an ancestor who became an infamous figure in the Civil War and was executed soon after. • Article

Friday, May 20, 2011

Georgia man recalls stories from his father, a guard at Confederate prison camp. Isham Booth was 71 when Henry was born.

Henry V. Booth is 92. He is the son of sharecroppers and is a retired car dealer. He’s lost two wives, two children, and has three grandchildren. He lives in Elberton, Ga., owns a push mower and -- most days-- has oatmeal, bananas and hot chocolate for breakfast.

Booth also is a rarity. He is the son of a Confederate soldier. It is believed he is one of only two in Georgia.

When people learn that fact, they say, “Wow. What about that?” Booth told the Picket in a phone interview this morning.

Booth’s dad, Isham Johnson Booth, was 16 when he arrived for duty in 1864 at Camp Sumter, the official name for Andersonville military prison.

Pvt. Isham Booth of the 1st Georgia Reserves witnessed the horrors of the camp, where 45,000 Union soldiers passed through its gates. Almost 13,000 died and were buried in the nearby cemetery. About 226 Confederate guards, not immune to disease and meager food supplies, died over 14 months.

“He said it was the awfulest place he ever saw,” the younger Booth said. “People were dying like flies.”

The former Confederate private also mentioned the scarcity of clean water when he talked of his war days.

Isham got sick at Andersonville, and rode a mule back to Elberton to convalesce. After he became well, in 1865, he started walking back toward middle Georgia.

When Isham passed a store, someone said, “Where are you going, soldier?”

They told him that the war was over.

More than 145 years later, at the end of April this year, Henry Booth (right, click to enlarge) toured Andersonville National Historic Site and also spoke to a local camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

It was his third visit to Andersonville.

“With all those dead people, it puts a funny feeling over you,” said Booth.

Isham Booth was just shy of 72 when Henry, his 12th and last child, was born on Dec. 28, 1918. Isham’s second wife, Miranda Lue, was 38. She died in 1968.

The elder Booth usually spoke about his guard experiences only in the presence of adults, but Henry occasionally heard stories.

Henry lived with his family in a one-story home with four or five rooms. They raised cotton, vegetables and hogs at the Elbert County homestead, which is long gone and is now covered by pine trees.

“We made enough to eat. That was hard work,” Henry said.

Henry said his father returned to see Andersonville a couple years before he died, when a friend took him in a 1931 Chevrolet. “That was a big deal to him.”

Isham Johnson Booth died in February 1934, age 86. His son was 15.

Though his father’s Civil War experience is usually the conversation starter, Henry had his own experience with war.

During World War II, he was assigned to a Navy LST, a vehicle landing craft. Campaigns in the Pacific Ocean included ones at Iwo Jima, Saipan, Guam and Okinawa.

Booth doesn’t like war. He doesn’t generally visit Civil War battlefields.

“I saw Tokyo after the war” and its devastation, Booth said.

Booth returned to Elbert County and got into business. His parents were sharecroppers, but Booth moved away from the farm to work at a Ford dealership, which he later bought. The Ford dealership eventually closed “under tough times.” One of his sons worked in the granite industry.

Booth is now retired from a lengthy stint as a night manager for a senior citizens complex. He enjoys lunch at the senior citizen center with friends and has seen a lot of changes in the years since his father passed away.

Elberton’s population has grown to nearly 5,000. Walking trails have replaced a lake near his home in northeast Georgia. Booth likes them.

“It’s the best part of the world to live in,” he said. “Life’s been good to me.”

Although he may be best known as the son of a Civil War soldier, Booth said that fact is “just a little of who I am.”

Editor's note: Booth died in June 2015 at age 96.

Photographs: NPS/Andersonville National Historic Site. Top photo is Henry V. Booth at about age 3 with his father. Second photo is an interview being videotaped in late April at Andersonville National Historic Site

More about Booth's recent visit to Andersonville

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Utoy Creek: North and South

Two more scenes from my visit to sites related to the Battle of Utoy Creek in west Atlanta.

The top is of North Utoy Creek at Lionel Hampton Creek. Very quiet and bucolic.

The photo was taken from a bike bridge. The trail just up the hill includes exercise stations for walkers and a nice playground.

The bottom photo is either South Utoy Creek or a tributary in the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve on Cascade Road.

Sadly, some of the larger creek contains trash and old tires.

