Orrsville, Georgia


I passed through Orrsville or what I thought was Orrsville going from Hall County to Forsyth County. Orrsville is in Gwinnett and I became interested when the Sugar Hill historical Society was sharing some info about the town.

“Early maps of the newly formed Gwinnett County show the fair sized settlement of Orrsville on eastern side of the Chattahoochee River, right where Highway 20 crosses the river these days. Known also as Orr’s Ferry, the mercantile and ferry owned by William Orr was important to the economic well being of the area, and was an established “postal settlement” (one with a U.S. Post Office) until 1851. Other postal settlements such as Cains and Pinckneyville also existed at the time, but perhaps  none were as key to the future of  North Gwinnett County as Orrsville. (It was equally important to Cumming and that area of Forsyth County as well. Don Shadburn’s book “Blood Kin” is a great source of information about the history of North Forsyth  and parts of North Gwinnett Counties, and includes a facsimile of an 1836 Orr’s Mercantile ledger with some of the early settlement family names listed. ”

So we find that Orrsville was named for William Orr. The map above is from 1839 shows the early district. Ifyou notice Cains was near what to be later called Buford. Cains also include parts of Hog Mountain Road which is also in Hall County.

Southern Banner, Feb. 27, 1851 -- page 1This article is from 1851 and describes the stage routs from Lawrenceville passing through Suwanee, Orrsville and Cumming. Suwanee is sort of the North West Point in Gwinnett and Orrsville would have been the dividing line then on to Cumming. I live in the Buford area and have passed down Hwy 20. Construction has transformed the area and a new bridge of over the Chattahoochee.


Looking at the State gazetteer we see they removed the S but being named for William Orr it could be understood. We see there was a station along the railroad.


One year later we see they would pick up mail from Buford. most towns are centered around a primary business.






This article abouve supplies a lot more detail about Orrsville, the store, the ferry and the fact there was some postal activities going on. it lists William Orr as buying the land when he was from Jackson County. We find in Find a Grave, a William Means Orr who was a Confederate veterans in the 16th, Georgia and his father was James Orr form North Carolina. Possibly not the same Orr.

williamcorrIn this 1842 postal guide we see William C. Orr showing there was a post office before 1879 and a closer idea as to his name.

In the article above you see mention of Strickland bridge. This is not totally far from my house and Sugar Hill located at the new Chattahoochee River Bridge on Hwy 20.

1894 map

1894 USGS Map of Suwanee Area.


“Buford’s First Citizens”   https://patch.com/georgia/buford/bp–bufords-first-citizens By Rebecca Bradshaw, Patch Poster | | Updated

“Orrsville store carried a lot of items”. The Forum May 1st, 1987 Don L Shadburn.
Orrsville Store Ledger, Sugar Hill Historical Society

Responses to the History Panel for the City of Decatur and DeKalb County

Responses to the History Panel for the City of Decatur and DeKalb County

Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson, who filed a resolution last week to remove the monument, partnered with Hate Free Decatur, the Beacon Hill NAACP, and other organizations to put on the event at the Maloof Auditorium. Panelists included Dr. Joseph Crespino, an Emory University history professor, Dr. Maurice Hobson, a Georgia State University African-American studies professor, Dr. Keri Leigh Merritt, a historian and writer, Dr. Robin Morris, an assistant history professor at Agnes Scott College, and Dr. Kurt Young, an associate professor of African American politics and other subjects at Clark Atlanta University.


Statement #1 “I would argue it’s not actually a Confederate monument; it’s a monument to white supremacy and the location of it right in front of the courthouse is no accident,” explained Dr. Robin Morris.  “It was supposed to be there as a warning to any black man trying to go into the courthouse to the registrar of voters to say, ‘No, you are not going to be allowed to vote.'”


Answer: According to the Atlanta Georgian. (Atlanta, GA.) 1906-1907, January 17, 1907. The article specifically says,” A Confederate Memorial Association will be organized. The special object of which will be a Confederate Monument of the courthouse square at Decatur. According to the Athens Daily Banner, Jan. 27, 1898 — page 3 says, “The Confederate Veterans of DeKalb County were planning to erect a monument to the memory of the Confederate dead of that county.” This means the plan to honor veterans was set in motion in 1898 having nothing to do with any events occurring in 1906.

Statement #2 “This monument was not paid for by Decatur. It was not paid for by DeKalb County.  It was paid for by donations from white supremacists,” said Dr. Robin Merritt.”

