Thursday, February 12, 2009

History comes alive

Today we walked down to get the mail and were surprised to find two fellas with metal detectors and worn canvas and leather pouches dangling from their persons emerging from next to this tree stump. The tree was over 200 years old - as told by one of these guys and also my landlord when it suddenly snapped like a twig and fell across our drive just before we moved in.

One of the gentleman was the historian for a nearby county, the other his buddy who is a research assistant for Georgia Civil War Research. The latter had left many business cards and notes asking permission to ramble around and further trace the raid of one General Kilpatrick, Union soldier, on August 20, 1864. General K's cavalry had gone through nearby Jonesboro, destroying the train tracks, cotton warehouses and stores, and after a battle on a farm ended up thundering down the road we live on, coming quite far in one day.
It is written in diaries they had to abandon the big Confederate howitzer they had captured from the middle of a battlefield, at great personal risk, in nearby Big Cotton Indian Creek as there was no bridge and it was too heavy to pull it across by ropes over the water as they did their other wagons. They lost over 60 pack animals there. (Our landlord took a metal detector to try and find it but they had just moved the bridge over and he thinks they covered over the cannon - he tried to find it with his metal detector but there was too much rebar.)
They came down a ways to our land and rather bashed their way through a contingent of informal Confederate soldiers - local boys and older men left behind, killing some, and burned the store and mill on our South River and crossed the bridge, burning it behind them. The entrance to the bridge runs right off our drive and we walk up on it nearly every day and stand in awe, imagining.

The historians had visited the plantation house foundation I pictured earlier on my blog and found a reed from an old harmonica, a handcarved silver buckle from a shoe, a stirrup, and some wonderful handmade nails with flat sides. On our second walk they were gone but Jing photographed the stump of the fallen tree that shaded the old plantation house, already a centruy old then.


  1. I almost always learn something new when I read your journaling! Great job again!

  2. Interesting visit from these gentlemen.

  3. I always learn something new too, when I stop by. And it's always fun and interesting to read your blog. Thank you for the history lesson!

  4. Wow what an exciting visit!! I love reading all about all of your adventures. The best part though is the girls get to LIVE their history lessons, that is just sooo cool!

  5. How neat! I really need to learn more about the history of our property too.. George Washington surveyed out entire county.. so I could say he was here in my yard then! I see people with metal detector out in fields looking for civil war stuff all the time.. how neat though to live on an old far as I know we are the first ever house built on our's an old hunting preserve.. but I have found some neat old whiskey bottles...and carefully dug them up and washed them only to have hubby THROW THEM AWAY!!!! oh well!!