Most of the Aug. 6, 1864, main battle took place in the park and just west of there.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Flooding threatens Louisiana fort

This month's devastating floods threaten the remnants of Fort Burton in Butte LaRose, La. The site, where earthen embankments are still visible, will certainly be inundated, officials say. Fort Burton was captured by the Union Army in 1863. • Article

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Utoy Creek: The Atlanta Civil War battle of which you've never heard

As a boy growing up during the late 1950s and early 1960s in southwest Atlanta, Marc Stewart didn’t have to go far to find treasure.

He put a metal detector he received to good use.

“I found belt buckles in our front yard,” said Stewart, now 58.

Besides weapon parts, Stewart salvaged other accoutrements of Civil War soldiers: Buttons. Bullets. Insignias.

After a career in the U.S. Navy, Stewart now is an aviation artist, depicting planes locked in combat over the Pacific Ocean during World War II.

The Newnan, Ga., businessman also created two paintings from his childhood memories. One, “The Battle of Utoy Creek,” depicts Union soldiers from Kentucky attacking a hill held by Kentucky Confederates.

“That was right behind our house,” said Stewart. “I put the trenches where I knew they were on the hill.”

The neighborhood along Cascade Road was a great place to grow up, the artist said.

“I don’t think anyone really knew about it,” Stewart told the Picket.

He was referring to the Battle of Utoy Creek during the Atlanta Campaign.

From late July to late August, Federal troops made several thrusts toward the vital Rebel rail line in nearby East Point. Ultimately, victory had to come elsewhere, forcing Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood to evacuate Atlanta.

With the exception of a few historic markers along busy roads, a visitor won’t glean much Utoy Creek battle history and context.

Atlanta’s gorgeous Cascade Springs Nature Preserve (left) has no interpretation of the Aug. 6, 1864, battle that occurred among its rolling hills and trails. One sign warns against disturbing the soil for relics.

About a mile to the northeast, Beecher Hampton Nature Preserve, which includes a bike trail and Lionel Hampton Park, makes no mention of an array of rare Federal trenches (second photo, above).

“It is as good a set of trenches as I have seen anywhere,” said Barry Brown, heritage tourism specialist with the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

The trenches, hunted out for relics, continue toward the southwest corner of Westview Cemetery.

Brown, who then worked for the Georgia Civil War Commission, was awarded the 2007 Governor’s Award for efforts to help preserve Civil War sites. From 2001 to 2003, he coordinated the acquisition of 100 acres of historic land along Lionel Hampton bike path and Utoy Creek.

Co-author Brown included Stewart’s battle scene in the updated “Crossroads of Conflict: A Guide to Civil War Sites in Georgia,” which will have a second edition this summer.

Utoy Creek is an Atlanta battle of which few have heard.

The seminal “Battles and Leaders of the Civil War” makes scant mention. A National Park Service (NPS) summary makes no guess at casualties.

Regardless, the siege of Confederate lines made for at least two wonderful stories.

First, a brief history of the battle.

By early August 1864, Hood has suffered defeats at Peachtree Creek, Atlanta and Ezra Church, not far from Utoy Creek.

Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman had failed to get around Hood’s left flank at Ezra Church. He wanted to extend his right flank to hit the railroad between Atlanta and East Point.

He transferred Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield’ s Army of the Ohio from his left to his right flank and sent him to the north bank of Utoy Creek, according to the NPS battle summary.

After movements Aug. 2-5, Schofield (right) had to regroup his forces.

“The delay allowed the Rebels to strengthen their defenses with abatis, which slowed the Union attack when it restarted on the morning of the 6th. The Federals were repulsed with heavy losses by Bate’s Division and failed in an attempt to break the railroad,” according to the NPS.

On Aug. 7, the Union troops moved toward the Confederate main line and entrenched. Here they remained (photo below, trenches) until late August. Sporadic fighting occurred in the area for a couple more weeks.

Eventually, Sherman forced Hood to evacuate Atlanta after a loss at Jonesboro, south of Atlanta. The Yankees seized the railroad, cutting off Hood’s supply line.

Historians and experts somewhat disagree on the importance of Utoy Creek.

“Union troops charged uphill at well-entrenched Confederate lines and didn’t make it,” said Brown. “Sherman didn’t write it up in his memoirs.”

That wasn’t unusual. Sherman didn’t write much either of a costlier setback at Kennesaw Mountain six weeks earlier.