Answer: According to Atlanta Georgian and news. (Atlanta, Ga.) 1907-1912, September 21, 1907, the article says Almost the whole county, and particularly the school children have contributed to the fund to erect the shaft. It was the desire of those who had the fund in charge to make the subscription a popular as possible, and they succeeded. No large funds were accepted, but nearly every school in the county sent in a contribution. The young men took up the cause enthusiastically in raising the funds.”

Statement #3 Dr. Joseph Crespino said,” monuments erected back then did not require an extensive process to go through and approval from the public like they would today. “That was not available in 1908,” he said. “So a private organization claimed this public space and there was no comment about it by any of the African-American population.” http://www.decaturish.com/2017/10/panel-of-historians-discusses-decaturs-confederate-monument/

Answer: Meaning there was less government in that period of time. It’s almost like having a historical panel come together and discuss a topic about a historic monument and not invite the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Sons of Confederate Veterans or  any other veteran organization to the discussion and then make sweeping statements labeling the entire county and anyone who has Confederate ancestry as white supremacists.

Statement #4 Professor Kurt Young from Clark Atlanta University hopes that people don’t “fall into the trap” of thinking that removing monuments diminishes Confederate history. “There are institutions in place that allow for [people] to gain an understanding of white supremacy and its manifestation in society,” he said.

Answer: If you are removing a Confederate monument by claiming it is a symbol of white supremacy then you have pretty much diminished all of Confederate History. The trap was created by this panel.

Statement #5 Dr. Maurice Hobson hopes that people can develop the ability to put narratives into the proper context to remember history properly. “Just because aspects of history are not your reality does not mean that they’re not real,” he said.

Answer: Your entire panel created the narrative that the monument is one of white supremacy. Moving a historic, century old, one ton monument points to the fact that the panel and other groups does not remember history properly and seek to remove history that does not fit their narrative.



Brief History of the DeKalb Confederate Monument in Decatur, Georgia


Confederate Memorial Associations were formed throughout the South and as the veterans began to slowly pass away there was an increased need to recognize these men and the sacrifice they made. Early newspapers recorded in 1898 said,” The Confederate Veterans of DeKalb County are preparing to erect an imposing monument to the memory of the Confederate dead of that county”1. It was on January 1907, the one hundredth anniversary of Robert E Lee, the Clement Evans Camp of Confederate Veterans and the Agnes Lee chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy held exercises at the Dekalb County Courthouse. The Speaker of the day was Reverend J Gray McAllister, the president of the Hampton-Sidney College in Virginia. After Dr. McAlister made his speech to the group, the Confederate Memorial Association was organized.  On September 1907 it was announced the monument was ready and to be unveiled on November 1907. The shaft was 34 feet high and was finished at the Butler Marble and Granite Company in Marietta, Georgia. It will bear a simple inscription, Soldiers and Sailors of DeKalb.” Mentioned again was the Monument Association being organized on Lee’s Birthday. On November 5th 1907 the Camp Walker United Confederate Veterans made plans to attend the unveiling as ordered by their commander F.A. Hilburn. Transportation will be furnished and members will appear in uniform and badge.

Reported on November 6th 1907, there was a snap and a thud that could be heard for blocks around the city of Decatur. The base and die for the confederate monument had been carefully placed. The remaining work was to simply set up the shaft of the monument by using a derrick but suddenly the rope snapped and the monument fell. As a result the monument shaft ended up laying in two pieces on the ground. It was estimated the shaft was approximately twenty foot tall. The broken shaft lay at the foot of the base. The contractors guaranteed to deliver it erected. The resulting accident caused the unveiling to be delayed indefinitely.  There was a lot of concern an upset in the community.

By the following year, reported on March 10th, 1908, the monument has been repaired and preparations are again made for the unveiling. Miss Rebecca Candler daughter of Honorable Murphy Candler will handle the unveiling. The community anticipates fair weather. A great crowd of people from far and wide are expected including many veterans. General Andrew Jackson West and other prominent veterans are expected to attend. General Clement Evans will arrive to represent the veterans and Honorable Hooper Alexander will be the designated speaker. School children from across DeKalb will be press along with the cadets of Donald Fraser High School and the students of Agnes Scott College.  It is noted several hundred dollars is still lacking in the monument fund. The monument association hopes to raise the funds before the unveiling. The fund was at $1,500 dollars previous year in 1907 and hopes were raised at reaching at least $2000 by the unveiling.

