Fan Photo Friday

Submit your Georgia photos for the chance to be featured:

Brasstown Valley Resort in Young Harris, GA. Submitted by Priscilla Camp‎ via Facebook.

Brasstown Valley Resort in Young Harris, GA. Submitted by Priscilla Camp‎ via Facebook.

Nannygoat Beach on Sapelo Island. Photo by @danielvbaxter via Instagram.

Nannygoat Beach on Sapelo Island. Photo by @danielvbaxter via Instagram.

Georgia National Fair in Perry. Photo by @Sarah_M_Cook via Twitter.

Georgia National Fair in Perry. Photo by @Sarah_M_Cook via Twitter.

Rome, Georgia. Photo by Cosmonaut via Flickr.

Rome, Georgia. Photo by Cosmonaut via Flickr.

6 Picks for Oakland Cemetery’s Vintage Street Fest

On Sunday, Oct. 5, Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery turns back the clock to the Victorian era at the 35th annual Sunday In the Park festival. From noon to 6 p.m., the city’s oldest cemetery will be bustling with music, dancing and more, all with Victorian flair!

VarsityOf course, no festival is complete without delicious fare, and Sunday In the Park will feature food trucks to suit every fancy. Atlanta establishments like The Varsity and Six Feet Under will be dishing up classics alongside newcomers Pallookaville, Mighty Meatballs and W.O.W! After a hearty meal, cool down with a unique frozen treat from Al A Carte Frozen Bananas.

More than 10 bands will perform throughout the day, alongside storytellers, dancers and street performers. Here’s our roundup of the must-do activities during this one-of-a-kind Sunday funday:

Peek inside Oakland’s mausoleums

Only at Sunday In the Park are Oakland Cemetery’s intricate mausoleums unsealed and opened to the public. Visit the vaults and marvel at the craftsmanship that went into creating the final resting place for some of Atlanta’s sons and daughters.

Make a toast at the Teddy Bear Tea

Gather the kiddos for storytelling and a spot of tea with Miss Sara Dipp-A-Tea. The Teddy Bear Tea is a Sunday In the Park tradition not to be missed!

costumesHave an excuse to wear petticoats

Channel your inner Southern belle or bust out your steampunk threads and get in on the fun during the Victorian costume contest at Lion Square. All iterations of Victorian garb are welcome!

 

 

Tour like a Victorian

It’s not every day that you can visit a Victorian cemetery from atop a carriage. Get a one-of-a-kind view of Oakland’s historic grounds on a horse-drawn carriage ride that evokes days gone by.

SIP Kids Area_SIPShow off your skills

Professional and amateur shutterbugs alike can show their best shots at this exhibition. Top spots in the color and black-and-white categories win $100 gift cards to Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

Give the gift of green

Oakland’s plant sale will have heirloom roses, garden mums, Don Shadow’s Rose of Sharon and many more specimens ready to take home. And for those of you with two brown thumbs, remember that plants are always a lovely gift!

All Sunday In the Park proceeds benefit the Historic Oakland Foundation, which maintains Oakland Cemetery in partnership with the City of Atlanta. For more details, visit www.oaklandcemetery.com.

Fan Photo Friday

Submit your Georgia photos for the chance to be featured:

Savannah,  Georgia. Photo by Tasnia Tarannum Malek‎. Submitted via Facebook.

Savannah, Georgia. Photo by Tasnia Tarannum Malek‎. Submitted via Facebook.

Providence Canyon in Lumpkin, Georgia. Photo by Debbie Blankenship. Submitted via Flickr.

Providence Canyon in Lumpkin, Georgia. Photo by Debbie Blankenship. Submitted via Flickr.

Sunflowers in north Georgia. Photo by @pam_little. Submitted via Twitter.

Sunflowers in north Georgia. Photo by @pam_little. Submitted via Twitter.

Atlanta. Photo by @rita_josephine. Submtited via Instagram.

Atlanta. Photo by @rita_josephine. Submtited via Instagram.

Civil War Wednesday: Lemuel Grant

Captain Lemuel P. Grant, Courtesy Atlanta Preservation Center

Captain Lemuel P. Grant, Courtesy Atlanta Preservation Center

Lemuel P. Grant, a Maine native, who toiled on the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad as a teenager, moved to Georgia to gain employment in the burgeoning railroad industry. He first worked as a construction engineer on the Georgia Railroad, before his promotion to chief engineer on the Atlanta & La Grange Railroad – later renamed the Atlanta & West Point. When the clouds of war began rolling across the horizon, Grant served as president of the Southern Pacific Railroad of Texas, before resigning to receive a commission as a captain in the Confederate Engineer Department.

With the fall of Vicksburg on July 4, 1863, Confederate officials increasing concern over the safety of Atlanta prompted action; Colonel Jeremy Gilmer, head of the Confederate Engineer Bureau, turned to Grant. Gilmer addressed his letter of July 16, 1863 to Grant, asking him to “…examine carefully with a view to a proper system of defense, the approaches to, and vicinity of Atlanta.” The engineer chief offered instruction for defending the city, suggesting the occupation of “…the favorable points in the circuit around the place (far enough from the town to prevent the enemy from coming within bombarding distance), by suitable detached works.”[1]

Grant map of Atlanta Defenses, Lemuel P. Grant papers, MSS 100, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.

Grant map of Atlanta Defenses, Lemuel P. Grant papers, MSS 100, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.

