Please welcome guest author Katie O. Gobbi. Gobbi is the Director of Euharlee History Museum in Euharlee, GA.
The Euharlee History Museum , located 15 minutes west of Cartersville, GA, recently opened a new temporary exhibit on the Civil War history of the area. This is an important year in Georgia as it is the 150th anniversary of the Atlanta Campaign and General William Tecumseh Sherman’s March to the Sea.
The Civil War had a devastating impact on Euharlee, Bartow County, and the surrounding areas.
The name of the county was changed during the Civil War. When established in 1832, Bartow County was originally called Cass County, after Lewis Cass. Cass was from Connecticut and as Secretary of War for President Andrew Jackson was responsible for implementing Jackson’s Indian Removal Policies that led to the inclusion of this land in the state of Georgia.
Cass went on to serve as Secretary of State for President James Buchanan. He resigned from that position in 1861 because of his opposition to secession. The same year, Col. Francis S. Bartow, a Georgian who supported secession, was mortally wounded at the First Battle of Bull Run while leading a group of Cass Countians. The county name was changed in 1862.
The war came home when the Union troops entered Bartow County on May 17, 1864. On May 21st, 1864, Confederate cavalry, led by General William Hicks Jackson, crossed the Etowah River on Milam’s Bridge in the heart of Euharlee and burned the covered structure to attempt to divert the Union soldiers. This did not work, and Sherman, along with General Thomas and the XX and XIV Corps of the Army of the Cumberland, crossed the Etowah River and Euharlee Creek after marching through what is now downtown Euharlee.
This move took the Union troops away from the Western & Atlantic Railroad and their supply lines for the first time since entering Georgia. Sherman called the Etowah the “Rubicon of Georgia” meaning that was a crucial decision that could be a point of no return.
Bartow County fell to the Union troops and was occupied until November 1864 when Sherman began the Union march toward Savannah. Like much of North Georgia, Euharlee was left in a state of chaos after the Confederate and Union troops marched through and occupied the surrounding areas. Foragers stole livestock and grain and invading troops ransacked homes. Order was restored in January 1865 and by the next May, Bartow County was surrendered to Union General Judah by a Bartow County local General William Tatum Wofford.
This is only a preview of the impact of the Civil War on Euharlee. A few of the other major events that occurred in Bartow County:
- Largest saltpeter mine in the Confederacy operated just north of Euharlee at the Kingston Saltpeter Cave. Saltpeter a crucial part of the manufacturing of black powder used during the Civil War.
- Andrews’ Raid or the Great Locomotive Chase came through Bartow County at Kingston and Adairsville on April 12, 1862. Many of the Union conspirators became the first recipients of the Medal of Honor.
- Battle of Allatoona Pass, which took place on October 5, 1864, was a last effort to cut off the Union supply line to the north of Atlanta in Bartow County.
- The Burning of Cassville resulted in the near total destruction of the county seat on November 5, 1864; it marks one of the first instances of entire towns destroyed during Sherman’s March to the Sea, preceding Marietta and Atlanta by more than a week.
To learn more, visit the Euharlee History Museum. The exhibit will run through the end of the year.
The Euharlee History Museum is located next to the historic Euharlee Covered Bridge at 118 Covered Bridge Road, Euharlee, Georgia 30120. The museum is open Wednesday – Saturday, 10:00 to 5:00 and Sunday 1:00 to 5:00. There is no admission charge. For more information, call 770-607-2017 or visit our Facebook page.