The Agnes Lee United Daughters of the Confederacy have extended an invitation for Miss Alice Baxter, Georgia State President of the Untied Daughters, to attend the festivities. According to current records from Mrs. Sybil Willoughby, the Agnes Lee Chapter made a generous donation of $100 to the monument fund. It was noted that the monument association wanted to make the subscriptions as public as possible and thus no large sum of money was accepted and nearly every school in the county sent in a donation.4 Many school children will take part and people of all kinds will be at the unveiling. It was noted that more than one thousand school children contributed to the fund.9 It was loyalty, affection and appreciation that inspired nearly two thousand people to contribute a monument to the heroes of Dekalb.

The day finally came April 25th, 1907 ,but it was not without problems. A violent storm ravaged much of Georgia and the South. The town of Lytle, Georgia was nearly destroyed with deaths in Rome, Cave Springs, Cedartown, Greenville, Chipley, Griffin, Columbus, Hamilton and Newnan. A few homes in Atlanta were damaged but no lives were lost. It was reported this was the first real tornado that ever struck Atlanta. The storm struck on the evening of Friday April 25th and wreaked havoc into the following Saturday. If the situation was not bad enough, the newspapers spoke of a terrible train accident due to the heavy rains of the following Friday. The railway trestle near Tucker was undermined by the heavy rains causing freight train No. 692 of the Seaboard Airline Railroad to plunge through the trestle and into the raging creek below. Two men, which included the engineer Samuel Neisler, were killed. Had it not been for a man named Maynard who was riding the rods of train No. 692, another passenger train from Atlanta would have crashed. Maynard managed to warn the oncoming train of the disaster by waving a handkerchief. The engineer of the passenger train saw the warning, reversed the engine and brought the train to a sudden stop. The passengers and remaining train employees were rescued by a relief train.

In spite of all the events going on around the State the people at the unveiling of the monument were perhaps unaware or unwilling to become undaunted. A great throng of people attended the festivities at the court house square. April 25, 1908 was to be a memorable date in DeKalb’s history. The exercises surrounding this great event had over one thousand people in attendance. The event began precisely at 10:00 AM as Mr. Charles D McKinney presided over the event and at 10:15, Reverend W. H. Young led the group in prayer. Mr. C Murphey Candler gave a brief history of the monument. Mrs. W. F. Holleyman, the president of the Agnes Lee Chapter of the UDC presented crosses of honor to three Confederate Veterans John P. Ray, G F Marbutt and E. A. Beauchamp. Miss Alice Baxter praised the Agnes Lee Chapter for their work and the crowd was so large that her speech was repeated so that it might be heard.

Describing the event we see that the decorated platform was provided for the speakers. Wreathes of flowers were placed at the base of the monument. The A line of youthful cadets from the David Fraser school stood at attention in khaki uniforms. The young women were dressed in white pulled gently on the white veil revealing a monument of gray Georgia granite and of beautiful design. The aged veterans bared their heads and the strains of Maryland, My Maryland were heard.  Suddenly a cheer rose out as perhaps a rebel yell from the throng. Confederate flags were waved as the soldiers smiled and little children laughed. Wedemeyer’s band furnished music playing ,”The Bonnie Blue, Flag,” “America,” Maryland aMy Maryland” And “Dixie”, There were banners displayed for both the Stonewall Camp if Fulton and the Clement Evans Camp of DeKalb. Captain Tip Harrison led the puclic school children in a spirited Confederate Song which was heartily applauded.

The event officially ended at 12:20 PM. The Donald Fraser cadets and the school children marched from the ceremony to the cemetery to mark the graves of Confederate Soldiers. One of the most noticeable feature of the occasion was the presence of old veterans and young children. The monument was considered to be a tribute from the coming generation to that of the past.9

The principle speaker of the occasion was Honorable Alexander Sooper and his speech in part was included on page 4 of Atlanta Georgian and news. (Atlanta, Ga.) 1907-1912, April 25, 1908, Image 4. Many of the monument detractors point to this speech and a comment on the monument involving race. Hooper said, “ Altho my life, politically and personally, has been in constant strife with the leaders of our Southern people, yet, as I grow older, I have learned, not only to respect and esteem,, but to love the great qualities which being to my fellow citizens of the Southern states. They are a noble race. We may well take pattern from them in some of the great virtues which make up the strength as they make up the glory of free states. Their love of home; their delicate sense of honor; their constancy which can abide by an opinion or a purpose of interest of their states, through adversity and through prosperity, through the years and thru generations, are things which the North may take a lesson. But this April Day, after 43 years have been busy at the task of gathering home the sons and daughters who have so loved her well we sat here on this hill today a shaft of granite rock dug from the old red soil of Georgia and in the face of it with chisels it is graven that Another generation bears witness To the Future that these men were of a covenant keeping race, who held fast the faith as it was given by the fathers of the republic.” The mention of race refers to the citizens of Southern States which includes all races and walks of life.