After surveying the grounds around the city, Grant dispatched Gilmer in early August. “The question of defensive works around Atlanta is somewhat embarrassing. To make them effective will require a cordon of enclosed works within supporting distance of each other. The line will be between 10 and 12 miles…the points which must be occupied will be, perhaps, 12 to 15 in number, involving an expenditure second only to the defense of Richmond.”[2]

Work on the line of earthworks continued throughout the summer and fall, allowing Grant, on November 1, 1863, to enter his office in the Lynch Building at the corner of Whitehall and Alabama Streets, and update Gilmer on his progress. “The defenses of Atlanta consist of redoubts and rifle pits…generally intended for five guns each. The contour of the eminences…is such…redoubts seemed to me to be the most economical plan. Of these, we have 17…4 unfinished…length of the line… 7 ½ miles, averaging 1 ¼ miles from the center of the city.[3]

Gilmer visited Atlanta in December, inspected Grant’s work, gave his stamp of approval on the system of defenses, and authorized additional funding to augment the series of earthworks and fortifications. In March 1864, General Joseph E. Johnston left his winter headquarters in Dalton to examine Grant’s design. Informed via dispatch of Johnston’s planned visit, Gant agreed to guide the Army of Tennessee’s chieftain on a tour of the various fortifications.

Once the Atlanta Campaign began, and the armies drew closer to Atlanta, Johnston sent Lieutenant Colonel S.W. Presstman to assist Grant in extending the line of fortifications, especially in the northwestern quadrant of the city. The additional earthworks stretched the works to 12 miles in length, and enabled Johnston to assert, “We, if beaten, had a place of refuge in Atlanta too strong to be assaulted and too extensive to be invested.”[4]

Indeed, Grant executed his assignment very well! Captain Orlando Poe, Major General William T. Sherman’s engineer officer, reported on reconnaissance of the Confederate works after the July 22, 1864 Battle of Atlanta, noting, “…it was decided that no attempt at assault should be made upon that part of the enemy’s line which we could see.”[5]

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Federal troops at Fort Walker after the fall of Atlanta, Orlando Poe Collection, Special Collections, USMA Library

With the loss of his last railroad supply line after the Battle of Jonesboro, General John Bell Hood evacuated Atlanta. Grant continued to serve out the war, assisting in establishing defense systems in Augusta and other locales during Sherman’s March to the Sea. After the war, he returned to Atlanta, where he served in several elected positions, and as the head of the Atlanta and West Point Railroad, before his death on January 11, 1893.

The Columbus Enquirer, reported on his passing in their January 12 edition, noting Grant had, “…in every way possible worked for Atlanta’s prosperity.” The marker at his grave site carries Grant’s final wish for “…Grant Park to be his monument.” However, perhaps an equally fitting tribute rests inside his beloved park. Fort Walker – named in memory of Major General W.H.T. Walker, killed during the Battle of Atlanta – represents one of the last, and best-preserved examples of Grant’s efforts to defend Atlanta.

[1] Jeremy Gilmer to L.P. Grant, July 16, 1863, Lemuel P. Grant Papers, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.

[2] Allen P. Julian, “Atlanta’s Defenses,” Civil War Times Illustrated, 1964, 24.

[3] Ibid.

[4] U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, reprint 1899 ed. Series I 38, pt. 3 (Harrisburg, PA: National Historical Society, 1971), 619.

[5] O.R., 38, pt. 1, 132.

 

imageMichael K. Shaffer is a Civil War historian, author, newspaper columnist, and lecturer. He can be contacted at: www.civilwarhistorian.net.

Georgia Fall Bucket List

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  1. Admire the fall foliage at Georgia State Parks: A blanket of red, orange and yellow covers Georgia each fall and there is no better place to take it all than at a Georgia State Park. Check out the Top 15 Georgia State Parks for Peak Color and plan your autumn visit. Don’t forget to keep an eye on Georgia State Park’s Leaf Watch to make sure you visit when fall color is at its peak.
  2. Cheer on your favorite football team: ‘Tis the season for tailgating! Whether you’re a Bulldog, Yellow Jacket, Falcon or an Eagle – fall is the perfect time to sport your team colors and cheer on your favorite team!
  3. Find the perfect pumpkin at a Georgia patch: Pile the whole family in the car for a pumpkin pickin’ adventure! Georgia is full of fantastic farms that produce some of the prettiest pumpkins you’ve ever seen. Click here to find a pumpkin patch near you.
  4. Get lost in a corn maze: Combine #3 & #4 for the best fall day ever! There are top-notch corn mazes all across the state each bearing a unique design. Click here to find your way to amazing family fun.
  5. Rent a cabin for the weekend: Take advantage of the cooler temperatures by cuddling up in a cabin with the ones you love! Trust us, a cozy cabin will be exactly what you need after a day full of leaf peeping, corn mazin’, and pumpkin picking! Search Georgia’s cabin rentals here.
  6. Scare up some fun at a haunted house: Be prepared to face your fears at one of Georgia’s famous haunted houses. Georgia is home to such famous haunted houses as Netherworld & Haunted Cavern. Learn more about Georgia’s haunted houses here.
  7. Pick apples in northwest Georgia: Autumn is apple season in Georgia and several Georgia farms offer U-Pick apples during the fall season! Pick a bushel full of apples and impress your friends with fresh apple pie, apple cider, apple cobbler (we could go on). Click here to learn more about apple picking in Georgia.