military

August 24, 1942

Max Cleland

A Georgia hero was born in Atlanta on this day in 1942. Joseph Maxwell Cleland — “Max” — grew up in Lithonia. While enrolled at Emory, Cleland joined the Army and went to Vietnam. On April 8, 1968, Capt. Cleland was serving in the 1st Cavalry Division at Khe Sanh when he lost both legs […]

August 15, 1864

First Black Soldiers in Combat in Georgia

It was the first time that African-American soldiers fought in the Civil War in Georgia. On this day in 1864, the 14th United States Colored Troops, mostly former slaves, fought off a Confederate cavalry attack near Dalton. Later, the 44th U.S. Colored troops were protecting the railroad through Dalton. Confederate General John Bell Hood attacked, […]

August 7, 1742

Nathanael Greene

A Revolutionary War hero, born on this day, played a critical role in helping Georgia defeat the British. Nathanael Greene, George Washington’s top lieutenant, was an unlikely warrior. Born in Rhode Island, he was raised a pacifist Quaker. But when the war began, he helped form a militia unit. Greene fought in many of the […]

July 16, 1963

Carl Vinson

Carl Vinson believed public service was an honorable profession, and by the time he retired, he had served in Congress longer than anyone in history. Vinson was born in Baldwin County in 1883. In 1914 he became the youngest member of Congress and served over 50 years, 25 consecutive terms. Vinson became an expert on […]

August 1, 1866

John Ross

He was known as the Cherokee Moses, the man who fought against the removal of Cherokee Indians from north Georgia. Though Chief John Ross was only one-eighth Cherokee, he grew up steeped in Cherokee culture. He was born in 1790 at Turkey Town, on the Coosa River, near present–day Center, Alabama. As a young man, […]

July 22, 1864

Battle of Atlanta

General William Sherman and his army were set to take Atlanta in July, 1864. General Joseph Johnston’s Confederate army had fought them since May. But they could only slow Sherman down, not stop him. The citizens of the Confederacy’s major railroad hub were justifiably worried. So was Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Fearing Atlanta would fall […]

July 13, 1890

John C. Fremont

Abraham Lincoln was not the first Republican presidential candidate. It was Georgia native John Frémont who ran four years before Lincoln. Born in Savannah in 1813, Fremont graduated from the College of Charleston. South Carolina diplomat Joel Poinsett got Fremont appointed to the Army’s topographical engineers, and his life’s work was set. Fremont surveyed and […]

June 30, 1785

James Oglethorpe Died

The colony he founded is now the largest of the United States east of the Mississippi. James Edward Oglethorpe was born in 1696 in London and was educated at Oxford. He gained valuable military experience in the Austrian army fighting the Turks. Oglethorpe chaired a parliamentary committee charged with prison reform. It inspired him and […]

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 […]

June 27, 1864

Battle of Kennesaw Mountain

Since early May 1864 U.S. General William Tecumseh Sherman had been moving south from Tennessee toward Atlanta, with Joe Johnston’s Confederates blocking his path. Every flanking move Sherman made, Johnston countered, frustrating Sherman’s plans. Finally, Sherman’s patience snapped. No more flanking. He would attack Johnston head on and destroy his army. It would be the […]