General Clement Evans also delivered his address which was included on page 5 of Atlanta Georgian and news. (Atlanta, Ga.) 1907-1912, April 25, 1908. “One significant event which occurred in the patriotic movement in DeKlab county to erect the Confederate Monument has made a splendid memorial structure a conspicuous symbol. I allude to the breaking of a cable when the first column was being raised, causing a crash which broke it into fragments. For a moment the disastrous fall was deeply deplored, but in the next moment the people remembered the living truth which their monument would commemorate was not lost by the fall. They stood reverently around the marble ruins and at once resolved to place a new spokesman on the unmoved foundation to symbolize the indestructible truth of the great Confederate movement. Therefore we see a new shaft standing erect on the old firm foundation, while a new special glory roabes and crowns its form. It speaks today not only of the times when heroic sacrifice were made for the truth as it was, but it proclaimes the firm purpose of all Southern people to join al other patriots to perpetuate for posterity the truth as it is.

It should be noted that the following day Atlanta Georgian and news. (Atlanta, Ga.) 1907-1912, April 27, 1908, Image 3 a memorial shaft was erected at Washington, Georgia on the courthouse square. General Andrew J West also attended this events. The Ladies memorial Association, Daughters of the Confederacy and Sons of Veterans were in attendance. Coloenl Robert E Lee spoke to veterans at Griffin, Georgia with large memorial day festivities. Students decorated the graves of veterans in Oxford, gerogia as they also did in Macon, Georgia with several veterans in attendance. The United Daughters served dinner to veterans in Hawkinsville, Georgia. Children of the Confederacy marked graves in Eatonton, Georgia. The above is to illustrate DeKalb’s monument unveiling was one of many going on in the state where there was no mention of the Atlanta Race riot of 1906 or the Jim Crow laws.

Barry Colbaugh

First Brigade Commander

The members of the Confederate memorial Association are listed below

Charles D McKinney. Association President Born 1873 was over Dekalb Board of Trade 1911

C Murphey Candler Association Vice President of Decatur, DeKalb County, Ga. Born in Decatur, DeKalb County, Ga., March 17, 1858. Lawyer; member of Georgia state house of representatives, 1886-1904, 1907-08; member of Georgia state senate, 1905-06; Railroad Commission, 1909-22. Presbyterian. Member, Freemasons. Died in Decatur, DeKalb County, Ga., August 7, 1935 (age 77 years, 143 days).

James D George Association Second Vice President

Charles Whiteford Smith Third Vice President lawyer, state senator and appeals court judge

Benjamin F Burgess Secretary and treasurer clerk for DeKalb Superior Court Ben Franklin Burgess was County Clerk of DeKalb County from 1903 through 1935.

Advisory committee

Major W J Houston Sr. Doctor Washington Jackson Houston

Isaac Newton Nash His occupations were listed as: farmer, teacher, and tax collector. 38th Georgia Company K Enlisted March 1, 1862. Wounded July 1, 1863 in the left hand by grape shot during the battle of Gettysburg. His hand was later amputated. He received the Southern Cross of Honor, of Stone Mountain, who for 16 years was tax collector of DeKalb county, died Saturday at 12:30 o’clock at his home. He had been ill for several months. Mr. Nash was 70 years old. He is survived by his wife, one daughter, six grandchildren, two brothers and two sisters. Funeral and interment will take place Monday at Stone Mountain.

