Thursday, July 06, 2006

Roswell. No. Not That Roswell...

Today I was whisked away and taken to Roswell, Georgia. Roswell is a quaint little town just North of Atlanta. Roswell, it seems, has two claims to fame. First, that Teddy Roosevelt's mother was from there and lived in a stately plantation (which now offers tours). The second thing Roswell is famous for (or rather, would like to be famous for) is its mill. Legend has it that during the Civil War, the mill employed female workers making gray cloth for the troops. Well in 1864, Roswell was seized by Union troops who had just crossed the Chattahoochee river. The officer in charge of securing the city reported to Sherman that there were 400 female mill workers. Sherman ordered that the women be arrested and charged with treason because they were producing goods for the CSA. They were marched 12 miles to the train station in Marietta and then shipped North, never to be heard from again.

I was a bit skeptical of this story. I don't need convincing that Sherman was a foul person. But I don't believe that 400 people just disappeared into the mist. I googled it, however, and I found this reputable-seeming website explaning what happened:

However, the article contends that the incident was widely reported on at the time in both the Northern and Southern press. After searching the archives of Harper's Weekly and the New York Times, I could not find any articles whatsoever dealing with the incident.

At any rate, the SCV has dedicated a monument to these lost mill workers in Roswell and I visited it today. My timing couldn't have been better. When I stopped by the Roswell Visitor's Center I found a flier for a re-dedication ceremony for the monument. The ceremony will be held this Saturday. I'm going to attend the ceremony this Saturday. I feel like I sort of lucked out with this one! Where else am I going to find a collection of people that care so much about history, monuments and memory?


At 9:30 AM, Anonymous Mike K said...


Greetings and welcome to the Civil War blogosphere. I found your book through my fellow bloggers. I look forward to watching your travels as you work on your thesis.


At 6:36 PM, Anonymous David said...

Your trip sounds aweso. I want to hear more about the mysterious mill workers.

I'm judging a debate round right now...shoot my face with guns asap pls kthxbi

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