“Utoy Creek was a Federal defeat, but it was a small battle by any measure,” said Charlie Crawford, president of the Georgia Battlefields Association.

Maj. Perry Bennett, an Army historian with the 335th Signal Command in East Point, believes the battle was a bigger deal.

“The last 35 years I have been researching this,” said Bennett, who grew up in Atlanta and says he found three cannonballs in a Utoy Creek tributary when he was 12.

“Utoy Creek is described as a skirmish,” said Bennett, president of the Utoy Cemetery Association, which maintains a cemetery containing graves of Confederates who died in the area. The cemetery adjoins a church that served as a Confederate hospital during the battle and Federal siege.

“When you read the Official Records, your eyes become open,” said the major, who is writing a book manuscript on the topic. “This was a significant battle.”

Bennett is critical of Schofield, who contends the general had “the short man’s complex” and incorrectly blended units of the 14th and 23rd corps before the Aug. 6 attack.

“Sherman was exasperated,” said author and historian Stephen Davis. “The Confederates could extend the line as fast as the Federals could envelop it.”

Opposing Schofield’s much larger force in the Cascade nature preserve were about 3,600 Rebels on “no-go terrain.”

Instead of attacking, as they did in July, the Confederates sprang a trap on the Union troops, according to Bennett, forcing the forces in blue to withdraw after heavy fighting.

Bennett numbers the Union dead at 850, with about 1,000 wounded. Prisoners and regimental colors also were taken. About 35 Confederates were killed, and several hundred wounded, he added.

According to the GBA’s Crawford, Confederate casualties were about 30, Federal about 300. “The Federals probed the ever-lengthening Confederate line for several days in early August, with total Federal casualties for 4-7 August being around 815, Confederate about 385,” he told the Picket.

Much of the Utoy Creek battlefield sits in a verdant section of Atlanta featuring upscale neighborhoods and parks.

I walked the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve, where dog walkers roam trails. A spring house greets visitors in a ravine.

Portions of the battlefield and entrenchments also lie beneath John A. White Park and Greenwood Cemetery. A marker denotes a site on the 17th tee of “Tup” Holmes Golf Course off Campbellton Road (photo, above).

Willis Mill Road, named for a family that lived in the area during the Civil War, runs just east of the nature preserve.

Davis has researched a “bombproof” or “dugout” the family huddled in during the Atlanta siege and Battle of Utoy Creek. He determined it was located east of the nature preserve.

Davis studied notebooks and a ledger, kept at the Atlanta History Center, produced by Wilbur George Kurtz, a well-known artist-historian.

In 1932, Kurtz interviewed an older woman who recalled the bombproof.

“Mrs. D.E. Herren says that her father and some of the neighbors decided that to refugee before the advance of military operations would entail great hardships—certainly a loss of property, and the question of where to go and what to do when they got there, seemed unanswerable,” Kurtz wrote. “Deciding to weather the storm, they thought of the bombproof cellar, and built this shelter some days before the fiery blasts began sweeping across the fields.”

Up to 26 people huddled inside at the height of the fighting in western Atlanta.

“It was a big hole in the ground,” said Davis, whose works include “Atlanta Will Fall: Sherman, Joe Johnston, and the Yankee Heavy Battalions.”

Jacob Dolson Cox (left), a Union general, referred to the Willis family as the Wilsons in his memoir.

Cox on Aug. 11, 1864, wrote “In this bomb-proof four families are now living, and I never felt more pity than when, day before yesterday, I looked down into the pit, and saw there, in the gloom made visible by a candle burning while it was broad day above, women sitting on the floor of loose boards, resting against each other, haggard and wan, trying to sleep away the days of terror, while innocent-looking children, four or five years old, clustered around the air-hole, looking up with pale faces and great staring eyes as they heard the singing of the bullets that were flying thick above their sheltering place.”

Crawford and Bennett related another interesting story regarding the battle.

According to Crawford, the surviving Federal trenches may have been the headquarters for the 14th Army Corps, commanded by Brig. Gen. John McAuley Palmer.

“Palmer said he wouldn’t submit to Schofield’s orders because of date of rank,” Crawford said. After a flurry of messages among Palmer, (Maj. Gen. George) Thomas, Schofield, and Sherman, Palmer resigned and went back to Illinois. It’s a fascinating incident that influences the Utoy Creek battle.”

“Palmer was not a West Pointer, which also played into the argument,” said Crawford.