 S A Morris Possible Sampson(Samuel) A Morris of the WHT Walker Camp UCV Confederate Veteran and businessman

F L Hudgins Confederate Veteran 38th Georgia Infantry Company K

Mrs. Alice H Billups wife of Lanier Billups, prominent DeKalb Citicen

Mrs Virginia Sanders Steward Biographical Sketches of John Barnett Steward and Martha Rowland Steward: John Barnett Steward, a lifelong resident of DeKalb County, was born on January 16, 1833 to Elijah Greene and Annie Alford Steward. His paternal grandfather, Absalom Steward, was one of the five original justices on the inferior court of DeKalb County. Prior to the Civil War, Steward practiced law in Decatur. At the outbreak of the war, he joined the Confederate Army, attaining the rank of Colonel. Afterwards, he returned to practice law in DeKalb County, but also farmed and operated a grist and saw mill. From 1866-1867, he served as the Solicitor-General of the DeKalb County Court, and served three terms as Ordinary. At the time of his death, he was serving his first term in the lower house of the State legislature. In 1858, he married Mary Jane Dean (1836-1886) and they had several children. After her death on January 22, 1886, he married Martha Virginia (“Jennie”) Sanders Rowland, the widow of Samuel John Rowland (d.1884). A native of Opelika, Alabama, Rowland served with the LaGrange Light Guards during the war. The family moved to the Atlanta area sometime after the war, and after her husband’s death in 1884, Jennie resided in Decatur. Her one surviving son, Henry Sanders Rowland (d.1943), worked at the Weekes Grocery Store in Decatur before becoming the first bookkeeper of the Coca-Cola Company. He later worked as manager of a tire and rubber company.

Miss Kate Ansley – Possible descendant of Major David Henry Ansley- Name associated with Ansley Park. Miss Ansley was a DeKalb socialite attending many weddings and social activities.

John Hooper Alexander of Decatur, DeKalb County, Ga. Born in Rome, Floyd County, Ga., October 6, 1858. Lawyer; U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, 1913-21. Died in Decatur, DeKalb County, Ga., May 23, 1934 (age 75 years, 229 days).


“Vets to Build Monument”, Athens Daily Banner, Jan. 27, 1898 — page 3, Athens, Georgia H.H. Carlton Editor, T W Reed City Editor, H J Rowe Lessee and Business Manager

The Atlanta Georgian. (Atlanta, GA.) 1906-1907, January 17, 1907, Image 3

Atlanta Georgian and news. (Atlanta, Ga.) 1907-1912, April 18, 1907, Image 4

“DeKalb Heroes to be Honored by a Tall Marble Shaft”, Atlanta Georgian and news. (Atlanta, Ga.) 1907-1912, September 21, 1907, Image 5

“Camp Walker Veterans “Atlanta Georgian and news. (Atlanta, Ga.) 1907-1912, November 05, 1907, Image 7

“Contractor must replace Shaft,” Atlanta Georgian and news. (Atlanta, Ga.) 1907-1912, November 06, 1907, Image 5

“ A New Monument is Now Completed.” Atlanta Georgian and news. (Atlanta, Ga.) 1907-1912, March 10, 1908, Image 3

“Personal Mention.” Atlanta Georgian and news. (Atlanta, Ga.) 1907-1912, April 24, 1908, Img 9

“Unveil Monument to Hero Dead At Decatur Saturday”. Atlanta Georgian and news. (Atlanta, Ga.) 1907-1912, April 25, 1908, Image 2

“General Clement A. Evans Delivers a Fine Address at Unveiling of Monument. Atlanta Georgian and news. (Atlanta, Ga.) 1907-1912, April 25, 1908, Image 5


What happened to Harnageville?


This journey starts when I happened to come across a name of city shown on an early Sherman campaign map. I have heard of Battle Ground which is perhaps referring to Ball Ground. Sharp Top Mountain is in upper Cherokee County. The nearest city appears to be Dawson or Dawsonville so we can assume its in Dawson County.


The name of the town is so long it is actually in Pickens County. Notice in 1863 the County seat is shortened to Dawson V. for Dawsonville.


Looking at an earlier Pickens County map we Jasper, Harnageville and may other Cherokee Indian named towns nearby. Armicolola (Amicolaoa), Coosawatee, Talking Rock, Battle Ground, etc.


harnageville2The State Gazetteer does not give a lot of details about the town. Its hard to believe they had no post office there.


Georgia Place Names however gives us some detail about Ambrose Harnage so we ask who was Ambrose Harnage?

“EARLY TAVERNS (Copied from Pickens County Library Historical Section 16 May 2013)

When the Cherokee Nation controlled the land between Georgia and Tennessee there was really no easy road to get to Nashville and Knoxville from Augusta. So the Federal Government got the Cherokees to grant permission for a highway which was called the Federal Road. It was surveyed and paid for by Georgia and Tennessee.

