USS Habersham - History

USS Habersham - History

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A county in Georgia.

(AK-180: dp. 2,382 (It.); 1. 338'6"; b. 50'; dr. 21'; s.
12 k.; cpl. 85; a. 1 3"; cl. Alamosa)

Habersham (AK-186), a motor cargo ship, was launched 7 June 1944 by the Walter Butler Shipbuilding Inc., Superior, Wis., under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. Carl Gray, Jr.; acquired 26 April 1945; and commissioned 12 May 1945, Comdr. M. A. MacPhee in command.

Following shakedown training off Galveston, the cargo ship sailed 2 June for Gulfport, Miss., to take no cargo and departed 4 days later to join the Pacific Fleet, then pressing ever closer to Japan. Habersham arrived Pearl Harbor via the Canal Zone 30 June, unloaded her cargo and returned to San Francisco with passengers and cargo 12 July. She then loaded cargo and sailed 21 July for Eniwetok Island where she arrived 7 August.

Habersham was at Eniwetok when the surrender of Japan was announced, and departed 9 September to carry cargo for occupation forces in Japan. Arriving Tokyo Bay 17 September, she unloaded cargo and departed for Guam and San Francisco 27 November. She arrived 12 January 1946 and sailed for the East Coast 11 February arriving Norfolk 6 March. Ha bersh am decommissioned at Baltimore 9 April 1946 and was returned to the Maritime Commission. Sold into merchant service, she became Rosa Thorden and in 1952 Pusan for Korean Shipping Corporation.

USS Habersham - History

"Where your Journey Begins"

Habersham County, Georgia History

The Settlement and Environment

Habersham County, Georgia, was organized in 1818 from lands largely taken from the Cherokee Indians on their removal by Governor George R. Gilmer. However, parcels of land were also taken from Franklin County and Jackson County to form Habersham as it was first created. Later, parts of Habersham County were taken to be added to the counties of Cherokee, Rabun, White, Lumpkin, Banks, and Stephens.

There were several white settlements in the county prior to 1800. One of these settlements was located near Providence Church, in Batesville one was near Clarkesville and another was on Broad River near Wofford's Shoals.

While there were scattered settlements in the county prior to 1818 and 1819, the county was not fully open for white settlers until the Cherokee Indians Cessions of these years, except that portion of the county lying around Lake Russell. This area was settled about 1800 and was obtained in the Cherokee cession of the "Four Mile Purchase" in 1804. Until 1818, the area was part of Franklin County.

Habersham County was named for a Revolutionary War patriot, Joseph Habersham. He was later Postmaster General of the United States. He was a native of Savannah and, according to the Reverend George White, in Historical Collections of Georgia (1854), "among all the patriots of Georgia there were none more devoted to liberty."

The early settlers in what was then Franklin, now part of Habersham, County came for land. Each family head received one hundred fifty acres of land, plus fifty acres for each minor child. After the 1818 and 1819 cessions, the land was surveyed into land lots, and these were distributed by means of a lottery to citizens of this state. Many citizens receiving these lots in the Cherokee Land Lottery of 1827 moved to the county and made homes on their land. About 1830, gold was discovered in what was then Habersham, now White, county, and many seeking gold settled in the county. About 1880, several hundred German and Swiss settlers came here to raise grapes, make wine, and farm. These settlers had come for many varied reasons. Many came because of the free land that the state had given to them after having taken it from the Indians. Others chose to come because they like the foot-hills and mountains. The German-Swiss felt the high plateau was ideal for grape-raising and were reminded of their native Switzerland.

The county grew rapidly. Large plantations with many slaves were developed in the lowlands of what arc now Banks and Stephens Counties and in Nacoochee Valley in what is now White County. Many distinguished families moved here from Virginia and South Carolina. About 1830, when gold was discovered on Dukes Creek (then in Habersham County), the county was filled with gold seekers. There were approximately 3,000 people in the county in 1830.

After 1830 there came to be a great interest in military matters. In 1833, the Habersham Mountaineers were incorporated in 1834, the Union Rifle Company and in 1836, the Habersham Rangers. These militia companies were largely social. In 1841, the Habersham Blues were incorporated and, in 1850, the Habersham Volunteers Mounted Infantry was organized.

There was also early development of the industrial part of the county. Iron was mined near Demorest by the Habersham Mining Company, incorporated in 1821. The Habersham Iron Works and Manufacturing Company was incorporated in 1837. The iron ore was mined near Demorest and carried to Habersham Mills where the old foundry was located. It is believed that Habersham Mills made cannon for the Confederate Army during the War Between the States.

There was a lime kiln near Antioch Church, where the limestone was burned to make lime. But of the minerals found in Habersham County, none has been known as long as that of gold. The early settlers found gold trinkets among the Indians of the mountains, and their eyes were soon attracted by the glistening particles in streams.

According to White in Statistics of the State of Georgia (1854), the principal mines were Loud's vein, Gordon's, Lewis's, Holt's, Richardson's, White and McGie's, Gordon and Lumsdcn's, William's, Little John's, and Horshaw's. R. J. Nesbitt, in Georgia: Her Resources and Possibilities (1895), points out that much of the gold from the mines never reached the mint and that many mines, which were profitably worked for years, remained idle or undeveloped in the years following the War Between the States. Other minerals available in Habersham county were listed in White's Statistics as cynanite, garnet, carnelian, augite, asbestos, tourmaline, ruby, and plumbago.

These new settlers were usually very religious men. They were mostly Baptists and Methodists. It is said that the main difference between the Baptists and Methodists in those days was that the Methodists built schools and held church in the school house, while the Baptists built churches and held school in the church. In 1850 there were eighteen Baptist churches in the county one Episcopal church, nineteen Methodist churches, and one Presbyterian church.

According to the census of 1850, statistics were as follows: dwellings, 1338 families, 1338 white males, 3962 white females, 3713 free colored males, 2 total free population, 7677 slaves, 1218 deaths, 17 farms, 732 manufacturing establishments, 5 value of real testate, $327,003 value of personal estate, $1,083,771.

Prior to the War Between the States, most of the slaves resided on the plantations in the river valleys. Smith, in his Story of Georgia, describes these plantations as follows:

A large plantation was a little kingdom. The overseer was in charge, a black driver was under him, there were hoehands, plowmen, quartermasters, cooks, gardeners, blacksmiths, carpenters, shoemakers, a midwife, nurses, dairy maids, spinners, weavers, seamstresses, chicken- and turkey-raisers, and even a gang of little negroid called the "drop-shot gang" which carried water and food to the hands in the field. The system of working was exact. There was a horn blown, or a bell rung, as carry as it was possible to sec, and by sunrise the hands were in the fields. The work was steady until noon, then the mules were fed and the hands ate their midday meal work was resumed and continued until dark. On Saturday the rations of three and (one) half pounds of bacon, one peck of meal and one quart of molasses were given to each adult. At the quarter each Negro family had a cabin, a garden or patch, some chickens, and often a pig. The overseer's orders were imperative and absolute and were never resisted. He knew his own interests too well to punish injuriously a slave to overwork him or neglect him.

Between 1850 and 1860 the county diminished. Part of Lumpkin had been cut off Habersham in 1831. In 1857 a large part was cut off into Banks. The Line Baptist Church between Cornelia and Homer was the old boundary between Habersham and Jackson Counties. In 1858, White County was created out of Habersham. Later, the territory north of the ridge was lost to Rabun in a lawsuit, and Stephens Count)' was created in 1905. However, in 1860 the county was still larger than it is today. At the beginning of the War Between the States, Habersham County contained about two-thirds of what is now Stephens County and claimed to the Tailulah River north of the mountains in what is now Rabun County.

During the years 1870-1900, the count)' progressed industrially as well as educationally and agriculturally Railroads were built. Piedmont College was founded. Vineyards and apple orchards were set out in the county

About 1880 there was a wave of immigration from Germany and Switzerland to Habersham County These people were industrious farmers and wine makers. This growth brought trouble, with the famous "courthouse war" as the result.

Clarkesville was the original county seat, but it was small and off the main line of the railway. Toccoa was growing fast, and its people wanted to move the county seat from Clarkesville. At that time, the courthouse was in the middle of the square, and one night it was blown up with dynamite by persons unknown. However, Clarkesville kept the county seat. People "below the ridge" caused Stephens County to be created so that the)' too might have a county seat. In the meantime, a new courthouse was built in Clarkesville.

The desire for a railroad system to pass through Habersham County had been considered for many years. The railroad companies, seeking a passage from Chattanooga, Tennessee, to the sea, had been interested in running a line of tracks through the county Before the War Between the States, they had tried to get a railway from Walhalla, South Carolina, by way of Clayton and on into the mountains. The way was stopped, but some of the old tunnels and tills still exist to the cast of Clayton.

In 1856 The Clarkesville Tennessee Railroad Company was chartered by the General Assembly of Georgia with John Stanford, Phillip Martin, George Kollock, William Alley, and George D. Phillips as incorporators. It was given authority to construct a railroad "from the village of Clarkesville through the Hightower Gap to the Tennessee line near the copper mines." The railroad was never built.

The Athens and Cornelia Railroad Company was incorporated by the General Assembly of Georgia in 1890 with Rufus K. Pearce, J. H. Rucker, Asbury H. Hodgson, H. L. Smith and Peter King as its incorporators. It was never built.

The Airline Railway built what is now used by the Southern Railroad around 1875. They planned to run this line from south of Gainesville, by Gillsville, Homer, and Camesville, into Anderson, South Carolina but the cost of obtaining a right-of-way and building the necessary bridges across the rivers in Banks County caused them to take the ridge route through Cornelia.

For many years there had been a desire to run a track from Athens through the gap at Rabun Gap into Tennessee by way of Franklin, North Carolina. The road was constructed first from Athens to Lula, then followed the Airline to Cornelia, and on to Tailulah Falls, Clayton, and finally Franklin. These roads went bankrupt and the state, which had guaranteed the bonds, operated them for a while and then sold them.

From the earliest records of the white man as he ventured into Indian Territory, the land of what is now Habersham County has been renowned for its healthful climate, beautiful scenery, and rich natural resources. In a report prepared by Dr. Jasper G. Woodroof for the federal government in 1937, we find the following words:

Among the natural resources of the Hills of Habersham are crystal springs, swift streams, picturesque waterfalls, murmcring pines and hemlocks, stately hardwood trees, and some of the most gorgeous laurel, rhododendron, azaleas and dogwood to be found in the state. From these can be had a panorama of colors of leaves in the fall, a show)' display of fruit in spring, and a haven from the heat in summer. These conditions furnish an ideal setting for a "playground" for the state in summer, including hiking, natural study, fishing, camping, and picnicing.

Numbers of mountains once roamed by the Cherokees are distinctive and abound in legends. Tray, or Trail, Mountain, the king of the Blue Ridge, was so-named by the Cherokees because they were in the habit of ascending to the summit, a height of 5,000 feet above sea level, to watch for the approaching enemy. Other mountains include Yellow, Crow, Alec, Stone, Black, Grassy, Chimney, Goshen, Erwin, Powel, Aoram, and Tailulah Gap (History and Resources, p. 28). Chenocetah Mountain, which lies partly in the city of Cornelia, is Cherokee for "sec all around," and, when on the mountain with the other mountain ranges encircling it, one can understand the pictorial beauty and exactness of the Indian language. The elevation of the mountain is 1,829 feet. Local residents call it "Tower Mountain" after the tower built on it in the 1930's by the Public Works Administration. On some maps the name may be Griffin Mountain.

Rivers and creeks wind their way through the 290 square miles within the boundaries of the county. The Soque River rises in the northwest section of the county on Goshen Mountain and swings far to the east until it runs into the Chattahoochee River in the Fork Militia District. It has its entire course in Habersham County. The Tailulah and Tugalo Rivers form natural boundaries for the northeast corner of the county, while the Chattahoochee forms a natural boundary between Habersham and White Counties.

There are four lakes in the county: Russell, which was named for the Russell family, Chief Justice Richard B. Russell, Sr., and Senator Richard B. Russell, Jr. Habersham, which is near the head of the Soque River and furnishes power for Habersham Mills Nancytown, on which a dam was constructed in the 1930's during the Roosevelt Administration and which, along with Russell Lake, now lies within the Chattahoochee National Forest and Democrat, which lies within the city limits of Demorest and furnishes water for the town. At one time ice skaters used the lake in the winter but either the lake has become deeper or the climate more mild, for the lake never freezes hard enough now for such sport.