“It goes to tell you how screwed up Schofield’s plan was at Utoy Creek,” Bennett said about the flap, adding Schofield sent orders to Palmer’s subordinates during the faceoff.

Bennett said he devised staff rides for Army officers to study the tactics at Utoy Creek, including trench operations.

The conclusions: Mixing corps cost the Union unit integrity, Schofield did not have good intelligence on the enemy and Sherman goaded him to make an ill-fated attack at Utoy Creek.

The Army major quotes advice he said Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant once gave to Sherman.

“Never call an attack an attack if it is not successful.”

"Battle of Utoy Creek" painting courtesy of artist Marc Stewart; top trench photo, courtesy of Barry Brown.

Part 1 of the Picket report on Utoy Creek

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Five soldiers rescued from obscurity

Under a sunless morning sky Saturday, young Timmy Kelly sang the haunting Irish patriotic ballad "Minstrel Boy" while reenactors from the 69th Pennsylvania Irish regiment stood at five graves where headstones had been placed for Civil War soldiers at New Cathedral Cemetery in North Philadelphia. • Article

Saturday, May 14, 2011

LDS Church releases soldier records

As its contribution to the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the LDS Church-sponsored organization, FamilySearch.org, has released millions of online records from the Confederate and Union armies. FamilySearch disclosed the move at the National Genealogical Society’s Family History Conference. • Article

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Battle of Resaca re-enactment May 20-22

The Georgia Division Reenactors Division is preparing for the May 20-22 annual event on picturesque and now protected ridges and fields outside Resaca.

During May 14-15, 1864, the first major battle of the Atlanta Campaign was fought there. Neither side gained an advantage, but Union Maj. Gen. William Sherman continued his advance after Confederate forces under Gen. Joseph E. Johnston abandoned the field. The armies suffered about 11,000 casualties.

Event spokesman Ken Padgett tells the Picket he hopes for close to 1,000 re-enactors. Some proceeds may go to the Friends of Resaca Battlefield for protecting the Fort Wayne historic site.

This year's battles start at 2 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

"The spectator line is closer to the battles allowing spectators to better view the battles while seeing the smoke and hearing
the thunder of history unfold," organizers say.

Visitors also can see camps, living histories and shop at the sutler area. A Saturday morning memorial service is planned at the nearby Confederate Cemetery.

Camps open to the public at 9 a.m.

Cost is $5 for adults and $2 for children under 12. There is no charge for infants. Parking is free.

The venue is off Chitwood Road in Gordon County, about an hour and a half north of Atlanta.

The 480-acre Chitwood Farm, site of the event, was recently protected as part of the full 650-acre battlefield site. In 2008, when owners of the site had financial difficulties, The Trust for Public Land bought the land, the trust says. Two months ago, TPL sold to Gordon County an easement, which protects the land from development.

This is the 27th year for the re-enactment.

"Conservation of the Chitwood Farm in time for the 150th Civil War anniversary in 2014, allows for continuation of plans that will include educational activities for area students, Civil War tours about Sherman's March on Atlanta, and the annual Resaca Battle Reenactment," the trust says.

Event information | • Last year's Picket coverage

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

VMI cadets marching as to war

A handful of Virginia Military Institute cadets are undergoing an arduous history lesson, marching up the Shenandoah Valley like a group of their forebears did in 1864, to a muddy, bloody battle. • Article | • Fund-raising effort

Monday, May 9, 2011

Kentucky drummer boy among war heroes

William Horsfall, a 14-year-old drummer, is one of the youngest recipients of the Medal of Honor. The award was created during the Civil War to recognize members of the armed forces who display acts of heroism beyond the call of duty. • Article

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Was clock in Pa. taken from VMI in 1864?

A clock renovation expert with more than 35 years experience said it will be near impossible for officials to prove the clock atop the Warren County Court House (Pa.) is the same artifact believed to be stolen from a Virginia military college during the Civil War. County officials believe the clock could be the same one taken from the Virginia Military Institute in June 1864. • Article

Friday, May 6, 2011

Have history, will travel Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Civil War Road Show, featuring vidoes and interactive exhibits, kicked off its 67-county run Thursday in Pittsburgh, where foundries such as Fort Pitt and Phoenixville Iron Co. produced 3,000 cannons and the Allegheny Arsenal in Lawrenceville turned out 40,000 bullets a day. • Article

Thursday, May 5, 2011

'Gone But Not Forgotten': Learn about Georgia sites at archaeology group's meeting

Born in Indiana, Confederate Brig. Gen. Francis A. Shoup lent his name to a unique fortification that Union Maj. Gen William T. Sherman, intent on taking Atlanta, called “one of the strongest pieces of field fortifications I ever saw.”