The Cherokees were to furnish taverns about every twenty miles. James Vann opposed the road but planned the building of taverns. The first was near the Chattahoochee River called Vann’s, The next were west of the Etowah operated under the name Buffington and Blackburn in Pickens territory, the third was west of Long Swamp Creek where the Pink MarbIe Mansion stands. it was operated by Ambrose Harnage, a half-breed but he has an Indian for his wife, [Nancy Sanders] a large stout hussy’, These taverns date from circa 1805. Harnage Tavern was part log and part frame with a dog-trot. it was a story and a half high, had two porches with end rooms and a large log kitchen. it was the post office Harnageville and in 1832, Cherokee County was organized and held Court in this tavern.”

Not a very polite description of Ambrose and family but the description of the home seems interesting. The home was used as a post office and it had a post master.

Southern Recorder, May 1, 1833 -- page 3H. T. Simmons was listed as the post master. Both the Simmons Family and the Harnage Family were farmers in the area and good friends with the Cherokee living in the area. Ambrose advertised some of his hogs and cattle for sale in an Athens paper.

Southern Banner, Dec. 15, 1832 -- page 4

From the History of Ambrose Harnage. Ambrose had 20 Black slaves–June 1 1832 # 203 AMBROSE HARNAGE- Residence Long Swamp– 1 white 4 Reds 20 Blacks From 7.  Wright, Jerry Jordan; Cherokee By Blood  (9 volumes)  http://www.argenweb.net/washington/misc/ambrose1.htm


Federal Union, Jan. 12, 1832 -- page 1

The Harnage house seemed to be a center of attention for politics in the area.  . It was said that Harnage built a tavern and the tavern was the center of community activity

This was the seat of government when the Georgia Legislature created the Original Cherokee County. Although it was listed as a courthouse, Harnage’s was not the site of any criminal proceedings; it only provided limited services to settlers.”

So it seems that despite Ambrose Harnage success as a farmer and the namesake of a community he had his enemies as well.

Southern Banner, Aug. 10, 1832 -- page 3Not sure of what slander Reuben is referring too but Reuben was heavily involved in politics and land disputes over property he owned in Hall County. Nonetheless Ambrose made an appeal to the Governor for some help in this matter.

Federal Union, Dec. 13, 1832 -- page 2


In spite of Mr. Harnage’s complaints there was no relief offered to him and thus he and his family was removed to Arkansas.

georgeLater with the vote of citizens form the old town of Harnageville and other cities in Pickens the county seat was voted to be in Jasper named for William Jasper a Revolutionary War Hero.


Picture above William Jasper raises the Moultrie Flag on a sponge staff during the Battle of Sullivan’s Island, rallying the troops to win the fight from Wikipedia.

The site of the Harnage tavern is later to have a pink marble house built there and is later to be called Tate, Georgia.

Southern Whig, Jan. 20, 1848 -- page 3

Harnageville seemed to disappear from maps in the 1880’s the town was renamed Tate after Colonel Sam Tate in 1880.



http://leebethune.com/genealogy/Simmons_Pickens_County_Georgia/index.html EARLY TAVERNS (Copied from Pickens County Library Historical Section 16 May 2013)



John McClain and V. C . Allen



I was doing more research on my Ancestor John McClain and he was in the Third Tennesee Infantry Company E. He asked for a pension in Georgia and V C Allen was a witness for his pension. Allen wrote the book nelow thats lists my other Cobaugh Confederate Ancestors in the 43rd Tennesee infantry. His youngest daughter Lucille Edith McClain Colbaugh married my great Grandfather Authur Harless Colbaugh. Just another part of the small world we live in. John McClain’s picture is handing up at the Rossville Masonic Lodge. I will venture there to get a copy of that picture.

Rhea and Meigs Counties (Tennessee) in the Confederate War
I also found a marriage certificate for my great grandmother Josephine Boyd


This is John’s grave at Anderson Cemetery in Ringgold, Georgia




The Peace Monument in Piedmont Park

This was one of the first and most stupid events by groups attacking monuments in Atlanta. The pictures came from a friend Davis McCollum.

From the Georgia Tourism site.” The Old Guard Battalion of the Gate City Guard traces heritage back to 1854 when a group of private citizens of Atlanta met to form a private militia for the sole purpose of assisting the City of Atlanta to keep law and order.  The organization was chartered in 1857 as The Gate City Guard of Atlanta Georgia.  One of the founding members was William L. Ezzard, the Mayor of Atlanta.”

