Civil War Talk Throwback Thursday, 7-27-17

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James N.

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In response to last week's Throwback Thursday @NH Civil War Gal posted "In the last 2 days I've gotten to the halfway point of Sherman's memoirs. He writes that there were hundreds of miles of intrenched Confederate trenches, rifle trenches, parapets all in the area. Sadly, it sounds like very little was preserved from the notes about Atlanta urban sprawl. Is that true?" and I promised an example of the single place of which I am aware, Grant Park. Since tomorrow, July 28, is the anniversary of the last of the battles for Atlanta, that known as Ezra Church, it seemed a good time to continue this topic.

In the photo above, another taken during our honeymoon by my then-new-bride Marilynn, I'm standing beside a reproduction cannon and its limber and caisson in a restored earthwork within the park; the 1968 Atlanta skyline is on the horizon. According to the article in Wikipedia,

"Grant Park was established in 1883 when Lemuel P. Grant, a successful engineer and businessman, gave the city of Atlanta 100 acres (40 ha) in the newly developed "suburb" where he lived. In 1890, the city acquired another 44 acres (18 ha) for the park and appointed its first park commissioner, Sidney Root. In 1903, the Olmsted Brothers (sons of Frederick Law Olmsted) were hired to create a plan for the park. The original park included a lake, named Lake Abana, to handle storm-water runoff."

As can be seen, the park occupies a high hill that formed the southeastern salient of the Atlanta defense lines, indicated in red on the map below; Grant Park is in the area of the black circle:
ATLANTA_OM3.jpg


The park is probably now best known as the location of the Atlanta Zoo and was for many years also home to the Atlanta Cyclorama and the engine Texas of Great Locomotive Chase fame until both were recently removed from their ca. 1920's home for restoration and relocation to the History Center. The reproduction artillery pieces pictured disappeared long ago, and may have been moved inside the museum attached to the Cyclorama at one time. The last time I visited here in 2014 there was NO indication of the park's role in the Civil War, apart from possibly a historical marker; the once-thriving neighborhood of imposing homes that grew around the park were now shabby and slum-like - sadly, save for the attractions, I got the distinct idea this would probably be a bad place to linger for very long!

Anyone else having old Civil War-related photos is encouraged to share them here too!
 
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James N.

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In my haste to tell this story yesterday I stupidly neglected to state that the name of the large fortification that occupied the ground that is now Grant Park was called Fort Walker, named for Confederate Maj. Gen. William H. T. Walker who was killed July 22, 1864 in what became known as the Battle of Atlanta.
 
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Thank you again James. These pictures bring back memories. My mom has pictures of me in and around Grant Park and other pictures while I worked at Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield Park. Next visit in, I will look for them and post some. Thanks again.
 
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Thanks James! I remember visiting the Texas and Cyclorama when I was a kid and didn't realize that they'd been moved. Next time I'm in Atlanta, I'll have to drive by to see how things have changed.
 

James N.

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East Texas
Thanks James! I remember visiting the Texas and Cyclorama when I was a kid and didn't realize that they'd been moved. Next time I'm in Atlanta, I'll have to drive by to see how things have changed.
There have been threads here in the forums fairly recently about the moves and restoration of both Texas and the Cyclorama. In 2013 or 14 when I made my last visit both were still in place and looked fine to me:

DSC01633A.JPG
 
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