Media
2013





2011
July 15, 2011 - The Dalton Citizen

Historical marker can ‘make a difference’


Michael Thurmond, left, and W. Todd Groce reveal the historical marker at the Cook-Huff House in Dalton titled "General Cleburne's Proposal to Arm Slaves," as former Dalton State College president Jim Burran, right, looks on. (Matt Hamilton/The Daily Citizen)

On Jan. 2, 1864, Confederate Gen. Patrick Cleburne presented his fellow Southerners with a question about the war they were fighting.

“Was the war about independence? Or was the war being fought primarily to preserve slavery?” said former Georgia labor commissioner Michael Thurmond.

The overwhelming answer Cleburne received was that the war was primarily about preserving slavery, not Southern independence, Thurmond said.

Thurmond gave the keynote speech on Thursday at the unveiling of a new historical marker outside the Cook-Huff House on Selvidge Street in Dalton. Gen. Joseph Johnston, commander of the Confederate Army of Tennessee, kept his headquarters in that house while his army spent the winter of 1863-64 camped in Dalton.

It was there that Cleburne presented his fellow generals with a proposal that is commemorated by the marker. The Confederacy, Cleburne said, was facing a manpower shortage and was losing the war to the numerically superior Union forces. To end that shortage, Cleburne proposed emancipating slaves who volunteered to enlist in the Confederate army and fight for the South.

“The reaction to what Gen. Cleburne proposed was almost universally negative,” said Charlie Crawford, president of the Georgia Battlefields Association. “If you want to sum it up, almost all the generals who opposed it said ‘If we can arm black men and make them free in return for arming them, what was this war for? Why did we secede? What have we been fighting about for the last two and a half years?’ So I say to those who say the Civil War wasn’t about slavery, you’re wrong.”

The text of the marker makes it clear just how abhorrent many of Cleburne’s fellow generals considered the proposal. It says “almost all of the other generals present were strongly opposed.”

“Gen. Patton Anderson said the proposal ‘would shake our governments, both state and Confederate, to their very foundations,’ Gen. William Bate said it was ‘hideous and objectionable,’ and Gen. A.P. Stewart said it was ‘at war with my social, moral and political principles,’” according to the text of the marker.

The marker says Gen. W.H.T. Walker considered the proposal treasonous and informed Confederate States of America President Jefferson Davis, who ordered any mention of it to be suppressed.

More than a year later, as the South’s final defeat grew near, the Confederate Congress finally did approve a bill to draft and arm slaves. But it did not promise them their freedom. The marker says only a handful of slaves were actually drafted and none saw combat. By contrast, nearly 200,000 free blacks fought in the Union forces.

“While some have argued that there were as many as 32,000 black Confederates during the war, most served in non-combat roles as laborers and servants,” said Robert Jenkins, a Dalton attorney and member of Whitfield County’s Civil War Sesquicentennial Society.

Jenkins said it was ironic that the only Georgia battles involving black troops, the 14th and 44th U.S. Colored Troops, took place later in 1864 in Whitfield County, and that many of those troops were former slaves from Northwest Georgia.

Curtis Rivers, director of Dalton’s Emery Center, which preserves the history of the local black community, said he hopes the marker will help make people more aware of Dalton’s history and especially the role black people have played in it.

“Things like this will really make a difference,” Rivers said.

The Cook-Huff House is owned by businessman Kenneth Boring, who said he was delighted to have the marker placed there.

“It’s the ideal location for the marker, and I was happy to help them out however I could,” he said.

The Georgia Historical Society is responsible for the state’s historical markers. W. Todd Groce, the society’s president, said most of the markers erected in the 1950s before the centennial of the Civil War focused on battles and military leaders. He said the society is now trying to focus on some of the non-military stories from the Civil War and to call attention to the roles played by blacks, women and Southerners who remained loyal to the Union.

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Contact: Brett Huske
Company: Dalton Convention & Visitors Bureau
Phone: 706-281-1289
Email:  bhuske@VisitDaltonGA.com

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA ADVISORY
January 24, 2011

16th Annual Chickamauga Civil War Trade Show

 

Dalton, Georgia:  The Dalton-Whitfield Civil War 150th Committee invites you to attend the 16th Annual Chickamauga Civil War Trade Show on Saturday, February 5, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, February 6, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The event will be at the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center in Dalton, Georgia.  Admission is $8 per day and children under 12 are free when accompanied by an adult.  The following events, sponsored by the Dalton-Whitfield Civil War 150th Committee, are scheduled in addition to the show and sale:

 

2:00 pm - Lecture by Dr. Terry Powis, Kennesaw State University, “New Archaeological Studies at Georgia’s Civil War Sites:  Pickett’s Mill”