There are thirteen creeks within the county: Mauldin Mill, Rapor, Sutton Mill, Beaverdam, Hollow Bank, Deep, Panther, Hazel, Mud, Glade, Sautee, and Shoal (History and Resources of Habersham, p. 28). There is a state park at Panther Creek, which is on the road from Clarkesville to Clayton.

The Tailulah Falls are formed by a stream which is the western branch of the Tugalo River, and its rapids are about ten miles above its junction with the Chattooga River. The Tailulah River passes through a ridge of mountains and has banks of huge rock, with sides often perpendicular and smooth (Statistics of the State of Georgia, George White, 1854). Prior to 1913, when the Tailulah River was diverted around the falls by a tunnel, there were six falls ranging in height from sixteen to eighty-nine feet. The area contained mineral springs also. A swinging bridge was built across the gorge near the bottom for tourists, and during the summer months excursion trains brought tourists from nearby as well as from distant cities such as New Orleans or Jacksonville (History and Resources, p. 18-19). Among the interesting sights which were seen were Hawthorne's Pool, 100 feet deep Tempesta Falls, 76 feet high Hurricane Falls (known as the Niagara of the South), 91 feet high Ocean Falls, 47 feet high Bridal Veil Falls, 35 feet high Horseshoe Bend, where the course of the river formed a perfect horseshoe, 1,000 feet below the canyon's rim Lover's Leap, 700 feet high and legendary in Indian lore Devil's Pulpit, 750 feet high Council Rocks (last court of the Cherokees), 800 feet above the bed of the river and ribbon Cascade, 1,000 feet high (History and Resources, p. 51). Tallulah Gorge, which was cut by the Tailulah River, is noted both for its scenic beauty and for its historical significance. To descend to the river at the bottom of the gorge enables one to sec some of the most beautiful scenery in Georgia. The gorge is three miles long and from 600-1000 feet in depth (Habersham County Sketch Plan, p. 19).

In Georgia, Historical and Industrial, published in 1901, several interesting facts are mentioned concerning Habersham county (which at that time included that part of Stephens County which had not been cut off). There were 224,857 acres of land, 74,779 of which were under cultivation. The main products were cotton, corn, wheat, oats, rye, sorghum, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, field-peas, berries, fruits (of which apples and peaches brought the best profits), and melons. Few forage crops were raised because the native grasses supplied abundant pasture without them. 2000 lbs. of clover to the acre were produced without any special effort. Timber consisted of white oak, post oak, maple, hickory, beech, walnut, elder and pine. There were six saw-mills operating as well as cotton mills, flour and grist mills, and a woolen mill. There were five brandy distilleries.

According to the Census of 1900, the following statistics were available: white males, 5870 white females, 5942 colored males, 869 colored females, 923 domestic animals in barns and enclosures (not on farms or ranges), 91 calves, 46 steers, 2 bulls, 281 dairy cows 203 horses, 40 mules, 1 donkey, 4 sheep, 498 swine, and 3 goats.

The land has always been the focal point of the citizens of Habersham County. A dedication to a rural life style has been a part of the heritage since its earliest beginnings. Even with a shifting of interest to industry, the small towns have remained loyal to the county and work toward making it a strong force throughout the state.

USS Habersham - History


Habersham county was formed from a part of a land grant ceded from the Cherokee Indians in 1817. The county was organized in 1818 and named for the famous Revolutionary leader and later Postmaster General, Joseph Habersham.

The county site was chartered in 1823 and named for the Revolutionary General Elijah Clarke. Gen. Clarke spelled his name in the old way with the final E, and for this reason the E is retained in Clarkesville. This little city has the distinction of being the only one of the nineteen Clarkesvilles in the United States.

Originally Habersham comprised the present county, a large part of White and Stephens counties and a small part of Banks county. (White county was formed from Habersham and Hall in 1837, and Stephens county from Habersham and Franklin in 1905).

Soon after and even during the Revolutionary war white men came to the Indian lands from the Carolinas and lived along the banks of Tugalo river and also on the Georgia side. Among these was James Jarrett, whose descendants still own farms in Stephens county--whole original deeds came from the Indians. A man named Van Diverre or Vandiver lived near Tallulah Falls, and Gen. James Wofford came farther into the county and lived with the Indians.

The white people who bought land before the county was ceded to the government bought it from the Indians through their chefs. But any Indians who wanted to could clear and improve land and give it to his children. As long as he or his children remained on the land it was his, but if he moved away the land and improvements became the property of any Indian who took possession of it.

There were many well to do Indians, and half-breeds in the county at the time it was organized who had good farms and owned slaves. Among these Indians we find the James Stan Waitee, Black Watt Adair, Red Watt Adair, Jim Vann and Lynch. By the beginning of the nineteenth century quite a number of whites had ventured into this section and rented or bought land from the Indians. Among these English settlers we find many names of citizens of the county at the present day. By the time the county was organized settlements had been established in several places along the banks of the Soque River near and where Clarkesville now is, on the Tugalo at the Jarrett settlement, in the Nacoochee Valley the Williams settlement and in the Batesville District near Providence church, which were the largest settlements.

Among the names of the English inhabitants are Jarrett, Devereau, Van Diverre, Wofford, Hill, Sutton, Williams, Free, Crow, Sisk, McClure, Burton, Dover, Cooley, Chastain, Fry, Trotter, Bowen, Tatum, Davis, Deal, Ivester, Stewart, Hames, Harshaw, Brookshire, Waldrep, Kimsey and Gabrels.

The "Covered Wagon" settlers who came to Habersham before and after its organization were substantial, God-fearing citizens and became the backbone of the county. Soon after the county was organized gold was discovered and many settlers attracted by the gold came. Among them we find the names of Elibu Barclay, the Lambert brothers, A. J. Nichols, William Hackett, John Fuller, Alex Mauldin, William Hiers, S. H. (?) Alley, Jesse Norris, John S. Dobbins and Elijah Starr. Many of these were the first settlers of Clarkesville.

There was a wealthy class of people also attracted by the gold and the wonderful climate from Savannah, Charleston and parts of North Carolina and Virginia, bought large tracts of land and put their slaves to digging for gold. These people built homes -- either permanent or for summer use -- and brought an air of refinement and culture to this section that is usually found only in old communities. Among these we find the names of Dr. George Duval Phillips, General B. F. Patton, S. A. Wales, John A. Stanford, William Smith, Alex Erwin, Judge William Laws, Governor Alsten, of South Carolina, Richard Habersham, Richard Ownes, General B. R. Wyley and John B. Ward.

Judge J. W. H. Underwood, the noted wit of the Georgia bar, presided over the court of Habersham many years. Among the lawyers of Habersham were Col. Stamper, a brother-in-law of Judge Underwood, also noted for his wit and peculiarities, Elibu Barclay, John H. Jones, M. J. Walker, Calvin Hanks, S. A. Wales, J. H. Trippe, Phillip Martin and Thomas Rush.[**See Note Below**]

Some of the early representatives of the county to the legislature were General Wofford, Col. Cleveland, Dr. John Bailey, Dr. George D. Phillips, Thos. M. Kimsey, William Grant and James C. Jarrard. Dr. Phillips introduced and put through a bill known as the "Poor School Fund", providing for a fund for the education of children of parents too poor to pay their tuition. This was the first school law passed after that one in the Constitution providing wild lands for the establishment of academies in the different counties.

Mr. Chastain was Representative to Congress and Hon. Richard Habersham was also Congressional Representative. His home is now owned by Mr. J. A. Erwin. It is about four miles from Clarkesville on the Tallulah Falls Highway and is a quaint building of the old architecture.

In every settlement there was a church. Most of these were of Baptist denomination. Bethlehem Church, one mile from Clarkesville, was the first church in the county, and Providence Church, near Lake Burton, was the second. The Methodist had a campground at Mossy Creek, now in White County.

Among the early ministers of the Gospel in Habersham were Singleton Sisk, Thomas M. Kimsey, James C. Jarrard, Frederic Canup, Benjamin Jones, Grover Trotter and Jesse Morrison of the Baptist denomination, and Jack and William Deavors, Wilkes Leonard and Andrew Robertson of the Methodists.

In 1838 the Episcopalians built a little church, which is still standing in Clarkesville. In this church the convention was held which nominated Rev. Stephen Elliott as the first Bishop of Georgia. A few years later a Presbyterian church was built also in Clarkesville. It was dedicated by Dr. Nathan Hoyt, grandfather of the first Mrs. Woodrow Wilson.

The first bank in Habersham was a branch of the Georgia R. R. Bank of Augusta, with William Frederick Dugas as the cashier. The first newspaper was "The Angus," which was soon followed by "The Northeast Georgian" published by J. J. Patton.

There was an iron mill established on the site of the Habersham Cotton Mills, four miles from Clarkesville, and a cousin of President Van Buren, Jarvis Van Buren, came out of New York to take charge of the work. Later the mill was used by the Confederacy during the War Between the States.

Short session schools of usually three months were held in most of the settlements, the church being used for a school house. Singing lessons and penmanship were taught by some traveling teachers in courses of about two weeks duration. Clarkesville prepared for college. Rev. Stanhope Erwin was one of the very earliest teachers. Mr. Blair, of Pennsylvania, Mr. Round and Mr. William Rogers were also early teachers. In 1850 there was built a school for girls known as Tallulah Female Institute, Rev. R. C. Ketchum being principal. During the war this school was closed and never afterwards opened. The wealthy persons in the county too far away to patronize the Clarkesville schools usually had governesses in their homes.

The delightful climate of Habersham has attracted health and pleasure seekers since its earliest days, and for many years Clarkesville was one of the most popular summer resorts in the state. The old stage coach running between Clarkesville and Athens brought many visitors to its hotels and private homes.

The first hotel was the Fuller House, which stood on the east side of the square. A hotel stood where the Mountain View is and was kept by Lewis Levy, of Augusta. It was later bought and improved by Mr. Reuben Nash and was called the Habersham House. The Allegheny House on Washington Street was kept by Mrs. Collier. Many persons from the coast owned summer homes in Habersham. These made the village and community very gay in summer.

When the Indians were removed from Georgia, Gen. Scott was sent from Washington to take care of the removal. He called upon Georgia to furnish militia companies to do the work. General Benjamin Patton, of Clarkesville, had charge of the removal from northeast Georgia, and a company of Habersham militia were among those under him.

Habersham played an active part during the War Between the States. Rev. Singleton Sisk was her delegate at the Secession Convention and voted for secession. Habersham county had eight hundred voters in 1861 and had one thousand soldiers in the army. Habersham county men were in nearly all of the great battles in the east and many in Johnson's and Hood's divisions.

Company K of the 24th Georgia Division was a Habersham company with Capt. Robert McMillan, its first captain. Capt. John G. Porter succeeded him and was mortally wounded, and Capt. Ezekiel Fuller succeeded Captain Porter.

Dr. James Philips equipped a company but refused to accept an office. Company E of the 16th Georgia Division was largely composed of Habersham men and Capt. Styles was its captain. E. S. Brasley commanded a company from Clarkesville which went in Phillip's Legion. All of these companies belonged to Cobb's afterwards Wofford's Brigade, McLaws Division, Longstreets Corps, Lee's Army. Solomon Van Devierre was the first captain of a company made up at Clarkesville that served in the 52nd Georgia Regiment. Col. Charles Phillips was Colonel and after his capture, Capt. Rufus Asbury was acting Colonel until the close of the war.

After the war Habersham suffered the depression of the reconstruction period, that other parts of the state went through, but as there were not as large a proportion of the wealthy class, the change was not as noticeable as in some other parts of the state.

In 1875 the Southern Railroad, then called "The Air Line", was built and the town of Toccoa came into existence and was soon a flourishing little city. In 1881-82 the Tallulah Falls Railroad was built and Cornelia was formed at the junction, which also grew rapidly. Mount Airy, Baldwin and Alto, on the Southern Railway also came into existence. Mount Airy, Turnerville and Tallulah Falls became popular summer resorts.

