Dawson was a Unionist stronghold troubled by guerrilla groups like McCallum's Scouts, a collection of outlaws, renegades, and deserters. Food production suffered, and wide-scale hunger was commonplace. Returning Southern soldiers hunted down the renegades, resulting in feuds that continued for decades.
Jefferson Davis began his flight through Georgia along the southern edge of this area. He was accompanied by two separate treasures: the Confederacy treasury and deposits of several Richmond banks.
BANKS COUNTY (Homer)
The historic Banks County Courthouse was completed in 1863, reportedly paid for with sixty-six hundred dollars in Confederated currency.
BARROW COUNTY (Winder)
The final destruction by Sherman's cavalry during the Atlanta campaign occurred on August 3, 1864, five miles northwest of Winder at King's Tanyard. Two brigades that escaped from Sunshine Church in Jones County intended to resupply in Athens but turned west when they encountered resistance. One brigade reached Federal lines, but troopers under Colonel Horace Capron were surprised by Confederate cavalry. Capron lost 430 men to the Southerners; he and 6 men reached Sherman on foot. The site is just southeast of the intersection of GA 11 and County Line-Auburn Road.
A small granite monument honoring the unknown Confederate dead stands at Triangle Park in Rosehill Cemetery. One Confederate killed at Jug Tavern was reburied here in 1907. Extensive research initiated by a relative in 1971 identified the man as Martin Van Buren Parkhurst of Kentucky. He had been purposefully buried near the spring of a local Unionist.
Rockwell Universalist Church (1839; present picturesque building 1881) was the site of a Confederate training camp. East side of GA 53 North at Rockwell Church Road.
Bethlehem United Methodist Church (1790; present building 1949) was a mustering spot for area troops, and the local women sewed clothing for the soldiers at an arbored campground. South of Winder on GA 11, then east on GA 324 and right at the next two crossroads to the church.
ELBERT COUNTY (Elberton)
Local women donated their silk dresses to Richmond for use in the creation of an observation balloon. Known as "the Granite Capital of the World", Elberton was the manufacturing center for many Confederate monuments found in Georgia and throughout the South. The story of the city's first monument is told in the Granite Museum. Created by Arthur Beter, an immigrant who had never seen a Confederate soldier, the eight-foot statue was erected in 1898 in Sutton Square. The local people thought the squatty mustachioed figure clad in a Union overcoat and cap looked like a Yankee and nicknamed it "Dutchy". It lasted only twenty-five months (longer than Peter, who soon departed). On August 14, 1900, a mob knocked Dutchy from his pedestal (an empty whisky barrel near the site led some to claim Dutchy had gotten drunk and fallen off). The rabble buried "him" on the square, and a more conventional Confederate figure was created and placed on the pedestal. When Dutchy was exhumed in 1982, the red clay was removed by a run through a car wash, and the defamed monument found a home in the museum, where it is proudly displayed. Elberton Granite Museum is on GA 17-GA 72 (College Avenue) in Elberton, PO Box 640, 1 Granite Plaza, Elberton, GA 30635 (7060283-2551. An old, apparently forgotten, Confederate cemetery can be found along the Bartram Trail just west of the Powerhouse visitors center at Clark Hill Dam, just off U.S. 221.
FRANKLIN COUNTY (Carnesville)
Helen Longstreet, widow of General James Longstreet, attended the dedication of this monument in 1910. The soldier statue has lost its rifle and faces the courthouse, his back to the community.
On October 12, 1864 , Confederate cavalry turned back Federal troopers in a sharp clash known as the battle of Narrows (or the battle of Currahee, a nearby mountain). The victory saved a ripe harvest from destruction.
In response to Governor Joseph Brown's request, blacksmith Edwin Williams set to work on Sautee Creek manufacturing pikes, a stop-gap weapon consisting of a long wooden staff with a bayonet attached. Stored in warehouses in Augusta and Charleston, many were sent home by Federal occupiers as unique souvenirs. Joe Brown pikes are prized exhibits in Georgia's Confederate museums.
HALL COUNTY (Gainesville)
General James Longstreet (1821-1904), one of Lee's finest commanders, was born in Augusta and made his last home in Gainesville. Called by Lee "My Old Warhorse", Longstreet served at First Manassas, Seven Days, Second Manassas, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg and was the hero in his native Georgia at Chickamauga. Severely wounded in the Wilderness, he returned for Petersburg and Appomattox. President Ulysses Grant, whose wife was Longstreet's cousin, appointed him to a variety of civil jobs, including that of superintendent of revenue and postmaster at Gainesville, where he also ran a hotel, planted a vineyard, and wrote his memoirs, From Manassas to Appomattox. Following Lee's death, Virginia Generals conspired to blame Longstreet for the defeat at Gettysburg and the subsequent loss of the war. His real sin, however, was joining the Republican Party, advocating suffrage for blacks, and leading them against a postwar New Orleans insurrection by whites.