The timber and earthen redoubts – known as Shoupades -- were built in the Chattahoochee River Line and were manned in July 1864.

The arrowhead shape of the forts allowed defenders to shoot in several directions. Connecting them was an infantry trench. Attackers could be fired on from several angles.

Few of the fortifications (left, model by Bill Scaife) remain.

The survey of the River Line is one of Civil War abstracts to be presented at the spring meeting of the Society for Georgia Archaeology (SGA), set for May 14 (Saturday) at the Henry County Chamber of Commerce in McDonough.

May is Georgia Archaeology Month and the non-profit organization’s program that weekend is entitled “Gone But Not Forgotten: Rediscovering the Civil War Through Archaeology.”

“Discover what archaeologists have learned by conducting fieldwork at forts, battlefields, prisoner of war camps and related sites across Georgia at this fun-filled and engaging affair,” SGA says.

The public is invited.

Other presentations related to the conflict:

-- Challenges of a Civil War battlefield, concentrating on investigations of the battles at Lovejoy Station, south of Atlanta.

-- Rescaca battlefield and the myth of the “hunted out” site. GIS analysis of 126 items found in a survey provides new insights into the nature of the fighting in one part of the North Georgia site.

-- Lessons learned in survey techniques at Camp Lawton, a Confederate POW camp near Millen (demonstration dig, top photo). Last summer, Georgia Southern University and federal and state officials announced the discovery of a trove of artifacts in the undisturbed site.

-- On the trail of Sherman and Johnston: Managing and researching sites on national forest land in northwest Georgia. The sites previously had never been documented using modern techniques. Preliminary results of investigations will be presented.

-- Archaeological sites around Dalton, including the Battle of Dug Gap Mountain. The sites and artifacts “provide opportunities to examine the battle from the soldier’s perspective.”

The program also includes a May 15 (Sunday) visit to nearby Nash Farm Battlefield & Museum and the Veterans Wall of Honor & Historical Military Museum at Heritage Park. The 204-battlefield was the site of the largest cavalry raid in Georgia's history and houses related artifacts.

“We hope the public will get a deeper understanding of archaeology,” GSA President Catherine Long told the Picket.

Many GSA members are professional archaeologists and hobbyists. Others work for governments or cultural resources companies.

The group, which has about 300 active members, concentrates on preservation of historic sites and educating the public about their significance.

It also warns of the dangers of vandalism and relic looting, which results in history “being taken out of context,” said Long.

During tough budgetary times for state and local governments, building partnerships is crucial for helping to preserve sites and promote stewardship, according to the society.

The society’s ArchaeoBus brings educational programs to students and residents across Georgia.

SGA also sponsors local chapters to reach those “interested in archaeology avocationally,” Long said.

The society says seating for the May 14 event is limited. The program is in the Hudgins Room at the chamber, 1709 Highway 20 West, McDonough, Ga. 30253. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. The event includes a benefit silent auction. Registration is $10 for SGA members and $15 for non-members. Lunch is not provided. A donation is requested for Sunday’s field trip to Nash Farm. Call Tammy Herron of SGA at 706-831-3169 for more information, or e-mail her at tfherron@gmail.com.

Registration info | • More about SGA | • Meeting agenda

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

'Battle App' offered at Fredericksburg

Visitors to Civil War battlefields in the Fredericksburg area will have a new guide to help them see the historic sites.

A "Battle App" was introduced Wednesday by the Civil War Trust, state officials and the Fredericksburg Department of Economic Development.

The application uses GPS technology and Apple's iPhone platform. • Article

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

New exhibits on Brice's Crossroads

A ribbon cutting Wednesday celebrates the opening of an expanded Mississippi interpretive and visitor's center that fills in the gaps and paints a broader picture of the connection between fighting at Brice's Crossroads and in Tupelo/Battle of Harrisburg. (Left, Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest) • Article

Sunday, May 1, 2011

First California troops from back East

Nearly 17,000 Californians fought for the Union Army, but the members of California’s first regiment weren’t from California. The regiment had to be raised on the East Coast. • Article