Toccoa having grown larger than Clarkesville aspired to become the county site of Habersham and in 1898 made a move for this purpose. The fight was hard and at times bitter. Mr. William Crane, an old lawyer and Charles L. Bass, a very young one, stumped the county for Clarkesville. Clarkesville won. During that time the Court House which was situated in the center of the square was blown up. And when it was rebuilt it was placed opposite the square in its present situation. But Toccoa felt she must be a county seat, so she started a campaign for a new county and Clarkesville bid her God speed, and in 1905 the legislature created the county of Stephens with Toccoa as the county seat.

Soon after the Southern Railroad was built there was a colony of German Swiss came to the county and started New Switzerland. They planted grape vines to make wine on a large scale, but before the vines were large enough to make the business profitable, Habersham became dry by reason of local option and many of the Swiss moved away. Some took up farming or trades and later took out papers of citizenship.

After Habersham became dry a company of prohibitionists from the north and west established a town on the Tallulah Falls Railroad and named it Demorest for the well known prohibitionist, Jennings Demorest. Demorest is the seat of Piedmont College -- a splendid school, a college which was founded by Rev. C. C. Spence in 1897 as J. S. Green Collegiate Institute.

In 1905 when the Legislature, at the earnest desire of Governor Terrell, determined to establish an Agricultural and Mechanical High School in each Congressional District, Clarkesville bid for the Ninth District school. Other towns in the district were working for it and promised more money than Habersham could possibly raise. But because of the many small donations and large number of signers to the petition, the committee realized that though poor, the people wanted and felt the need of the school. So it was given to Habersham and built two miles north of Clarkesville. The results of the work of the school have shown the wisdom of the founders of the institution in establishing the school "In The Hills of Habersham".


The county of Habersham, as originally organized in 1818, was bounded on the north by Rabun, east by the Tugalo river, south by Franklin and Hall counties. It was thirty-one miles long and twenty-three miles wide, containing 713 square miles. This territory was originally owned by the Cherokee Indians. Six miles southeast of Clarkesville stood for many years the Chopped Oak, a favorite meeting place of the Indians where they planned their raids upon the whites and to quote Lucien Knight, "judging from the appearance of the tree when last seen, the Indians must have made life in this region a nightmare to the settlers."

The county was named in honor of Joseph Habersham, of Savannah, whose father, James Habersham, accompanied the Rev. George Whitfield to Georgia from England. The town of Clarkesville dates its beginning from 1821. It was named for Gen. Elisah Clarke, soldier of the Revolution and twice governor of our state.

My grandmother said that when she came here a bride in 1838, the U. S. Troops were encamped here for the purpose of removing the Indians. The young Lieutenant in command was J. B. Magruder, who afterwards became a famous Confederate General.

The discovery of gold in the Nacoochee Valley soon brought to this hitherto unknown section many seekers after the precious metal, but from the first the settlers were of a very superior class. The attitude is such that it has almost unrivaled advantages as a summer climate, and before the railroad system was opened, when it was necessary to reach these mountain resorts by private conveyance, the people from the low country began to come here for the summer. The population, however, was made up largely of the sturdy stock before-mentioned. In 1830 the population was 10,000 in the county.

The first Court House, erected in 1821, was the little wooden building occupied for many years by John Jones, and adjacent to his livery stable. Here the famous Judge Dooly held Habersham's first court. The first bank was established in the little building, still standing, known for years after it ceased to be a bank as Mr. Sam Lambert's tailor shop. The second Court House was built in 1832 and stood on an elevation in the center of the public square. This elevation, known as the Court House wall, was the gathering place for the men of the town. The jail at this time stood on the corner just above Mr. Frank Asbury's present home. It was a very ordinary wooden building and badly arranged.

Dr. George D. Phillips, a Virginian, came from North Carolina and settled at Farm Hill where his son, the beloved Dr. Jas. P. Phillips, lived for so long. Dr. George Phillips was also the father of Col. Chas. D. Phillips and Gen. Wm. Phillips, and these three sons were all gallant officers in the Confederate army.

My great uncle, Col. Samuel A. Wales, just graduated from the law school at Yale, built the house afterwards owned successively by General Toombs and Judge Bleckley, and burned while the home of the latter. It was here that Col. Wales' sister, Catherine, whose home was in Mt. Zion, where she was a graduate of Dr. Beman's famous school, visited her brother and met the man she afterward married, Alexander Erwin. Col. Wales' brother-in-law, Col. Turner H. Trippe, built the Campbell house long the residence of Rev. A. C. Ketchum and now owned by Mrs. Walter B. Hill.

My grandfather, Alexander Erwin, a North Carolinian, son of a man who as a mere boy fought at the battle of King's Mountain, came here in 1829. He, with Gen. B. F. Patton, a brother-in-law of Dr. George Phillips, put up a store for the purpose of trading with the Indians. Their place of business was the old O'Callaghan building on the site of the present Court House. Too old for service when the War Between the States broke out, he kept the postoffice and helped to look after the affairs of the town, but he sent three gallant sons, Capt. W. S. Erwin, J. B. Erwin and Capt., afterwards Judge, Alex S. Erwin.

John R. Stanford, a man of fine family and of wealth, was for years a prominent merchant here. He built the beautiful home on the hill which he called Pomona Hall, afterwards owned by Gen. Jeremy Francis Gilmer and now in the possession of his son-in-law, J. F. Minis. This home was long the center of hospitality for the little town. Mrs. Stanford was of the distinguished Charlton family of Savannah.

Mr. Jarvis Van Buren came here from New York to take charge of the iron works at what is now the Porter Mills. He was a cousin of President Martin Van Buren and was said to resemble him greatly. He bore the distinction of having been the engineer on the first railroad train ever successfully run in the United States. It was a line about forty miles in length and ran from Albany to Schenectady, N. Y.

William Smith built the Grove House. He was the grandfather of Rev. William Beane, Thos. S. Beane and the Ansleys of Atlanta.

Judge Garnett Andrews in his "Reminiscences of an Old Georgia Lawyer" gives an amusing account of a lawyer of our town whom he called Col. Stamper. The original of this sketch was William A. Steelman, and he owned the house afterwards owned and occupied by Alexander Erwin. He was a brother-in-law of J. W. H. Underwood and was said to have been quite as original a character as Judge Andrews has depicted him.

The Grove house afterwards came into the possession of Col. Robert McMillan, who came from County Antrim, Ireland, in 1831, and settled in Elbert county, removing to Habersham in 1852. He was a fiery little Irishman. His father was a Scotchman and his mother was Jane Montgomery, a niece of the famous general who fell at the battle of Quebec. Col. McMillan went heart, soul and money into the Confederate cause. He raised and commanded the 24th Georgia Regiment, although nearly sixty years old and was noted for his bravery. When Gen. Thos. R. R. Cobb fell, mortally wounded at Fredericksburg, Col. McMillan was placed in temporary command and would have been made Brigadier-General but his health failed and he came home to die.

His son, Capt. Garnett McMillan, my father, who married Miss Julia Erwin, was a student in Emory and Henry College in Virginia when the war broke out. On the eve of graduation he came home and enlisted as a private in his father's regiment, subsequently becoming Captain of the 2nd battalion, Georgia Sharp-Shooters. In 1874 he received the Democratic nomination for Congress over the great Benjamin H. Hill and in the ensuing election he swept the field by a majority of 5,500 votes. But in January 1875, less than two months before the opening of Congress, he died at the early age of thirty-two and Mr. Hill succeeded him.

That Habersham deserves its reputation of being one of the two spots with the lowest death rate in the world is borne out by the fact that the little Methodist cemetery holds the dust of all the Clarkesville citizens who passed away during a period of seventy-five years. The present place of interment was laid off in 1893, and Capt. Wm. Stanhope Erwin was the first person buried in it. In the old cemetery rest the remains of at least two Revolutionary soldiers, Mr. McCroskey, the grandfather of Mrs. Caroline Hunt, and Matthew Rhodes.

As we have before said the delightful climate of Habersham attracted many persons from the low country who built handsome homes in the vicinity of Clarkesville. One of these was the summer home of John McPherson Berrien, Attorney General under Andrew Jackson and twice U. S. Senator. By a strange coincidence this place was brought by Amos T. Akerman, who held the same office under President Grant.

The Alston home near Clarkesville was built by Col. Alston, who was either a brother or nephew of Governor Alston of South Carolina, who married the beautiful and ill-fated Theodosia Burr, daughter of Aaron Burr. The Alston place passed into the hands of the Middleton brothers, Arthur and Walter, grandsons of the signer of the Declaration of Independence. To Habersham also came John E. Ward, first U. S. minister to China. He built a handsome house on the Tallulah Falls road, but it was burned and nothing remains to mark the spot except the old well and a few charred logs on the terraces.

Judge Law lived between Clarkesville and Mt. Airy. I have heard my mother say what a pretty sight it was to see him come into church on Sunday morning with his fourteen pretty daughters, occupying two pews. I do not think I have exaggerated the number, but think of having to dress than many girls! Judge Law's home was later owned by Robert Tyler Waller, a grandson of President Tyler. Mrs. Waller and her brother George H. Johnson, long a resident of Clarkesville, were great-grandchildren of Major Gen. Nathaniel Greene.

The venerable and saintly Rev. W. E. Eppes lived at his county home, Sunnyside, and was rector of the Episcopal church. He was, if I mistake not, a grandson of Thomas Jefferson. Thos. M. Bradford, whom many will recall as postmaster, was a lineal descendent of James Madison. Mrs. Adkins and Mrs. Robert Lambert were daughters of Dr. Malthus Ward, who had charge of the old Botanical garden at Athens.

The fine old home, Anadale, was begun by Col. Robert McMillan. It was sold to Mr. Waring and later to the brothers, Edwin M. and Geo. W. Clayton of North Carolina, who lived there for some years. General Duncan L. Clinch, a noted officer of the U. S. Army, established a summer home in the same neighborhood and here, as a boy, played his grandson, ex-Governor Duncan Clinch Heyward, of South Carolina. Here also lived the Trists, Owens, Haskells and Kollocks, the latter being close relatives of Commodore Tattnall. The very quaint old home now occupied by J. A. Erwin was, I think, built by Richard Habersham, who sleeps in the old cemetery at Clarkesville.

General Toombs and Judge Bleckley were once familiar figures on our streets. The former might be seen almost any day disdaining the sidewalk and strolling down the middle of the street, an unlighted cigar in his mouth as he wended his way to his accustomed seat on the Court House wall, where he was ever the center of a circle of admirers. But after the death of his beloved wife, he sold his home to Judge Bleckley and returned to Washington.

Next in my mother's notes I find the following: Schools, hotels, churches. Memory is the only guide I have here. Col. Sam Wales had, for awhile, a small boarding school at his home and Miss Metzler taught here about the same time. The old "Academy," which has been turned over to the negroes was probably the first school house built by the town. Buy many of us who went there part of the time received also a part of our education at the "Old College" which stood on "College Hill," and was removed to give place to the beautiful home of Mr. A. N. LaRierre. This rambling old building had its beginning as a girls' boarding school, but it was never successful and was soon abandoned except as it was used from time to time as a county school.

White's statistics gives Clarkesville in its early days as having three hotels, "all of which possess the art of making travelers comfortable." One of these was the Phoenix, which stood on Main Street next to Mr. Lambert's tailor shop. Another was the Habersham House, now the Mountain View, and the third must, I think, have been the old Allegheny House. I do not know who built the latter but when I can first remember the Stanfords lived there. Dr. And Mrs. Burns set up housekeeping in the Allegheny in 1885.

I do not know which was built first the old Methodist church which stood in the center of the old cemetery, or the Episcopal church. My first recollection of the latter is hearing the sainted Bishop Beckwith preach from its high, old-fashioned pulpit. The Presbyterian church was dedicated on the first Sabbath in July, 1848, and my mother, an infant less than two years old, was baptized in it on that day. In it have preached Dr. Nathan Hoyt and Dr. Henry Hoyt, grandfather and uncle of the beloved Groves H. Cartledge and many others of distinction. Few sections of our state have more claim to history than this. It is sacred ground and no one has ever lived here but feels at times the longing to return.

