Weekend for History
Civil War, WWII themed events scheduled
by Sarah Fay Campbell
Saturday will be a day full of history in Coweta, with a Civil War encampment at the Brown’s Mill Battlefield site, an evening concert of Civil War-era music at the Wadsworth Auditorium, and the opening of the World War II themed exhibit “Victory at All Costs” at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum.
Saturday will be the kickoff of the Brown’s Mill Battlefield Association’s celebration of the 150th anniversary of the battle, which occurred July 30, 1864.
“I think it is going to be a lot of fun,” said Carolyn Turner, president of the Brown’s Mill Battlefield Association.
Phillip’s Legion, a re-enactors group, will hold its winter muster this weekend at the battlefield site, located south of Newnan on Millard Farmer Road, between Corinth Road and Old Corinth Road.
The muster will be open to the public on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., said Turner. The concert, by the 8th Regiment Band from Rome, will begin at 7 p.m. at Wadsworth Auditorium on Jefferson Street. Admission to both events is free.
The band has 25 members who play period instruments and dress in Civil War uniforms. There will be historical commentary for each musical selection.
Members of Phillip’s Legion will arrive at the battlefield site Friday night and will camp out Friday and Saturday, said Turner. Part of the time, they will be discussing the upcoming year, but they will also be doing maneuvers, as well as cooking meals.
“They don’t do modern stuff. Everything is period, just as if they were at a re-enactment,” Turner said. “The only modern thing that I think they have is a porta potty.”
“They have invited the public,” Turner said, and welcome visitors to come talk to them. There will also be a canon.
The association is working on several events for the rest of 2014. The biggest event will be a re-enactment of the battle and living history demonstrations at the battlefield, and a number of exhibits in downtown Newnan at the Newnan History Center train depot, where Union and Confederate soldiers first clashed before making their way to what became the battlefield.
The re-enactment and celebration will be held Oct. 11 and 12. The reenactors who will participate requested that the event not be held in late July because of the weather.
But there will be plenty going on in July.
Last year, Turner, Pat Tidwell and Sandra Parker went to the battlefield on July 30, days after the site opened to the public. They had a toast and played “Taps.” There were a few other people out there and “they stopped like it was the National Anthem,” Turner said.
So they’d like to commemorate the anniversary of the battle each year, she said. “We think we will call it Toast and Taps, and we will toast the men who died, the men who fought, and the medical personnel who came out there and tried to save them."
The weekend before the anniversary, they plan to have things set up as if the battle had just happened, and there will be tours available.
There are plans to have a “Fa-So-La”/Sacred Harp singing event at the 1904 Courthouse sometime during the year, and they are looking into doing something to recognize all the local churches that were in operation during the Civil War.
“We’ve got lists of ideas. We just haven’t decided on all the other things yet,” Turner said. But “it will be a fun year. It will absolutely be a fun year.”
For more information about the Brown’s Mill Battlefield Association, visit www.friendsofbrownsmillbattlefield.com .