Trade Center Lecture Hall, open to the public

 

3:30 pm – Lecture by Dr. Richard McMurry, Civil War Historian

“The Common Soldier of the American Civil War”

Trade Center Lecture Hall, open to the public

 

5:00 pm – Concert by the 8th Regiment Band

Trade Center Lecture Hall, open to the public

 

7:00 pm – Civil War Theme Dinner and Concert by the 8th Regiment Band

Trade Center Meeting Room A, $16.99 per person - Cash Bar

For reservations call: 706-272-7676

(Period Dress Optional)

 

Civil War 150th events made possible in part by the Dalton Area CVB and the Bandy Heritage Center, Dalton State College

 

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2010

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October 7, 2010

Marker ensures black soldiers’ role remembered in history

Black people sometimes “get left out of our history,” says Patricia Rivers, of Dalton’s Emery Center, which preserves the history of the local black community.

“Sometimes that has been intentional. Sometimes it has been unintentional,” Rivers said. “But some people may not be aware that there were African-American soldiers who fought in the Civil War. And there are people who did know that they fought but didn’t know that they fought right here in their hometown.”

That is why, she said, it is exciting to have a new historical marker on Fort Hill commemorating the role of black soldiers during the Civil War.

W. Todd Groce, president and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society, says the group chose Fort Hill for the marker because it was the site of the only battle in Georgia in which black soldiers took part.

On Oct. 13, 1864, some 40,000 Confederate soldiers surrounded Dalton and around 1,000 Union troops were stationed at Fort Hill, including the 44th U.S. Colored Troops (USCT).

Union forces at first resisted the Confederates but quickly surrendered.

“This is a part of our history,” said Whitfield County Board of Commissioners Chairman Mike Babb on Wednesday at the unveiling of the marker. “It isn’t a pretty part. They executed some prisoners who were not healthy and could not keep up. They executed an African-American sergeant who refused to tear up the railroad. That’s what they wanted them to do, to tear up the railroad behind Gen. (William Tecumseh) Sherman.”

The 44th was organized from among former slaves in Chattanooga, Rome and Dalton and was commanded by Col. Lewis Johnson, a Prussian immigrant. Johnson’s great-granddaughter, Cheryl Johnson Ludecke, attended the unveiling of the marker.

“I’ve been doing research for seven years on the Civil War and my great-grandfather and getting to know him,” she said. “I’ve been really impressed with everything I’ve read about the USCT soldiers. They were very brave. They started with no military training, and they were quickly thrown into battle. My great-grandfather said they were amazing in battle and fought with such spirit. Even when they were surrounded they still wanted to fight. I hope this will make people more aware of them.”

Jim Burran, chairman of the Dalton-Whitfield 150th Civil War Anniversary Committee, said one reason black soldiers didn’t see more combat in Georgia was that Gen. Sherman opposed black soldiers and wanted to use them only as laborers.

“He was not the most enlightened person, but he was a man of his time,” Burran said.

Babb said Fort Hill is likely to become a tourist attraction since it has also been placed on the Georgia Civil War Heritage Trail and a marker for that will be going up “soon.”

“It will be more of a table top sign. I think this one has 100 words. The heritage trail sign will have 500 words and be more interpretative and place everything in context,” he said.

Former Atlanta mayor and former United Nations ambassador Andrew Young delivered the keynote address. He noted that black soldiers have fought in every war the United States has fought, starting with the Revolutionary War.

About 300 people turned out for the unveiling of the marker, which included a performance of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” by a chorus from Blue Ridge Elementary School.

“We are thrilled with the outpouring of support and encouragement we have received in Dalton,” Groce said.

John Culpepper, city manager of Chickamauga and chairman of the Georgia Civil War Commission, said he believed the turnout indicates there will be strong interest in the 150th anniversary of the war.

“This shows the interest in the Civil War, and it shows the economic opportunity Georgia has. We hope to see people from all over the world come to Georgia and see places like Fort Hill over the next four years,” he said.

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Contact: Brett Huske
Company: Dalton Convention & Visitors Bureau
Phone: 706-281-1289
Email:  bhuske@VisitDaltonGA.com

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA ADVISORY
September 17, 2010

Civil War Expert Signs New Guide to Georgia Sites

 Barry L. Brown, co-author of a new guide to Civil War sites in Georgia, will be at the Freight Depot in Dalton, Georgia to sign copies of his book on Thursday, September 23 from 2 pm to 4 pm.

 Based on a comprehensive survey of sites identified by the Georgia Civil War Commission, Crossroads of Conflict covers 350 historic sites in detail, bringing the experience of the war to life.