I also want to mention that William Austin Leyden was a member of the Old Gate City Guard who defended Atlanta before and after the war. The article continues to say…

The Old Guard of the Gate City Guard, decided to erect a monument in Piedmont Park in Atlanta to commemorate the efforts made over a thirty year period to bring about unity between the North and the South.The monument was commissioned, built and erected in Piedmont park in 1911. A dedication service was held on October 11, 1911.  A number of Centennial Legion of Historical Military Command units were in attendance. Governor Hoke Smith, of the   State of Georgia, received the visiting Delegations.  To name a few in attendance were: The Ancient and Honorable Artillery of Boston under the leadership of COL Everett C. Benton, then Mayor of Boston. The Battalion State Fencibles, Philadelphia, Pa., Mayor Edwin Smith of Hartford, CN., James H. Preston, Mayor of Baltimore, The Fifth Regiment , Maryland National Guard of Baltimore, The Governors Foot Guard of Hartford.,CT.  Over 50,000 veterans from both the North and the South, many of whom once fought each other, marched in a parade down Peachtree Street to Piedmont Park.

The Old Guard has rededicated the monument each year since.   The Centennial Legion of Historical Military Commands will hold their annual meeting in Atlanta in order to again participate in the rededication. ”

It was of course August 14th, 2017 a date that coincides with the smearing of feces on the Decatur Monument. The feces was washed off August 16th by the city of Decatur. in both cases no charges were filed.

“A protester was hurt by metal falling from the edifice as the group tried to tear it down, AJC photographer John Spink reported Sunday night. Tensions rose as the lone policeman on the scene was surrounded by black-clad Antifa protesters shouting “pig.” Black Lives Matter protesters put themselves between the police officer and the Antifa crowd, and the gathering soon dispersed.


The sad part of this story these people could not be identified. The news reporters who photographed this was contacted. they have an idea who they are but no one wants to come forward.

“Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields said by that time, when arrests were necessary, “we couldn’t identify them.” “And that’s that’s not acceptable,” she continued. “We have the intelligence, we have the probable cause, we need to take action.”

Police are studying videotape of the protest to identify areas in which they can improve, the chief said. 


“You look at the footage, you review all your plans and you get better,” she said. “And we’re gonna be better and we’re gonna bring our a-game. We have to.”

The sad part of this is if a life had been claimed like there was in Charlottesville, Virginia how could they have identified the criminals? Everyone imagines these are victimless crimes. Statues and state property are not inanimate. I say that these are symbols of our past. Erasing them will accomplish nothing but spread more ignorance and hate, People would not appreciate their history torn down. you can only stand up and speak out against the destruction.




Atlanta’s Peace Monument, desecrated by protesters, champions unity, not the Confederacy





The Makers of Decatur

I argued in one of my letters to the editor that there are makers and there are takers. I referred to those wanting to take down monuments as takers. but lets take a glance at some of the makers.


Being 6 miles from Atlanta and knowing of the destruction there Decatur also suffered during the war not to mention the city of Stine Mountain. this was before the carving that exists today. it should be noted that DeKalb county residents did not own many slaves. Why you might ask. the terrain in DeKalb is not well suited for growing cotton. Most of the slave owners lived in South DeKalb and perhaps one of the largest was Ephraim Potter. He owned as many as 57 slaves but just before the war he moved to Atlanta. his home was used by Union Artillery as a target reference.

Lets start with the lists here.

Bayne, Hendley Verner 9/26/1861. Wounded. Captured at Wilderness, Va. May 6, 1864 . Released at Elmira, N. Y. June 19, 1865 . From above you see he served as a court ordinary. He died in 1/24/1906  and is buried in Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta.

Listed above a a physician. Asbury Smith Mayson and his bio is below



Dr. Mayson is buried in Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta.

We have the Ramspeck family and the owner of the General Store was Mr. George Alexander Ramspeck Mr.. Ramspeck served on many committees and aided in the formation of Agnes Scott College which had its begging’s in 1899 up until 1982. and as we can see in the gazetteer he owned a general store in Decatur. the two sons listed are Charles Miller and Theodore R are both buried in Decatur Cemetery

Perhaps his bio might do him better justice than I can.


These are just a few of the names above that I have confirmed served in the war. Some of the same men remembered on the DeKalb monument located in Decatur.