Civil War

February 8, 1917

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Established

Two things stood between U.S. General William Sherman and Atlanta in the spring of 1864: Kennesaw Mountain and Confederate General Joseph Johnston’s Army of Tennessee. Johnston, fighting a defensive campaign, slowed and frustrated Sherman as he tried to move south. Twenty miles northwest of Atlanta, Johnston set his army in a strong line along Kennesaw […]

March 31, 1911

Alfred Iverson, Jr.

He captured the highest-ranking Union officer taken prisoner during the Civil War. Alfred Iverson, Jr., was born in 1829 in Clinton, Georgia, in Jones County. He was just 17 when he joined his father’s volunteer cavalry regiment in the Mexican War. Like so many, when his native state seceded, Iverson traded stars and stripes for […]

August 14, 1900

Dutchy — Confederate Monument in Elberton

On August 14, 1900, cloaked in darkness, a group of Elberton citizens toppled the town’s Civil War monument. The next day, they buried it. These were not anti–Confederate activists. On the contrary, Elberton, like many Southern towns in the 1890s, wanted to honor the lost cause. It also wanted to promote its new granite industry […]

November 30, 1894

Joseph E. Brown

He was Georgia’s Civil War governor who opposed almost every Confederate policy. Joseph Emerson Brown was born in South Carolina in 1821 and was raised in north Georgia. He rode a successful legal career all the way to the governorship in 1859. Brown championed the common man and for the rest of his life he […]

May 1, 1886

Jefferson Davis

It was a comeback tour for the man who had been Confederate president. Jefferson Davis lived quietly at his Mississippi home in the decades after the Civil War. But in 1886, he laid the cornerstone for a Confederate memorial in Montgomery, Alabama. Henry Grady, the enterprising editor of the Atlanta Constitution, invited Davis to Atlanta […]

November 9, 1886

John B. Gordon

War can make or break a man. The Civil War made John Brown Gordon. Born in Upson County in 1832, he was managing his father’s coalmines in northwest Georgia when the war began. Although he lacked any military experience, Gordon was elected captain of the Raccoon Roughs, a company of mountain men, and he rose […]

January 16, 1871

Jefferson Franklin Long

Georgia’s first African-American congressman was born a slave. Jefferson Franklin Long was born in Alabama in 1836. His master sold him to a man in Macon. Long taught himself to read and write while setting type for the Macon newspaper. Long attended Macon’s African Methodist Episcopal Church and was deeply influenced by Henry McNeal Turner, […]

June 23, 1865

Stand Watie

He was the highest-ranking Native American to fight for the Confederacy, but years before the Civil War, Stand Watie was nearly assassinated by fellow Cherokees for what they saw as betrayal. Watie was born near New Echota, in Georgia, in 1806. That’s the same place where he and three other Cherokees signed the Treaty of […]

November 10, 1865

Henry Wirz

He is the only person in the United States ever to be executed for war crimes. Hartmann Heinrich Wirz –“Henry”—was born in Switzerland in 1823. He was practicing medicine in Louisiana when the Civil War began. Wirz was eventually assigned to the staff of General John Winder, who was in charge of Confederate prisoner of […]

April 16, 1865

Columbus Captured in the Civil War

Columbus was one of the South’s most important manufacturing centers before the Civil War. Georgia’s third largest city lay out of the U.S. Army’s path until Easter Sunday, 1865, a week after General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. U.S. General James Wilson and his cavalry—13,500 strong—launched a night attack that captured the city and more than […]