 Written by Georgia Civil War Commission staff members Barry L. Brown and Gordon R. Elwell and published by the University of Georgia Press in association with the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the Georgia Humanities Council, the book is arranged geographically, separating the state into nine distinct regions.

For each site, the guide provides a detailed history, driving directions, online resources, and GPS coordinates. The war experiences of all Georgians, not just soldiers, are addressed within the guide’s text, and both color photographs and period images document locations such as battlefields, POW camps, hospitals, houses, buildings, bridges, cemeteries, and monuments.

The guide is part of Georgia’s commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, which began in 1861 and will be marked by many activities throughout 2011.  Dalton and Whitfield County are well represented in the first section of the book.  “The opportunity to host the book signing at the Freight Depot is an appropriate lead into our launch of the sesquicentennial in November”,  Dalton CVB Executive Director Brett Huske said.  “We are pleased to have been selected as on of the book signing sites”.

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Web page for book

http://www.ugapress.org/index.php/books/crossroads_of_conflict/

 

Note to editors: The following images are available for download

Cover image

http://publicity.ugapress.uga.edu/CrossroadsOfConflict.jpg

 

Barry L. Brown (photo credit: Georgia Department of Economic Development)

http://publicity.ugapress.uga.edu/brown.barryl.jpg

 

Gordon R. Elwell (photo credit: courtesy of the author)

http://publicity.ugapress.uga.edu/elwell.gordonr.jpg

 

To request a media review copy of the book, contact:

Regan Huff, Publicity Manager, University of Georgia Press

rhuff@ugapress.uga.edu

706-369-6160

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The Daily Citizen, Dalton, GA

September 30, 2010

New historical marker will highlight role of black soldiers in the Civil War

 

Charles Oliver

charlesoliver@daltoncitizen.com

 

— On Aug. 15, 1864, soldiers in the 14th U.S. Colored Troops helped turn away Confederate troops trying to attack the Western & Atlantic Railroad near Dalton.

 

“That was the only battle in Georgia involving African-American soldiers,” said Robert Jenkins, a member of the Dalton-Whitfield 150th Civil War Anniversary Committee.

 

On Oct. 13, 1864, Confederate soldiers surrounded Dalton and forced the surrender of Union troops stationed there at Fort Hill, including the 44th U.S. Colored Troops.

 

“The black troops, by and large, did not want to surrender. They knew that capture for them  would mean death or beatings or at the very least being returned to slavery,” said Jenkins. “But they were commanded by white officers. And for the white officers, surrender could lead to a pardon or being paroled and allowed to return to their lines. At worst, they would be sent to a prison. That certainly would not have been pleasant. But on the whole, their options were much better than what the black troops faced.”

 

On Wednesday, Oct. 6, the Georgia Historical Society will commemorate the role of black soldiers in the Civil War by erecting a new historical marker at Fort Hill. The event is part of the state’s celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

 

“I felt so good when I learned this is happening,” said Eugene Miller, owner of Miller Brothers Rib Shack about the new marker. “We need to know what happened in our community of Dalton. This is something that a lot of people in Dalton don’t know about, and we need to expose that to the community.”

 

Local officials hope the marker will also aid in their efforts to market the community.

 

“This is another part of Dalton’s story during the Civil War. It is a story the marker will tell, and it will give us one more story, one more element we can market to visitors,” said Brett Huske, executive director of the Dalton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

 

Huske said the marker can also be tied in with the Emery Center, which preserves the history of Dalton’s black community.

 

“It’s also an important story in the history of our African-American community, and it is one that needs to be recognized accordingly,” Huske said.

 

The ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. with welcomes from Todd Groce of the Georgia Historical Society, Whitfield County Board of Commissioners Chairman Mike Babb and Dalton Board of Education member Tulley Johnson. The Blue Ridge Elementary School’s chorus will sing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

 

Then former U.N. ambassador and Atlanta mayor Andrew Young will deliver the keynote address.

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Contact: Brett Huske
Company: Dalton Convention & Visitors Bureau
Phone: 706-281-1289
Email:  bhuske@VisitDaltonGA.com

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA ADVISORY
October 21, 2010

Sesquicentennial Dalton

www.dalton150th.com  

 

 

November 2010

 

Friday November 12, 2010 kicks off the Sesquicentennial commemoration of the Civil War in Dalton, Georgia with an open house from 5 pm- 8pm at Blunt House, Hamilton House and History Center.  The celebration continues with a Veterans Day Parade on Saturday, November 13, 2010 at 10 am and 12 noon; the Hamilton House Dedication Ceremony and open house until 6 pm; a Spirit Walk at the West Hill Cemetery at 3 pm; and Dr. John Fowler will give a lecture at the Dalton Freight Depot on the 1860 Presidential Election at 7 pm.  Finishing the celebration will be the last scheduled Spirit Walk at West Hill Cemetery on Sunday, November 14, 2010 at 3 pm. 