USS Habersham - History


Mrs. Julia Wales Erwin Wilson, Sister to W. S. Erwin

Habersham county was organized in 1819. The first white man to settle in the area was Mr. Sutton, uncle of the late Judge C. H. Sutton. Most of the county was settled by the sturdy Scotch-Irish people who came first to Pennsylvania, then came further south to the mountains of Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and East Tennessee. These Scotch-Irish people have always been the backbone of our Republic. There were the authors of the Mecklenburg Declaration and many of them had revolutionary lineage. There is an old saying, "Mountaineers are always free". True to this fact, Habersham county, with a voting population of 800, sent to the Southern Confederacy over a thousand men.

The town of Clarkesville dates its beginning from the year 1823. Two men, Chastain and Vaughn, gave land lots No. 2 and 19 as the site for the town. Clarkesville was named in honor of Gen. Elijah Clarke, who was so active in north and east Georgia during the Revolutionary War. The Court House, a small frame building, was located on the Public Square, and a log jail on the lot where Mr. F. L. Asbury's residence now is. When a brick court house was built, in 1832, the old building was moved down to the livery stable lot where it still stands, (The Claud Adams home). Judge John Dooly, the famous Georgia wit, held the first court in Habersham.

At this time, and for a good many years after, much of this country was still in possession of the Indians. I have heard my mother say that when she came to Clarkesville, a bride, in 1838, there were United States Troops here for the purpose of removing the Indians. The young Lieutenant in charge of the troops was J. B. Magruder, afterwards the famous Confederate General.

The discovery of gold in the Nacoochee Valley, and other parts of the country, soon brought to this hitherto unknown section, many seekers for the precious metal. From the first these settlers were of a superior class. Among them may be mentioned the names of Alex Maulden, William Hacket, Thos. Fayetter, Jessie Norris, T. B. Wood, Elihu Barkley, J. R. Wyly, William Hicks, S. H. J. Alley, the Lambert brothers, A. J. Nichols, Hezekiah Dyer, John Fuller, and John S. Dobbins who were the first to settle the town.

Dr. George D. Phillips came in 1829. He was a Virginian, a skillful physician, and a man prominent in the politics of the state. His wife was the daughter of James Patton, the founder of Ashville, N. C. Dr. Phillips built a home at Farm Hill, where Dr. James P. Phillips still lives. Mr. father, Alexander Irwin, a North Carolinian, and a son of a man who, as a boy, fought at King's Mountain, came here in 1829, and with Gen. B. F. Patton, also a North Carolinian, whose home was what is now the Ketron farm, put up a store for the purpose of trading for gold, in the old building that stood where the present court house now stands. My uncle, S. A. Wales, just graduated from the law school at Yale, with his brother-in-law T. H. Trippe, also a lawyer, were two early comers. Col. Wales built the Bleckley House which was burned a few years ago. Col. Trippe built the old Campbell home, now the property of Mrs. W. B. Hill. Col. Trippe sold his home to the town for a academy.

Afterwards it was the home of Rev. R. C. Ketchum, the Presbyterian minister for about twenty years. It subsequently became the summer home of Gen. Robert Toombs, and when it was burned some ten years ago was the home of Judge Logan E. Bleckley, chief justice of Georgia a pretty good record for one house, I think. Col. Trippe sold his home to Mr. Robert Campbell who occupied it during most of each year for more than thirty years. Judge Garnet Andrews in the reminiscences of an old Georgia layer, gives an amusing account of a Clarkesville lawyer whom he called Col. Stamper. The original of this sketch was Col. Studman who lived in the house now owned by J. B. Erwin. He was a brother-in-law of Judge J. W. H. Underwood and is said to have been quite as interesting character as Judge Andrews pictures him.

John R. Stanford bought much land in and around Clarkesville. He was a merchant, a man of wealth of public spirit. His wife was Miss Charlton, of the well-known Savannah family. He built the beautiful home on the hill, now owned by J. F. Minis, and as Pamona Hall it was for years the center of social life of the town.

A company headed by Jacob and Adam Stroop and in which Hon. John C. Calhoun was a stockholder, put up an iron works plant on the site now occupied by the Habersham Mills. Jarvin Van Buren came out from the north to take charge of it and built the house now occupied by Idus Brewer. Mr. Van Buren was a New York man, a cousin of Martin Van Buren, and looked very much like the picture of the President. He had the distinction of having, as engineer, run the first train ever successfully operated in the United States. It was a short line about forty miles in length, and, I think, ran between Schenectady, NY and Albany, NY.

The first academy of the town as the old Grove House. This afterwards became the home of Mr. William Smith, grandfather of the late Thomas F. Bean and of the Ansleys of Atlanta. It was at one time occupied by Hon. John E. Ward, first minister of the United States to China. Col. Robert McMillian bought this place about 1854.

The old Shade Alley place is probably the oldest place in our town. It was built by a Mr. Brannan, and afterwards was owned by Gen. J. R. Wyley. Mr. Wyley was the grandfather of John Sevier, Gen, in the Revolutionary army, and governor of Tennessee. Mrs. Ruth Erwin comes from the same family.

The little town seems to have had good schools in those early days. My uncle, Rev. Stanhope Erwin, a young Presbyterian minister, taught here while studying for the ministry. Gen. William Phillips was one of his pupils. His wife was Miss Danwoody, cousin of Mrs. Teddy Roosevelt. A man named Blair was imported from Pennsylvania and had a fine school here. Dr. J. T. Phillips, Dr. Rossingnol and Dr. Starr were three of his pupils. Mr. Blair went back to his native state, was later sent to Congress, and became a most violent abolitionist and hater of the south. Later Mr. Round taught here and also Mr. Williams Rogers.


Mrs. Julia Wales Erwin Wilson, Sister to W. S. Erwin

In the early fifties, H. B. Smith had a large and flourishing school here for several years. In 1859, the citizens of the town were much interested in a large school for girls, toward which most of them contributed. Judge William Low gave the site, thirteen acres, to the town, and a large building was erected on "College Hill', now the Martin Place. The school was the Tallulah Female Institute, and Rev. R. C. Ketchum was principal. It flourished and died. Most of what little education I possess was acquired at the Tallulah Female Institute.

The first church was the old Methodist church, 1831, which stood in the cemetery. It was built by all the citizens for the use of all denominations. In 1838 the Episcopalians built their church. The first vestryman, or trustees, were George D. Phillips, B. F. Patton, S. A. Wales, Alex Erwin and John R. Stanford, mostly Presbyterians. Here the convention was held which elected Steven Elliott first Presbyterian Bishop of Georgia. Some years later, 1848, the Presbyterians built their church on a lot of two acres, given in equal shares, by Robert Campbell, Wi8lliam Smith and George D. Phillips. This church was completed in 1848 and dedicated by Dr. Nathan Hoyt, grandfather of Mrs. Woodrow Wilson. I have also heard her other grandfather, Rev. I. S. K. Axson, preach there, also her father, Rev. Edward Axson and her uncle, Rev. Dr. Henry Hoyt. I have heard too in this church, Dr. J. R. Wilson, father of the President, and Professor James Woodrow, his uncle.

Clarkesville boasted a bank in these early days, a branch of the Georgia R. Bank of Augusta. Mr. Dugas, uncle of Dr. Henry Rossignol, was the manager. He built the Berry House where Mr. Joe Stewart lived 1910-1918 (now the pastorium). The bank was in the old Sam Lambert house which burned a few years ago.

The hotel which stood where the Mountain View now is was kept for years by Lewis Levy of Augusta, and after him by Mr. Reuben Nash. Mrs. Collier was for many years landlady of the Alleghany House, now the Inn, while Mrs. Fuller had a hotel on the square where is now the Addison house (Foster's store corner).

The little town boasted of a paper called "The Argus" in the early days. The North East Georgian was published later by J. F. Patton.

In the old cemetery lie at least two Revolutionary soldiers, Mr. McCrocky, grandfather of Mrs. Caroline Hunt and Matthew Rhodes. I have a very faint recollection of the latter as a very feeble old man.

The principal physician in Clarkesville for fifty years was Dr. W. J. Rusk, an old bachelor, shy and awkward, but a fine physician and one of the most charitable of men. His old fashioned saddle bags were often full of needed delicacies for those of his patients who were unable to buy them.

There was no dearth of lawyers in Clarkesville in those days. Among them were Elihu Barclay, John H. Jones, M. J. Walker, Calvin J. Hanks, Phillip Martin and Thomas J. Rusk. Calvin Hanks was killed by Dr. L. B. Harris. No doubt many of you have noticed the epitaph on his tomb in the old cemetery, "Ye living men as ye pass by." To my childish mind this was the most wonderful and awe inspiring gem of poetry.

Thomas J. Rusk was a young lawyer of brilliant promise, but was fast ruining himself by dissipation. Dr. George Phillips, one day after a serious talk with him as to his conduct and future, gave him a hundred dollars and told him to go to Texas and make a man of himself. Rusk took the money and advice, went to Texas and rose rapidly to the front rank in his profession and in politics. He was United States senator, with a bright prospect of being president of the United States, but ended his career by suicide while at the height of his fame. While senator he related to Dr. J. P. Phillips in Washington, t is story of Dr. George D. Phillips. (this is verbatim not a typo) The delightful climate of Habersham County, with its cool breezes, bright skies, gushing streams and fine scenery, soon brought many persons from the low country of Georgia and South Carolina to build summer homes in the vicinity of Clarkesville. Among them were many historic homes. Col. R. W. Habersham was the son of Joseph Habersham, Washington's Postmaster General. He built "Azalia," the quaint and lovely old house, now the home of Mr. Joe Erwin. The Alston House a few miles out of town near Turnerville was built by a close relative, son or nephew of Governor Alston of South Carolina, who married Theodosia, the beautiful and ill fated daughter of Aaron Burr. Sailing from Charleston to New York, to visit her father in his disgrace and old age, she was never heard of again. It was reported that the vessel was captured by pirates and Theodosia Alston, with the other passengers, forced to walk the plank. The "Alston" now belongs to the Middleton family of South Carolina, direct descendants of the signer, Arthur Middleton Junior. John MacPhearson, Attorney General under Andrew Jackson had a summer home here. It's rather a singular coincidence that this place was afterwards owned by Amos T. Akerman, who held the same office under President Grant. Rev. W. E. Eppes, the Episcopal minister beloved by all our people, was a great grandson of Thomas Jefferson and Mr. Robert Waller is a grandson of President Tyler. Andrew Jackson's mother, when her husband was killed, took refuge with her aunt Mrs. John Wilson, my husband's great grandmother. Andrew Jackson lived with Dr. John McKemie Wilson. These are but a few of the historic names connected with Clarkesville and Habersham County.

Clarkesville has always had a great attraction for all sorts of cranks and oddities, who have drifted here from every quarter, besides having her fair share of the same sort of native production. Did the scope of this paper permit, I could relate many tales of interest both grave and gay. I will speak of one story that used to excite my childish sympathy and interest to the highest degree. Many years ago, a Frenchman, calling himself Eugene Pinard, came to Clarkesville, no one knew for what reason. He was a mysterious character, stern and reserved, saying nothing of his past, except a few vague hints of a dark past of crime and piracy. A chest of rich clothing and silk and velvet seemed to corroborate his story of having been on a pirate ship. He married a pretty country girl living as help in General Wyley's family. He remained with her for perhaps three years, then disappeared as suddenly as he came, taking with him a beautiful little daughter, nearly two years old and leaving not a trace to show where he had gone. The sympathy of the whole town was aroused for the heartbroken mother and every possible effort was put forth to locate the little child. Kind friends wrote to the French consuls in New Orleans, Mobile, New York and other ports. Advertisements were inserted in the papers of the principal cities of this country and in France, but all in vain. The fugitives had disappeared as if swallowed by the earth, and the desolate mother never again heard aught of her child. I remember Mrs. Pinard when I was a child a pale, sad woman who made a modest livelihood by nursing the sick, and sewing in families and who grieved as long as she lived for her Victorine.

I have tried to be accurate in what I have written but have had to depend to a great extent on my memory of what I have heard the old folks say years ago. Dr. Phillips and my brother, Joe Erwin have given me a good deal of history. I love this dear old town where I was born, and where all my children were born, and I thank you for giving me an opportunity of assisting in some slight degree to preserve its memories and traditions. I am proud of my birthplace.



