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Saturday, November 19, 2011

The One Hundred Fiftieth Anniversary

"The Civil War was really one of those watershed things.
There was a huge chasm between the beginning and the end of the war. The nation had come face-to-face with a dreadful tragedy... And yet that's what made us a nation. Before the war, people had a theoretical notion of having a country, but when the war was over, on both sides they knew they had a country. They'd been there. They had walked its hills and tramped its roads... They knew the effort that they had expended and their dead friends had expended to preserve it. It did that. The war made their country an actuality."
Shelby Foote
"What a war! Everything we are or will be goes right back to that period. It decided once and for all which way we were going, and we've gone"  
 Shelby Foote author of  The Civil War

From Fort Sumter to Appomattox the war is not forgotten here in the Deep South. It changed America and ended the heinous practice of slavery across the entire country . It also changed the economy from being based in agriculture to a more industrialized one.
  Joe and I live right in the path of General Sherman's "March to the Sea." We go to sleep to the sound of trains changing tracks almost every night at our old house. Those very tracks were pulled up, heated, and twisted into "bowties" by his troops in an effort to stop supplies getting to the Confederate troops.
"We cannot change the hearts of the people of the South, but we can make war so terrible that they will realize the fact that however brave and gallant and devoted to their country still they are mortal and should exhaust all peaceful remedies before they fly to war."
        - William Tecumseh Sherman

 General Sherman stayed at the Brown House, in Sandersville, and used it as his headquarters while he was in the county. When he left, after two days, he had the courthouse and jail burned. The county was fortunate in many ways as he burned much in his path. One reason why we have no records on our old house is because we believe they were burned in this Civil War fire.

Tremendous numbers of lives were lost in this war where brothers sometimes fought each other. Some five to six hundred thousand lives lost. Our cemeteries, in Georgia, are filled with Confederate graves like the first image above.

Joe and I firmly believe history must be studied and learned so that it is not repeated.  We are still students of history.
"I can tell you who lost it — the South lost the war. But I'm not sure anybody won that war. It's a tragedy... On the face of it, the North won the war. But the bill for winning it was huge in human values, not to mention human lives.
I think that when the South was defeated to the extent that it was that the whole nation lost something when they lost that civilization, despite the enormous stain and sin of slavery". Shelby Foote

may joy and peace surround you

Sources: an essay on The Civil War on PBS and the New Georgia Encyclopedia 


  1. Enjoyed the post. as a genealogist, I hate how courthouses were burned.
    We had a small fight in our hometown and we are working on commerating it for 2014.

  2. Very interesting post, Olive. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiing. Linda

  3. Hi Olive! :) I just had to say I LOVE the darling pic of you and your hubby on your blog! Have a wonderful weekend~ Rachel

  4. Mr. Foote says it better than anybody could. It's a time in history that perhaps we'd like to forget, but have to remember to avoid making the same mistake twice. It can't be happened. Along with being a watershed moment in time...a tremendous amount of tears were shed as well.
    P.S. I'll tell you someday what I think about General Sherman.

  5. Wonderful post!
    I love the old buildings here in the South!
    They should all be saved for future generations to enjoy.

  6. Olive - that was such a poignant post. After every war has ended it's claimed to be the war that ends all wars - but it never is.

  7. Hi Olive. I very much enjoyed the history lesson today. It must have been terrible, with all those lives lost and, quite often, brothers fighting brothers. We can't really begin to imagine it. I loved the quotes as well today.

  8. Olive, I just toured Gettysburg , about 3 weeks ago. I felt as if I were just learning of the civil war. My daughter and I visited a couple plantations , two years ago, learned more about Sherman's march. It was a tragic time in our nation.I pray that will never happen again. Susie

  9. Olive, thanks for a peek back at our country's history. The South has such wonderful historical homes, markers, forts, etc that tell the tales from this divisive war. In war it never seems like there is a clear victory, but there is always heartache and loss. Thanks for reminding us. Ann

  10. Just caught up on your blog, Olive!
    And I want to see your new profile picture!
    Have a great week!

  11. Great post Olive! Hope you have a wonderful week!

  12. Very interesting post, Olive. My aunt and uncle own an antebellum home in Roswell, GA named Mimosa Hall. It was used as a hospital during the Civil War. They used to host tours of it during the spring/summer. Young ladies from the area were present and dressed in full antebellum finery. I've always been so glad that it escaped Sherman's March.

  13. Superb post! And wonderful history lesson. I agree with what Molly said...after every war they claim it to be the war that ends all wars, but it never is. Will humans ever really learn? Power can be a dangerous aphrodisiac. Very interesting post.


I adore your comments. They are like finding unexpected chocolates. olive