Civil War Brochure

Chattanooga News Free Press

Submission for Sept. 11th edition

 

 

17th Annual Civil War Reenactment

 

Kick off the fall season by attending the 17th Annual Battle of Tunnel Hill Civil War Reenactment on Saturday and Sunday September 11th and 12th, 9am – 4pm both days.  The grounds around the historic Clibsy Austin House in Tunnel Hill, Georgia, become reflective of life during the Civil War in the 1860’s.  The skirmishes that took place are played out on the battleground between the Confederate and Union camps at 2:00pm each day.  Admission is $5.00 adults, $3.00 children 3-12,  children under three are free.  For more information, visit www.TunnelHillHeritageCenter.com or call 706-876-1571.
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June 13, 2010

A Civil War Driving Tour of Dalton-Whitfield County awarded NACO Achievement Award

(Dalton, GA) – The program, A Civil War Driving Tour of Dalton-Whitfield County, was recently awarded the NACo (National Association of Counties) Achievement Award.  Many of the 3,000 counties across the country submit applications, few are chosen.  “It feels good to be a winner” stated County Administrator Bob McLeod.  “Commissioner Mike Cowan and I are invited to attend the Award Ceremony during the upcoming annual conference.”  Also, an award certificate has been issued; a summary of the program will be included in the NACO Model Programs database; and highlights of the program will be presented in an upcoming issue of County News, Focus on Achievement.

 

This project was the outcome of a real team effort involving many people:  The County provided seed money and leadership; Kathryn Sellers provided project coordination and brought together a number of contributing individuals;  Dr. Jim Burran did the research and wrote the narrative booklet, assembled pictures, and became the project backbone; Jess Hansen, an employee with Whitfield County, prepared many variations of the foldout driving map that became part of the booklet;  Gary Brown, Whitfield County Public Works, worked on and produced the road signs; several  people came together to record the CD;  The Convention & Visitors Bureau staff arranged for publication of the booklets;  the Tunnel Hill Heritage Center staff assembled the booklets, and others assisted in various stages of the project.

 

The Civil War Driving Tour of Dalton-Whitfield County program consist of a booklet, a map, and a CD to play in your car as it takes you on a tour of historic Civil War sites throughout Dalton and Whitfield County.  These driving tours are available for purchase at several merchant locations in Historic Downtown Dalton, the Dalton Freight Depot Visitor Center and the Tunnel Hill Heritage Center in Tunnel Hill, Georgia.  For more information or to order by mail please call 706-270-9960.

Contact: Kay Phillips
Company: Dalton Convention & Visitors Bureau
Phone: 706-876-1620
Cell: 706-876-1620
Email:  kphillips@VisitDaltonGA.com

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA ADVISORY

June 13, 2010

A Civil War Driving Tour of Dalton-Whitfield County awarded NACO Achievement Award


(Dalton, GA) – The program, A Civil War Driving Tour of Dalton-Whitfield County, was recently awarded the NACo (National Association of Counties) Achievement Award.  Many of the 3,000 counties across the country submit applications, few are chosen.  “It feels good to be a winner” stated County Administrator Bob McLeod.  “Commissioner Mike Cowan and I are invited to attend the Award Ceremony during the upcoming annual conference.”  Also, an award certificate has been issued; a summary of the program will be included in the NACO Model Programs database; and highlights of the program will be presented in an upcoming issue of County News, Focus on Achievement.

 

This project was the outcome of a real team effort involving many people:  The County provided seed money and leadership; Kathryn Sellers provided project coordination and brought together a number of contributing individuals;  Dr. Jim Burran did the research and wrote the narrative booklet, assembled pictures, and became the project backbone; Jess Hansen, an employee with Whitfield County, prepared many variations of the foldout driving map that became part of the booklet;  Gary Brown, Whitfield County Public Works, worked on and produced the road signs; several  people came together to record the CD;  The Convention & Visitors Bureau staff arranged for publication of the booklets;  the Tunnel Hill Heritage Center staff assembled the booklets, and others assisted in various stages of the project.

 

The Civil War Driving Tour of Dalton-Whitfield County program consist of a booklet, a map, and a CD to play in your car as it takes you on a tour of historic Civil War sites throughout Dalton and Whitfield County.  These driving tours are available for purchase at several merchant locations in Historic Downtown Dalton, the Dalton Freight Depot Visitor Center and the Tunnel Hill Heritage Center in Tunnel Hill, Georgia.  For more information or to order by mail please call 706-270-9960.

 

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