The Clarkesville Baptist church was organized on August 15th, 1888. A few persons, already members of that denomination, assembled in a room over J. W. West's store and constituted a presbytery for organizing a church. Those present were: Rev. J. L. R. Barrett, Rev. W. B. Hawkins, Rev. R. D. Hawkins, and Deacon T. J. Gastley also a small company of citizens of the town which comprised the congregation.

Rev. R. D. Hawkins preached an appropriate sermon, taking for his text the 19th and 20th verses of the 28th chapter of St. Matthew. After the sermon Rev. J. L. R. Barrett, who had been chosen to act as Moderator, called the meeting to order and stated it was the desire of those who had called the meeting to organize a Baptist church.

Thereupon, letters were presented by the following: W. D. Hill, Mrs. W. D. Dill, G. W. Hill, E. P. West, Mrs. E. P. West, Obediah A. Holloway, Mrs. Obediah A. Holloway, Ezekiel Fuller, Mrs. Ezekiel Fuller, Sandy A. Cash and Miss Cola Cash. Upon the reading of the Articles of Faith and the Church Covenant, the presbytery extended to them the right hand of fellowship, recognizing them as a duly constituted Baptist church.

After the organization the charge upon church duties was delivered by Rev. J. L. Barrett, and prayer was offered by Rev. W. B. Hawkins. The little band comprising the organization then set themselves to the task of organizing a church that would be a church in fact as well as in name. They joined themselves to the Clarkesville Baptist Association and proceeded to build a house in which to worship. "Time were exceedingly hard" in this section at that period, but by privation and persistence, with great faith in Him who provides for the tomorrows, the house was built and ready for service.

Rev. J. L. R. Barrett was chosen as the first paster and he served faithfully from 1888 to 1890, during which time the church prospered. Rev. J. H. Osborn was next called as pastor and served during the year of 1891. He was succeeded by Dr. H. P. Fitch, who served throughout the year 1892. Since that time many able and good preachers have serviced as pastors of the church among who were Revs. R. T. Hawkins, C. T. Brown, John J. Kimsey and several others. Rev. J. W. Farmer is at present the very able and popular pastor of the church. E. P. West, Ezekiel Fuller and W. D. Hill served as Deacons of the church from its organization until 1900.

The present membership of the church is 185.


Away back in the years when Clarkesville was but little more than a settlement of a few scattered houses, but having the dignity of a "county site," there was no church here and no public place suitable for Divine worship. Realizing the need of this, some of the faithful forefathers began to "agitate" the need of a building to be used by members of all or any denomination that might desire to have a building in which to hold meetings.

Local tradition informs us there lived in the vicinity at that time a wholehearted and generous citizen - Col. James Brannon, by name -- who in March, 1831, donated to the few members of the Methodist denomination of the vicinity, a lot of around now the site known as the "old cemetery," on which to erect a church with the stipulation that it be used by all denominations. Citizens John B. Chappell, Reuben Phillips and Turner H. Tripp were chosen a committee to see that the intent of the donor of the lot was complied with.

Generous pioneers lent a helping hand and a building was erected to accommodate the needs of the community. In due time the several Methodists in the vicinity organized a church, among the first members and helpful contributors being John S. Dobbins, Wm. W. Alley, Richard Powell, Col. W. H. Steelman, John J. Chitwood, Judge Turner, Sidney Barr, Dr. W. J. Rusk, James Griggs, John Fuller and several others. We have been unable to secure the names of the early pastors or first officers of the church, but it is stated that long years of patience, labor and sacrifice were necessary on the part of good men and women in those primitive years to establish the organization on a satisfactory basis. However, in due time the church prospered wonderfully and became a great power in the community. Its influence under the powerful preaching of its first pastors and presiding elder was felt, it is said, from Tray mountain to the Tugalo river.

In 1860 a lot was purchased on the main highway, now Washington Street, some three squares distance from the court house, on which a substantial parsonage was built for the paster. During the dark days of the war of 1861-65 the church was ably served by consecrated ministers, and although greatly handicapped, prospered and continued in spiritual growth.

It was found in time that a more commodious house in which to worship was necessary, and in 1881 the present home of the church was erected on the lot adjoining the parsonage. This was during the pastorate of Rev. W. W. Lampkins, and the new building was dedicated in 1882 by Rev. J. H. Baxter. Rev. J. L. Harrison is the present pastor and the church has an enrolled membership of 135.


On March 10, 1832, seven persons associated themselves together for the purpose of organizing a Presbyterian church in the (then) new village of Clarkesville. These persons were Thomas W. A. Sumter, Martha Sumter, Mary A. Sumter, William Thompson, Mary Thompson, Margaret Forbes and Cynthia Forbes. The church was organized by Rev. William Quillian and Thomas W. A. Sumter was elected and ordained Ruling Elder.

The church was taken under the care of Hopewell Presbytery. From this feeble beginning has grown the present Presbyterian Church of Clarkesville which has always been a powerful influence for good in this community. The little church struggled for existence for several years, almost extinct at times, but keeping always a spark of life. About the year 1840 a few ladies connected with the church established a Sunday School -- the first school of its kind in the county of which we have any record. It is a matter of local history that not only the Catechism, but also the Blue Back Speller was taught the children and many grown-up people who found it profitable to attend. For several years after organization of the church, services were held in the Methodist church building, but in 1845 the membership had grown to a number sufficient to have an exclusive building of their own and to have services at more frequent periods.

The church was first incorporated in 1843 under title of "The First Presbyterian Church of Clarkesville," with Robert Campbell, Wm. Smith, G. W. McAllister, Alexander Erwin and George D. Phillips as trustees. Two acres of land was purchased by Robert Campbell, William Smith and George D. Phillips and presented to the church on which to erect the house of worship. The building was completed in 1848 at a cost of $2,275, of which amount $1,050 was contributed by Robert Campbell. The Ladies' Aid Society contributed $220 with which to purchase the sweet-toned bell which has called the congregation to worship for three-quarters of a century.

At the request of presbytery the church was reorganized in 1844 with 17 members, viz: T. W. A. Sumter, Alex Erwin, Catherine M. Erwin, Elizabeth Paxton, Joseph Gailey, Jarvis Van Buren, Eliza K. Van Buren, Cordelia Callier, Matilda Atkinson, Margaret Groves, and Jesse N. Groves. At this time Alexander Erwin was ordained Ruling Elder, which office he held to the time of his death in 1874. The new church was dedicated by Rev. Nathaniel Hoyt in 1848. At that time, and for many years thereafter, it was the only Presbyterian church organization in this part of Georgia. Many of the most influential men of Clarkesville were members of this church, and some of the most prominent of its citizens of the present are loyal and enthusiastic members.

The pulpit of this church has been filled by a line of consecrated ministers -- some of them preachers of unusual ability. The names of them are to the best recollection of the writer: Rev. Richard Getchum, Rev. Paul Norton, Rev. Geo. T. Govetchires, Rev. John B. Norton, Rev. L. M. Wilson, Rev. Archie Simpson, Rev. J. R. McAlpine, (now retired and still living here) and Rev. J. C. Blackburn. The church at the present time is without a pastor.


The Episcopal Church in Clarkesville was organized in the year 1838. From an article published in "The Church in Georgia" in 1920 giving an account of the foundation of this church, we quote the following:

"At a meeting held at the house of Rev. E. B. Kellogg, in Clarkesville, GA., on Wednesday, the 12th of December, 1838, the following persons were present: Rev. E. B. Kellogg, Turner H. Trippe, John R. Stanford, James Brannon, Lewis Levy, Joseph Habersham, R. W. Habersham, Jr., E. S. Barclay and Wm. J. Walker, the Rev. Mr. Kellogg being chosen Moderator, and R. W. Habersham, Jr., Secretary pro tem.

"It was resolved that we do hereby unite ourselves to form a parish to be called 'The Episcopal Parish of Clarkesville.' Resolved that Messers. R. W. Habersham, Sr., and John R. Mathew be the Wardens, and G. D. Phillips, John R. Stanford, Alex Erwin, Samuel A. Wales and R. B. Patton be the Vestrymen of said parish. Resolved that the Rev. Mr. Kellogg be, and is hereby elected Rector of said parish. Resolved that R. W. Habersham, Sr., be, and is hereby elected lay delegate, and C. R. Jessup his substitute to attend the next annual Convention of the Diocese of Georgia. Resolved that this parish do hereby agree to and adopt the constitution and canons of the Episcopal Church and the constitution and canons of the Diocese of Georgia."

The article published in "The Church in Georgia" goes on to state that very few of those present at the meeting were Churchmen -- showing that no prejudice existed in the vicinity against the denomination.

On or about June 1, 1839, a lot was purchased for $100, and a contract entered into for the erection of a building for church purposes. A subscription list was circulated and cash, work and materials to the amount of $1,335 was secured. A drought prevailing at the time, saw-mills were unable to operate and lumber could not be procured to finish the building, although the framing timber was in place. Work was greatly delayed and it was many months before the building was completed. The edifice is still standing today and is in fairly good state of preservation.

Although through the mutations of time the membership has been greatly reduced, services are held once each month regularly through the faithful ministrations of the Rev. Thomas Duck, of Atlanta, who has charge of the work in this part of the Diocese.

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Мы привлекаем к этому партнеров по маркетингу и рекламе (которые могут располагать собранной ими самими информацией). Отказ не означает прекращения демонстрации рекламы Etsy или изменений в алгоритмах персонализации Etsy, но может привести к тому, что реклама будет повторяться чаще и станет менее актуальной. Подробнее в нашей Политике в отношении файлов Cookie и схожих технологий.

Habersham UMC - Northeast

The first church to serve the Habersham area was erected in the late 1700s or early 1800s. This church was known as Olive Branch Church. In 1840, a new church was built .25 miles east of the present site. The church served as a place of worship for planters and slaves until 1860, when sixty acres of land was donated for a new church and cemetery by Rile W. Reeves. In 1864, the church was completed, after construction was halted by the Civil War, and named Habersham. During the next eighty-five years, fifty-seven different pastors served this church, oftentimes paid for with livestock and vegetables.

In March 1949, Habersham Church burned to the ground but the newly rebuilt church was dedicated in April 1953, under the direction of Rev. Jimmy Varnell and laymen Claude Sullivan with Bishop Arthur J. Moore officiating. In 1952, Gloria and Leonard Hawes gave a parcel of land for the building site for a parsonage and Rev. Jody Robertson was the first pastor to move in. In the early 1960s, a social hall with kitchen and dining area, and two Sunday school classrooms were built near the church. In 1970, Habersham and Fairhaven came together as a charge and Brother Clyde Harvard served the charge from 1978-1980.

Ray City History Blog

Causton’s Bluff Part 2: Challenge from Tybee

In the spring and summer of 1862, the Berrien Minute Men, Company D (Company K after reorganization), 29th Georgia Infantry were garrisoned at stations defending Savannah, GA. Since mustering into service a year earlier, the Campfires of the Berrien Minute Men had been made along the Georgia coast, with the 13th Regiment at Brunswick, then at Sapelo Island, and Darien, GA. By early 1862 The Berrien Minute Men, having gotten “regulated” into the 29th Georgia Infantry Regiment were sent to the Savannah, GA area to garrison Camp Wilson and Camp Tattnall.

On February 21, 1862 Berrien Minute Men, Company C, were detached to serve on the Savannah River Batteries. In early April 1862 Federal incursions on Whitemarsh Island below Causton’s Bluff would precipitate the transfer of Berrien Minute Men, Company D and other companies of the 29th Georgia Regiment from Camp Tattnall to the bluff to reinforce the Confederate position there. (Company A, Captain Billopp’s Georgia Foresters, were sent to Hutchinson’s Island. The Alapaha Guards (Company E) and 17th Patriots (Company K) were on picket duty at Screven’s Ferry, SC on the Savannah River just opposite Fort Jackson. On May 14th they captured seven federal soldiers who were released to federal authorities a few days later according to communications in the Savannah Daily Morning News, May 19, 1862.)