Longstreet's grave is in Alta Vista Cemetery at North Avenue and Fourth, off Jesse Jewell Parkway. A large stone monument, with crossed U.S. and Confederate flags, lists his extensive service for both nations. Buried beside him is his first wife, Marie Louise, who died here in 1889. During the war they lost four children to disease. Longstreet's second wife, Helen Dortch (when they married she was thirty-four, he was seventy six), gained fame during World War II by working in a bomber factory in Marietta at the age of eighty-one. She died May 3, 1962 in Milledgeville and is buried at Westview Cemetery in Atlanta.
Also buried here are two Georgia governors who served as Confederate officers. James Milton Smith was a delegate to the Confederate Congress, and Allen Daniel Candler compiled Georgia's Confederate records.
A small stone monument on Park Hill Drive marks the site of Longstreet's original homeplace and vineyards. Part of Longstreet's Piedmont Hotel, long thought destroyed, has been identified on Maple Street, and there are plans to restore it. Woodrow Wilson worked on his doctoral thesis there, and renowned Georgia newsman Henry Grady helped Longstreet write his memoirs. The Longstreet Society has prepared a tour of six sites associated with the general, including Helen's house, where the couple probably lived, at 746 Green Street, and the old post office, replaced by a federal courthouse. P.O. Box 191, Gainesville, GA 30503.
The Georgia Mountains Museum, has exhibits concerning Longstreet. 311 Green Street, Gainesville, GA 30501 770-536-0889 or 770-534-6080.
A statue fondly called "Old Joe" was erected to veterans of the Cause on June 7, 1909, on the public square at Washington and Main Streets. A devastating tornado in April 1936 sent a statue of Colonel C.C. Sanders crashing to the ground; the figure was seated in a chair supported by eight-foot-high columns. Residents are attempting to round up all the pieces and put Colonel Sanders together again.
On the third floor of the federal courthouse at 121 Spring Street Southeast (the former post office) is a 1936 WPA mural title Morgan's Raiders.
Redwine Church (1845). The Seventeenth Georgia of Colquitt's Brigade was one of the most famous units in the Confederate army. It had been organized here in 1861. The Seventeenth fought with distinction in every campaign of the Army of Northern Virginia and surrendered with Johnston in North Carolina. A stone monument honoring the men of the brigade is on the church grounds. Local soldiers mustered here for service in the war. Redwine Methodist Church south of Gainesville on Poplar Springs Road (SR 332).
HART COUNTY (Hartwell)
Hart County's Confederate monument dedicated in 1908 stands beside the courthouse.
JACKSON COUNTY (Commerce)
A large marble cenotaph honoring the men and women of the Confederacy was dedicated April 26, 1941, beside the railroad on U.S. 41 in Spencer Park.
JACKSON COUNTY (Jefferson)
A Confederate monument dedicated on Confederate Memorial Day 1911 stands on a traffic island in front of the Crawford Long Museum on GA 15. The stone base was originally topped by a statue of a soldier, but it was accidentally knocked off during the unveiling of the adjacent Crawford Long Monument in 1940 and replaced with a Maltese cross. The head of the statue and other pieces remain in the possession of local citizens.
LUMPKIN COUNTY (Dahlonega)
The U.S. Mint established here in 1837 was seized by the Confederates in 1861. Finding that minting coins was too expensive, government officials sent $23,716 in gold and silver bullion to the Confederate Treasury. By the end of the war the machinery was so damaged that the mint was closed and the property donated to North Georgia College. The building burned in 1878, and the site is occupied by the Price Memorial Building, its steeple gilded in Dahlonega gold.
STEPHENS COUNTY (Toccoa)
A Confederate monument was unveiled on the courthouse grounds in 1922.
UNION COUNTY (Blairsville)
Georgia's most recent Civil War monument and one of the most unusual was unveiled on November 11, 1995, in Blairsville. The seventeen-foot-tall black granite memorial is divided into seven steps, each inscribed with the names of citizens killed in a war, including Native Americans from battles with settlers. Of the 158 total, 98 were Confederate and 3 Federal, although many men enlisted in the Union army in nearby Tennessee. The inscription is from Shakespeare's Henry V: "But we...shall be remembered, we few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother".