Civil War lecture to explore life under military occupation
by Marie Nesmith
Mar 14, 2014 | 1099 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
During his lecture on Tuesday evening, Cartersville attorney and historian David Archer will shed light on how area residents fared under military occupation during and following the Civil War. Titled “Bartow County and the Civil War: Military Actions, Soldiers, Citizens and Aftermath,” his presentation will be free to the public and delivered at the Cartersville Public Library, 429 W. Main St.

“What I’m going to do is go chronologically and I’m going to have to move fast to cover that much territory,” Archer said. “But I want to talk about the movement of troops through Bartow County really happened like a lightning rod. It came quickly. The Union troops came into Bartow County on like May 17 in what I would call the invasion 1864 and then they moved through. There were retrograde movements, where they fought some skirmishes — no major battles. But there was a stand made at Cassville on May 19 and 20 and then the Confederate troops withdrew.

“Now, when they withdrew, there was Union occupation of Bartow County. Atlanta didn’t fall until September. So during that time, the people of Bartow County, the citizens, were under military occupation. I want to talk about ... the soldiers, of course, but I [also] want to talk about what the citizens of Bartow County, what they were exposed to and the feelings that they had during that period of time up until the end of the war. ... The war ended in 1865 in April but they didn’t withdraw Federal troops out of here until January of like 1872.”

The 7 p.m. program, which will begin with a reception at 6:30 p.m., will be co-sponsored by the Etowah Valley Historical Society, Friends of the Library and the Bartow History Museum. Along with Archer’s lecture, the event also will feature a small display regarding a Civil War soldier’s daily life provided by the Bartow History Museum. Other highlighted items will be a quilt created by EVHS Co-president Dianne Tate’s great-great-grandmother and crocheted lace tablecloths inherited by Friends of the Library President Karen Barnhart.

“A number of years ago, we had a program at the library with Friends of the Library and Bartow History Center and it was basically a panel ... of people [who] answered questions about the old pictures ... of Cartersville [and] Bartow County,” Tate said. “... That was such a popular program that with the 150th commemoration year of the Civil War we decided to do again old pictures, old paintings and have someone who was an expert in it talk about Bartow County and the people that were in the Civil War from this area, actually that would have been Cass County at the time.

“... So we asked David Archer if he would do a program on Bartow County and the people. In other words, there will be many programs [recognizing 150th anniversaries of Civil War events] ... and the impact [of the Civil War] on this country but this will be a program about our folks. So we thought he was the person [to deliver this lecture], and we thought the topic would be very interesting to a lot of people.”

Archer’s lecture is the first of three Civil War-related events receiving EVHS’ support this year, the others being a presentation by Richard Wright June 7 and the Battle of Allatoona Pass Remembered Oct. 4 and 5.

“This is an area very rich in layers of history,” Tate said. “We’re just so fortunate that we have local people that can speak to that. I think other counties consider us very lucky, and when I mean layers, I mean early Native American, mining, very early industry, and then the continuation of towns that developed in this county.

“So we’re lucky. We recognize it and we’re trying to make sure that any folks who have moved here or people who have always lived here and have some missing pieces in their history that we’re offering that.”

For more information about Tuesday’s lecture, email Mina Harper at