Prior to the arrival of the Berrien Minute Men at Causton’s Bluff, the position was garrisoned by the 13th Georgia Regiment which experienced frequent night-time alerts. Some of these were false alarms, but many were in response to Federal incursions on the creeks and islands below the bluff.

Commanding officers of the 46th NY Regiment garrisoned on Tybee Island east of Savannah were well aware that Confederate gun batteries were being placed around the city.

Officers of the 46th New York Infantry Regiment. The 46th NY garrisoned Tybee Island, GA in 1862. Image Source: New York State Military Museum

The 46th New York volunteers made the Tybee Light Station their Headquarters and it was “the base of operations for the seige of Fort Pulaski… Temporary barracks were built on the lighthouse grounds and defensive positions were taken up around the Martello Tower, which was refortified with earthwork batteries.” – Tybee Island: The Long Branch of the South.

The Federals on Tybee Island also welcomed escaped enslaved people who managed to find their way to the Island.

Following the capture of Port Royal, SC [and Tybee Island, GA] by Union Naval forces in November of 1861… escaping enslaved people began seeking asylum from naval vessels that were conducting reconnaissance along the coastal islands in March and April of 1862. Not having quarters for those who flocked to the boats, the US Navy established “contraband” camps at Otter Island, South Carolina and at the Naval post for Tybee Island in Georgia. – International African American Museum

1862 enumeration of escaped enslaved peoples living in “contraband” camp on Tybee Island, GA

The inventory records of the Union Provost Marshal give the names, age, height, former “occupation,” names, residence and “character” of former masters, date of arrival and present employment of those settled at the contraband camp. The former slaves were employed as “officers servant,” laborers, boatmen, and oarsmen. These records have been transcribed at the International African American Museum

Tybee Island Light Station circa 1862

By February, 1862 the 46th NY Regiment was joined on Tybee by seven companies of the 7th Connecticut Regiment, a detachment of New York engineers and two companies of Rhode Island artillery.

Soldiers of the 1st New York Engineers

Company F, 1st New York Engineers participated in the bombardment of Fort Pulaski

Federal soldiers at the Martello Tower, Tybee Island, GA. Image source: Boston Athenaeum

The landing of [Federal] troops on Tybee Island greatly excited the Georgians. In a printed address sent out to the people of the State, signed by Howell Cobb, Robert Toombs, Thomass R. R. Cobb and M. J. Crawford, we find the following language:

“The foot of the oppressor is on the soil of Georgia. He comes with lust in his eye, poverty in his purse, and hell in his heart. He comes a robber and a murderer. How shall you meet him? With the sword at the threshold! With death for him and yourself! But more than this – let every woman have a torch, every child a fire-brand – let the loved homes of youth be made ashes, and the fields of our heritage be made desolate. Let blackness and ruin mark your departing steps if depart you must, and let a desert more terrible the Sahara welcome the vandals. Let every city be leveled by the flames and every village be lost in ashes. Let your faithful slaves share your fortune and your crust. Trust wife and children to the sure refuge and protection of God – preferring even for these loved ones the charrnel-house as a home that loathsome vassalage to a nation already sunk below the contempt of the civilized world. This may be your terrible choice, and determine at once and without dissent, as honor and patriotism and duty to God require.

For the Berrien Minute Men, the strengthening Federal positions on Tybee Island would mean re-deployment from their present positions. Captain Thomas S. Wylly’s company of Berrien Minute Men (Company C) on the night of February 21, 1862 were ordered from Camp Wilson to Fort Jackson to relieve the Savannah Republican Blues, and were soon ordered to Lawton Battery on Smith’s Island in the Savannah River. Berrien Minute Men Company D, under command of Captain Lamb, remained at Camp Tattnall with Major Levi J. Knight, Sr. and the rest of the 29th Georgia Regiment until April of 1862.

On Tybee Island, the Federals prepared gun emplacements to bombard Fort Pulaski on Cockspur Island, and simultaneously they worked to cut off all supplies to the fort. The last remaining supply route to the fort was by way of Lazaretto Creek, which the Federals blockaded with the USS Montezuma. The US Navy purchased Montezuma, a former whaling ship, at New London, CT on November 29, 1861 originally intending to sink her as part of the second “stone fleet” of harbor obstructions on the Confederate coast. Instead the Navy placed her in Lazaretto Creek, Georgia, in February 1862.

The fleet anchored the old wreck, Montezuma, at a point of three miles south of the fort [Pulaski] in the Lazaretto Creek. The Montezuma had been intended as a barrier to keep out steam ships. But when the traffic continued with small boats, Captain Anton Hinckel received orders to occupy the wreck with three guns and two companies of the 46th New York Infantry. The Montezuma was loaded with stones and had originally been intended to be sunk in the river along with 25 other worn-out ships to block the way to Savannah. Captain Hinckel and his troops spent the next eight weeks on the Montezuma. Regular patrols with row boats guarded the entrances and many of the nightly smugglers were caught. One of them was a slave who showed the Federal soldiers many secret connections to the fort, and thus it was possible to catch three more Rebels on the island of Wilmington. – Ernst Mettendorf, Zwischen Triumph und Desaster : Ein deutshes Regiment im amerikanischen Burgerkrieg.

An 1862 Federal map showing the relative positions of the USS Montezuma (labeled “Hulk Scow”) on Lazaretto Creek, Wilmington Island, Federal batteries on Tybee Island, and Fort Pulaski. To the west of Wilmington Islands are Whitemarsh Island, Oatland Island and Causton’s Bluff [not shown].

“On yesterday Morning, [February 22, 1862] the Yankees opened fire on our Garrison & fired several shots, none of which done any harm. On yesterday evening on Dress Parade while our men were formed in the yard they fired a rifle shell, which passed near us. There was considerable merriment at the expense of those who ran or dodged. I did not do either, yet I assure you to hear a large shell or ball whistling through the air which you can hear for three miles is not a very pleasant sound. Yet I find that men will soon become accustomed to danger as they will to any & evry thing else. Yet to us it is all excitement & amusement. It is good we have something to excite & amuse us.”

Coincidentally, February 22, 1862 was the date that the Constitution of the Confederate States of America went into effect, assuring to white southern citizens the “right of property in negro slaves.”

For a while, couriers on foot were still able to sneak mail in and out of Fort Pulaski, although many were captured by Federal patrols. “Several of our men & mails have been captured either in getting to or returning from Savannah. They have to select some dark night & walk some five miles through a marsh from one to three feet deep in mud before they pass the Yankees that are spread over the Marsh day & night to watch & capture our men.” On the night of February 25, Federal boats patrolled around Cockspur Island and fired on Confederate pickets causing a general alarm. The garrison was again aroused and under arms on the night of the 26th, when anxious Pulaski pickets mistakenly shot a horse.

Fort Pulaski was expected to hold out for quite some time against a Federal siege, but the Confederates were immediately prompted to further strengthen the remaining Savannah defenses. The battery at Causton’s Bluff was manned as critical link in the inner chain of Savannah defensive works immediately around the city.

Supervision of the construction of Confederate batteries at Causton’s Bluff and placement of obstructions on St. Augustine Creek was assigned by General Robert E. Lee to Captain Josiah Tattnall, senior flag officer of the Navy of Georgia. At the bluff, the gun battery was in a position to protect the back of Fort Lee which was across the marsh on the south bank of the Savannah River. Captain Miller Bond Grant, of the Engineer Corps, had immediate charge of the construction at Causton’s Bluff and also of a considerable portion of the defensive works around Savannah.

Work on construction of fortifications at Causton’s Bluff Battery began in earnest that same month, along with construction of breastworks and batteries near Fort Jackson. At the behest of General Robert E. Lee, the Savannah City Council furnished “from two to three hundred negro laborers ‘for the purpose of throwing up breastworks.'” The Confederates were already using slave labor to construct and support defenses. At Fort Pulaski, slaves were used to clear out the moat and put the fort in fighting order. There, wrote Charles Olmstead, “[In the summer of 1861] our cooks were all Negroes and it goes without saying that strong measures had to be used to keep them up to the mark. If a kitchen did not meet the requirements of Authority of the Cook was promptly laid over a brass drum and a good paddling administered with a shingle while his associates stood grinning around. The efficaciousness of this plan is shown by the fact that it had to be resorted to only twice that I can remember it broke no bones but ensured clean kitchens. I recommend the method to housekeepers with inefficient or careless servants.” On December 2, 1861, Edward Clifford Anderson, supervisor of armaments for the river batteries, wrote in his diary, “Four of my negroes from the plantation were drafted by the Engineering Dept and sent to work on Skidaway Island” and on January 3, 1862 Confederate engineer Dr. Cheves was on a small mud island in the Savannah River above Fort Jackson, “with a gang of negroes was at work establishing a foundation, preliminary to throwing up breastworks – This point was known as the “Naval Battery.

Captain Miller Bond Grant received a letter from his cousin Hugh Fraser Grant, rice planter of Elizafield Plantation on the Altamaha River, that Elizafield could provide slaves to work on the Savannah fortifications (Elizafield Plantation Record).

Dear Miller,
Fraser [Grant, Jr] informs me the Govmt is desirous of twenty hands to work on the fortifications about Savh &ct. That they offer $45 per month for each man & to furnish them with food tools & medical attend to & the only expense I am to bear is the clothing. That you are to have them especially under your superintendence & for your care and attention you are to receive $5 per month for each man. All of which I am satisfied with & can furnish 15 or 16 men upon their terms – At present 2 or 3 of the men are hired out by the month & soon as the time is out can be sent on to you.
When Dr. [Daniel H. B.] Troup & my hands were then some time since under the charge of Mr [Landsell?], they were very badly fed . This Mr. [Landsell?] assured me was the case. If my Negroes go on now I wish them to be fed agreeable to the contract. Do you wish a driver for the gang and do you they allow extra for him. Hope I may hear from you this evening whether they require women as I can send a few of them & what price for the women. I should suppose they will require one woman to at least to cook & wash your mess. Does the Govmt furnish transportation both ways?


Grant enslaved some 124 African American people on his Elizafield Plantation. His son-in-law, Daniel H. B. Troup, was a signer of the Georgia Ordinance of Secession, along with John Carroll Lamb, Captain of the Berrien Minute Men.

Over the summer of 1862, military leaders would call for thousands more slaves to build defensive works around Savannah.

The Confederate States Army ran want ads for slaves to build defensive works around Savannah. Slave owners were assured they would be compensated for the work of their slaves and that the slaves would be well cared for.

Savannah Republican
July 3, 1862

Negroes Wanted

C. S. Engineer’s Office
Savannah, June 24, 1862

One Thousand Negroes are wanted for the completion of important works in the neighborhood of Savannah.
By order of Brigadier General Mercer, commanding, the undersigned appeals to the Planters of Georgia to furnish this force without delay.
The value of each negro entrusted to this Department will be appraised immediately and recorded. A receipt will be given for the negro, containing his value, certified by the appraisers. Should he in any way fall into the hands of the enemy, his value so appraised will be refunded to the owner or owners.
The following terms are offered:
Field Hand – $11.00 per month, with food, quarters, and medical attendance.
Carpenters – $17.00 per month, with food, quarters, and medical attendance.
Plantation Drivers – $20.00 per month, with food, quarters and medical attendance.
Transportation, by railroad, also furnished.
N. B – Dr. Thomas A. Parsons, of Burke county, Ga., is appointed Agent of this office, to procure laborers, according to the above advertisement.
By order Brig, Gen. Mercer.
Capt. C.S.P. Engineers, in charge.
***Macon, Augusta, Milledgeville, Thomasville, and Sandersville papers will publish weekly for one month and send bills to this office.

By order of Brigadier General Hugh Weedon Mercer each county was to contribute 20 percent of its slave labor force to build the defenses of Savannah. Only 10 percent of the slaves could be women. For every lot of 100 slaves, the counties could provide their own overseer, to be paid by the Army. The Army would resort to forcible seizure in any county where planters failed to contribute their quota of slaves.

The War in America: Negroes at Work on the Fortifications at Savannah.–From a Sketch by Our Special Artist. Illustrated London News. vol.42, no.1199, p. 433. April 18, 1863

“But some close, narrow-minded planters,” wrote Captain Mercer, “evinced great opposition to this necessary order, denouncing it as tyrannical &c, they would rather subject our white Georgians to hard work in this terrible weather than spare a few of their slaves.” Mercer, a native of Savannah, was a son of General Hugh Weedon Mercer and great grandson of Cyrus Griffin, who in 1788 was President of the Continental Congress. Lt. Mercer was educated at Russell Military Academy, New Haven, CT took preparatory study under Dr. William T. Feay, a professor of Chemistry and Pharmacy at Oglethorpe Medical College received a Master of Arts from Princeton College and studied law at the University of Virginia. Mercer’s diary of Civil War experiences also relates his disgust with profiteering by Confederate civilians: “A greedy desire to get rich seems to pervade all. One of the most agravated cases I have heard of consist in the charge of $3.50 per day for the use of an old Flat not worth $300 this Flat is used by the picket at Causton’s Bluff as a means of crossing the river, and belongs to Dickerson.”

The headquarters at the bluff was in a house that had served as the home of the overseer of Habersham family’s rice plantation at Causton’s Bluff. At the time the overseer’s home was built, about 1852, Robert Habersham owned at least 89 slaves who worked the plantation. “The overseer had objected to living all year at the plantation, because the miasma made the summer months unhealthful on rice plantations so a new house was built for the overseer on the southern extremity of the plantation, some distance from the rice fields under cultivation.”

On February 28, 1862 units of 13th Georgia Regiment from Causton’s Bluff encountered sentries from the Montezuma who were patrolling the creeks around Wilmington Island in a small boat.

A wild shootout followed in which one of the Rebels was killed along with two Union soldiers Johann Müller and Louis Herweg. Corporal Anton Mayer and his entire crew of 18 men were taken prisoner by the Rebels. Some of them had been wounded and Franz Etzold, a soldier, died a week later from his injuries.

A second Federal patrol boat went undetected by the Confederates.

First Lieutenant Alphons Servière was with the second boat. He and his entire crew had to conceal themselves in the thick underbrush of the island. After two days they managed to return to the Montezuma – Ernst Mettendorf, Zwischen Triumph und Desaster : Ein deutshes Regiment im amerikanischen Burgerkrieg.

Another night alert occurred on Tuesday, March 11, 1862 when the Confederate pickets on Whitemarch Island made contact with Federal Scouts. At Battery Beaulieu (pronounced “Bewly”) twelve miles below Savannah on the sea-island cotton plantation of John Schley, “ 1 Oclock in the knight we was ordered out on the perade ground and we loded our guns to go to Whitmarsh Island [where] the Yanks made an attack on our men,” wrote Isaiah Smith, a private of Company K, 31st Georgia Regiment, “but we did not get to go before the fight was over so we went to bed again.

Two weeks later, on Tuesday, March 25, 1862 a Federal detail from the Montezuma made another raid on Wilmington Island, taking one civilian prisoner and returning to their base without making any contact with Confederate forces. The captured Georgian was Jacob Dannenfelser who, like the soldiers of the 46th NY Regiment, was a German immigrant.

Dannenfelser told Captain Hinckel of a force of Germans stationed at Fort Pulaski. He noted later that it was a full company of the 1st Georgia Regiment under the command of Captain John H. Stegin. “At that time we were very interested to learn something about the situation over there at the fort,” recalled Captain Horace Porter. “One of our men suggested that the regimental band should play German music. When the Germans at Fort Pulaski hear this, they may want to come over to us. The proposal was quickly accepted. And indeed, on a particularly dark night, the first one came rowing across on a tree trunk. We received a lot of very important information from him.” Colonel Rosa reported this incident to General Sherman. In his letter to the general he wrote, “The defector from Fort Pulaski was named John Hirth. He immediately became a member of the 46th New York Regiment.” – Ernst Mettendorf, Zwischen Triumph und Desaster : Ein deutshes Regiment im amerikanischen Burgerkrieg.

Regimental Band of the 48th NY Infantry

At Fort Pulaski Lt. Theodorick W. Montfort, of the Oglthorpe Light Infantry, wrote, “I think & fear that our heretofore limited means of communication is now effectually cut off. Two men (Germans) from this for Fort deserted …and have doubtless posted the enemy with our ways, means & time of getting a mail.”

The Confederate troops at Causton’s Bluff had their regimental bands as well, although their music was by no means an enticement to deserters from the enemy. Colonel Marcellus Douglass was advertising for “musicians for the Brass Band of Thirteenth Regiment Georgia Volunteers C. S. A., now stationed at Causton’s Bluff, near Savannah, Georgia. The Instruments vacant are one Bb Bass Tuba, one Bb Trombone, one Bb Tenor, two Bb Altos, and two Eb Altos.” Later, Lacey E. Lastinger, of the Berrien Minute Men, would serve as a drummer and musician for the 29th Georgia Regiment at Causton’s Bluff.

About March 27, Confederate pickets from Causton’s Bluff while patrolling Whitemarsh Island encountered the USS Montezuma anchored in Lazaretto Creek and fired on Captain Hinckel’s men, forcing them to briefly abandon the guns. But the Federals quickly rallied their forces and in the face of superior numbers, the Confederate pickets backed away and withdrew across Whitemarsh Island. The Federals pursued in an armed barge, but were unable to catch up with the Confederate soldiers.

Colonel Rudolph Rosa, post commander at Tybee Island, was ordered to take a detachment from Tybee to the Montezuma reconnoiter the situation on Whitemarsh and Wilmington Islands. His purpose was to assess the threat of a Confederate approach to the gun batteries being constructed for the reduction of Fort Pulaski. Rosa had also learned from the Confederate German Jacob Dannenfelser and a captured African-American that a reward of $12,000 was offered to effect the evacuation of the Confederate soldiers from Fort Pulaski. He speculated, “perhaps an organized great patrol of row-boats lays in Turner’s Creek” for that purpose. Turners Creek divided Whitemarsh and Wilmington Islands.

Rosa wrote, “On Sunday I made a reconnaissance on Whitemarsh and Wilmington Islands, pushing in both cases out to Thunderbolt and Saint Augustine Creeks, opposite to Thunderbolt and Carston Bluff batteries. Nothing remarkable occurred, excepting that the small stern-wheel steamer did show herself near to our boats left at Gibson’s in the Oatland Creek, which is not spiked, and turned back after receiving three of our musket shots from a point of land.

While Col. Rosa was on this reconnaissance, the Confederate German Jacob Dannenfelser appealed to the lieutenant in command of the Montezuma to allow him to check on his family back on Wilmington Island. In what Rosa called an “unaccountable hallucination” but perhaps seeking Dannenfelser’s collaboration, the Union lieutenant consented on Sunday morning, March 30, 1862, two Union soldiers were detailed to escort Dannenfelser by boat to visit his home. But a patrol of Confederate scouts from Causton’s Bluff discovered the Federal party upon the return trip and effected a capture.

The affair was recorded in the official report of Colonel Rudolph Rosa:

MARCH 30-31, 1862.—Affairs on Wilmington and Whitemarsh Islands, Ga.

Report of Col. Rudolph Rosa, Forty-sixth New York Infantry.

Tybee Island, Ga., April 3, 1862.
General: In accordance with your orders I arrived at the swimming battery, Montezuma, near Decent Island, on the evening of March 29, 1862, with a detachment of two commissioned officers and thirty men of the Forty-sixth New York. Shortly after my arrival Lieutenant Serviere, having effected the relief of the men in the guard boat near Hunter’s farm, reported that he had been shot at repeatedly by about thirty rebels near Gibson’s farm, without the shot taking effect. On the following day [Sunday, March 30, 1862], with four commissioned officers and seventy-five men, I made a reconnaissance on Whitemarsh Island, landing at Gibson’s and marching thence on land to Turner’s farm. From there we were recalled by shots, and found that the small stern wheel steamer [probably CSS Ida] had shown herself near to our boats in Oatland Creek, and had returned after being fired at by the boat’s guard. I then went again across the island to MacDonald’s farm, and returned without meeting the enemy. The topographical results will be embodied in a little sketch.

In returning I heard that by the lieutenant left in command of the Montezuma, leave had been given to Dannenfelser and two men to go with a boat to Wilmington Island, that they had been last seen going into Turner’s Creek, and were now missing. The guard boat was left at the usual place opposite Hunter’s farm over night.

At dawn on the 31st the guard were revised and partly relieved by Captain Hinckel, who then made a patrol to Dannenfelser’s house, and was told that Dannenfelser and the two men had been there for half an hour the previous day, and then had departed. Captain Hinckel also captured a negro in the act of entertaining communication between the fort and Savannah. The guard was instructed to keep a sharp lookout along the shore for our missing men. At noon Lieutenant Serviere was sent to relieve the guard, and with the instruction to search at the same time Gibson’s and Screven’s farms for the missing and for interlopers, but not to proceed farther. At 4 o’clock Captain Hinckel went with the captured negro for verifying his description at the cuts used for smuggling. He came back at 8 o’clock and reported that no trace of the guard and relief boats was to be found….

On the Confederate side, Lieutenant George Anderson Mercer, Assistant Adjutant General, 1st Georgia Infantry, was impressed with the action.

Pickets from the 13th Regt captured two German soldiers who were carrying off a German Gardener from his place on Wilmington Island. The Yankees were in a boat 700 yards distant our men fired seven shots with enfield rifles three passed through the boat and two struck the unfortunate man the enemy were taking off. This was good shooting. – George A Mercer

Excerpt from the Civil War diary of George Anderson Mercer describing actions of 13th GA Infantry Regiment stationed at Causton’s Bluff near Savannah, GA

The return of the victorious scouts to Causton’s Bluff with their prisoners and the liberated Dannenfelser in tow was also noted by Private Jenkins in his diary,

󈻩 scouts under Adutant [Adjutant] Hill Sent to Whitemarsh Island, who have returned 3, oclock with two captured prisners yankees and a dutchman citizan of Wilmington Island, who had previously been taken by the yanks, Companies B. C. & G. ordered to prepare immediately under command of Capt Crawford of Co G. -Pvt Cyrus Jenkins

Word of the capture quickly reached Savannah, and the following day a report of events to this point was published in The Savannah Republican of March 31, 1862:

Capture of Yankees.
Two Yankees, belonging to the Forty-sixth New York Regiment were captured by our pickets yesterday [Sunday, March 30, 1862] under the following circumstances:
Tuesday last [March 25, 1862] Jacob Dannenfelser, a German, residing on Wilmington Island was at work in his garden, when some thirty Yankees suddenly leaped the fence. He hailed them and asked who they were and what they were about. They replied that they were friends. They had with them a negro man named Sam, the property of Mr. Pinder, whom they released and then laid violent hands on Dannenfelser. They took him to an old hulk lying near Decent Island and there kept him until yesterday. The hulk is armed with a long rifle gun, which the Yankees call their “Field Snake.”
Yesterday morning Dannenfelser prevailed on his captors to allow him to visit his family with a guard, for the purpose of seeing them and procuring some clothing. He was despatched to Wilmington in a boat with two men. Having procured his clothing, the boat was returning to to the hulk when our pickets on Whitmarsh opened a heavy fire upon the party. The Yankees were unhurt, though their prisoner did not come off so well. He was shot in three places, through the hand, one through the arm above the elbow, and a third across the bridge of the nose, the last mentioned being a very slight one.
The Yankees, finding the fire rather warm, gave up and rowed to the island in the direction of our pickets, who took them in charge and forwarded them, together with Dannenfelser, to our camp at Causton Bluff. The latter was immediately brought to town to receive medical attention. The prisoners will be brought to town this morning.
Dannenfelser said that whilst he was on the hulk, a party of Federals were fired upon by our pickets, when they retired and in a short time brought a force of some one hundred men in a barge with a heavy gun in the bow, to attack the pickets. The party were under command of Colonel Rose [Rudolph Rosa], of the 46th New York Regiment. No engagement occurred. The Pickets had retired from Whitmarsh. Being disappointed and not a little aggravated by the annoyance of our pickets, they threatened to burn the houses on Colonel Gibson’s plantation, but retired without executing the threat.

Being alarmed of the presence of Federal patrols on Whitemarsh Island, on that same Sunday afternoon, March 30, 1862, three companies of men were dispatched from Causton’s Bluff Private Jenkins was among them.

We left the camp about dark, crossed Augustine creek upon oakland Island [Oatland Island], at Caustin Bluff battery. While passing a cross this Island along a narrow path enclosed by thick underwood, all at once all were silent & still as death.! a moment more & the gunlocks began to rattle like fire in a cainbrake! Two seconds & all was again still! A human form was seen! The Capt demanded his countersign. There were two who proved to be pickets for a squad of the 13th left by Adutant Hill [John Dawson Hill] in the evening.

We passed along to the old bridge 2 1/2 miles from Caustins Bluff & crossed the creek on Whitemarsh Island. While here waiting for the other two companies that we had left crossing Augustine creek, A noise was heard in the marsh, mistaken for the tread of human footsteps. All was again hushed. The Capt ordered us to divide on either side of the path that led through the marsh to the high land, & He with two others advanced to the wood. All were now in suspense. I did not like our position. I went to the wood, but before I got there I was releaved by the hissing, & familiar noise of an Alligator.

We now became tired waiting for the rear party & determined to wait no longer. After leaving a picket at our little boat, we proceeded a mile to an old house, but found nothing here. Then from thence to the Gibson place 1 1/2 miles farther with like success, & from thence to the Turner place 2 miles farther. On nearing this place. (It being now 2, oc [o’clock] at night) we perceived that a brillant light in one of the cabins.

The advance guard (of which I was one) had surrounded the house before the party came up. The men on seeing the light smelt a mice, or a yank and began backing scattering out, & cocking their guns. I could not imagine for a time the cause. I first thought they had seen some one in the diriction they were going then I saw their faces & guns all turn to the cabins. I then knew they expected danger from there, I now felt rather in a critical position, for I was near the house & in their full view. I knew I was no yankee but did they know it. I was afraid to speak or move for fear of being fired upon, for a yankee. I stood for a moment & stept cautiously behind the house.

The occupants of the house were negroes left upon the Island. We found no boats here to pass across to Wilmington, & returned to the Gibson Place.

As we neared the place, low depressed coughing was heard. We expected our rear scout, but crept up noiselessly within full view, when Capt demanded who comes there. A reply came, Friend with the counter sign (all else was perfect silence). Capt: Advance and give the countersign. All again still for a moment, then rapid cocking of firelocks was heard in every direction, in two seconds more all again silent. Capt again in his usual firm calm voice demanded the countersign. Then a trembling voice: Capt McCallay [James McCauley]. I know your voice, Lieut [William R] Redding Co E [13] th.

We here lay in ambush around the landing untill day (It being now 3, oc [o’clock] ). An hour by sun we, with exception of a small scout party under Adutant [John Dawson] Hill. went to the Turner place to take our boats for Wilmington, (they were to meet us there). Just as the boats came Hill sent a messenger for us to go to his assistance, They are coming. We now quicked it back but found when we got there they had turned back.

17 were left under command of Lieut [Bolling H.] Robinson to guard this & the remainder of us went over up on Wilmington. We then started out into two parties, Capt McCallay with, co B, were to go to the Hunter place & from there to the Scriven place & attack the yanks first, while the other party were to go to the Scriven place & there lay in at ambush untill the commencement & then come up in thier rear. But before we had got to the Scriven place we heard sharp firing in the direction. We went double quick (a mile) untill we came in sight, when we saw co G. quickening towards us. Capt [Joel T.] Crawford with his co G. were ordered by Hill back to our fleet of skiffs to prevent being cut off.

He now told Capt McCallay that Hill had ordered him McCalley back. The firing we heard was upon Whitemarsh, between our pickets there & the yanks. After a warm contest wounding one of our m[en] of Co G. they put to water & oarred toward Wilmington near the Scriven place. Company B now doubled quickening back to the boats. We soon after this heard sharp shooting at Scriven place. A few moments more & another volley & all was over. The enemy surrendered 16 in number. One killed three wounded with but two scattering shots from them.

An eight oared barge boat with a six pound field Piece upon its bow, together with their small arms, the prisners were sent on immediately. But some of us were here delayed untill about ten OC at night when we started for Thunderbolt and after very heavy oaring against the tide we arrived at 3 oc in the morning of Tuesday. (some of the boats however reached Thunderbolt several hours in advance of us). Here we remained untill morning where I lay upon the ground & Slept untill sun rise, when we again put out for camps and reached them at 9 oc in the morning

The Union account of the engagement was continued in Col. Rosa’s report of the actions of the 46th NY Regiment:

On the evening of the 1st of April we received promptly a re-enforcement of two officers and thirty men of the Forty-sixth New York, and one 6 pounder at the Montezuma. At 10 o’clock in the same night Lieutenants Serviere and Rettig and fifteen men in the relief boat returned and reported as follows: When the relief boat met the guard boat at Hunter’s farm they both proceeded to Gibson’s house, the relief boat in advance, the guard boat (with the small old iron 6-pounder, private property of the subscriber) bringing up the rear. At Gibson’s they saw two men then Lieutenant Serviere with fifteen men landed and found himself soon engaged in a skirmishing fight with about thirty rebels, whom he successfully drove out of the houses and the farm, killing at least one of them. When the guard boat neared the landing Lieutenant Rettig also jumped ashore, but the helmsman, a canal boatman promoted to a sergeant’s position since two days, suddenly lost his self-possession entirely, backed the boat off, and dropped back with the tide. Lieutenant Serviere then took to the relief boat, which during the time had filled with water, and had to be bailed out, and set afloat again under cover of a chain of skirmishers. They left without any loss, though fired at repeatedly, and then saw in the distance that the guard boat had drifted on the flats between Screven’s and Hunter’s Place that a fire was opened against it at about fifty paces distance, by, at the least estimation, about sixty men that the men laid themselves flat on the bottom of the boat and waved their caps as sign of surrender. The relief boat then took to the small creek and swamps between Oatland Creek and Wilmington Narrows, was fast aground over night, and succeeded in coming back late the next evening by way of the narrows and the stockade. The total loss, therefore, consists of eighteen enlisted men, the man Dannenfelser, and about twelve rounds of ammunition. Two boats and one small iron 6-pounder were also lost, being prizes of the Forty-sixth Regiment New York State Volunteers, and not belonging to the United States. There seems to be a determination to keep up at all events the communication to the fort by way of Whitemarsh and Wilmington Islands and the very numerous creeks running through McQueen’s marshes. I most respectfully propose to keep a small armed steam-boat there.
Your most obedient servant,
Colonel, Comdg. Forty-sixth Regiment New York State Vols.
General Q. A. Gillmore, Commanding.

Again, Lt. Mercer was impressed with the work of the Georgian’s at Causton’s Bluff.

These Georgians of the 13th are rough fellows, but full of fight and reckless of life after the taking of the fifteen Yankees volunteers were called for for Picket duty the whole regiment volunteered. There is no disposition to avoid a fight among our troops they covet one only too anxiously — sick and all turn out for it. – George A Mercer

Shot by his own men.
Steven Thomas Beasley, Assistant Surgeon, 13th Georgia Regiment, was one of the men scouting Whitemarsh and Wilmington Island. Image source: Billie Nichols Bennett

Report of Brigadier General Alexander R. Lawton, Confederate States Army
Headquarters Department, District of Georgia
Savannah, Ga. April 5, 1862

Capt. J. R. Waddy
Assistant Adjutant-General

Captain: I have the honor to report that on two successive nights, March 30 and 31, scouting parties were sent to Whitemarsh and Wilmington Islands from the Thirteenth Georgia Regiment, Colonel Douglass, which were entirely successful, killing 1 and capturing 18 of the enemy, 2 of whom have since died. They also captured a barge with a 6-pounder. The scouting party was under the immediate command of Captain Crawford, Thirteenth Georgia Regiment, who conducted it with skill and gallantry, and all the officers and men under his command exhibited the most commendable courage and enterprise.
I regret further to report that on the occasion of a subsequent expedition to Wilmington Island, for the purpose of ascertaining the position of the enemy and attacking him if there, Assistant Surgeon Beasly was shot through the leg by a mistake of our own men and had both bones broken. There is reason to hope, however, that he will recover with as little injury as possible.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. R. Lawton
Brigadier-General, Commanding.

William B. Beasley, Henry Harrison Towns, Steven Thomas Beasley,

By March 31, 1862 the battery at Causton’s Bluff had been re-fortified. “There was ferry dock on the river below the fort [Fort Bartow, Causton’s Bluff], since troops crossed the river at this point. This may have been the point where the Confederate ironclads Atlanta and Savannah, and the steamer Ida tied up when they came to Causton’s Bluff.”

Also at the bluff was the steamer Leesburg, kept at the disposition of the commanding officer.

On April 5, 1862, Lieutenant William Dixon, of the Republican Blues stationed at Fort Jackson about a mile and a half north of Caustons Bluff, noted in his journal, “Misquitoes and sandflies in abundance…” On the 8th he recorded, “A large rifled gun bursted at Caustins Bluff this afternoon and severely injured 2 men. It is one of three guns made at Richmond all of which have bursted.”

On April 9, 1862 the federal troops on Tybee were further reinforced by the 8th Michigan Infantry, arriving from Port Royal, SC aboard the U.S.S. Benjamin Deford.

USS Benjamin Deford brought the 8th Michigan Infantry to Tybee Island, GA on April 9, 1862

Finally, on April 10, 1862 the anticipated Federal bombardment of Fort Pulaski commenced. At Lawton Battery and Camp Tattnall, the Berrien Minute Men were about seven or eight miles from Pulaski, more than close enough for a front row view of the artillery barrage. Witnessing the thunderous, up close barrage, did the Berrien Minute Men hark back to their time the previous fall on Sapelo Island, when atmospheric conditions caused them to hear the cannons bombarding Port Royal from a distance of 60 miles? From one tenth the distance, how hellish the shelling of Pulaski must have seemed in comparison.

Bombardment of Fort Pulaski. Currier & Ives.

Assistant Adjutant General George A. Mercer observing the bombardment from Skidaway Island about six miles distant, reported the scene.

“The earth shakes with a tremendous cannonade. The bombardment of Fort Pulaski commenced early yesterday morning, and still continues with unabated fury. At half past nine oclock yesterday morning I roade over to Skidaway to witness the grand but terrible scene I remained until after twelve again in the afternoon I rode over and returned some time after dark. We were six miles off, but we could distinctly see the heavy columns of white smoke shooting up from the mortars on Tybee, and then see the immense shells bursting over the Fort. The enemy fired four and five times every minute, while the Fort replied slowly and coolly. The flag staff was shot away about noon. At the night the sight was grand. The tongue of flame was seen to leap from the mortars and then the flash of the bursting shell appeared just above the Fort.

During the bombardment all lines of direct communication were cut off with the Confederate garrison stationed at Pulaski. But after dark the Federals ceased the shelling, continuing with just one shot every five minutes to disrupt the Confederates. In the night on April 10, 1862, Corporal Charles T. Law escorted a signal man to the fort. Law was stationed at Thunderbolt Battery with the Phoenix Riflemen, 63rd Georgia Regiment, and had made the dangerous trip in and out of the besieged Fort Pulaski several times. Colonel Charles H. Olmstead, commanding at Fort Pulaski, said Law “was a perfect duck in the water.” Fort Pulaski was within line of sight of Causton’s Bluff and on the morning of Friday, April 11, Olmstead’s new signal man, “attempted to signalize to Causton’s Bluff…but such was the fire that no human being could stand on the ramparts for even a moment. Nearly a thousand shell, of the largest size, were thrown into the fort from the Federal batteries.” -Savannah Republican, April 12, 1862

After 30 hours of bombardment the walls of the fort were breached and Olmstead lowered the flag at Fort Pulaski at 2:00 p.m. on April 11, 1862 signalling capitulation. With the cessation of the bombardment Corporal Law made an exit from the fort and carried the news to Savannah.

At the close of the fight all the parapet guns were dismounted except three, two 10-inch columbiads, known as ‘Beauregard’ and ‘Jeff Davis’ (but one of which bore on the island), and a rifle cannon. Every casemate gun in the southeast section of the fort, from No. 7 to No. 13, including all that could be brought to bear upon the enemy’s batteries except one, was dismounted, and the casemate walls breached in almost every instance to the top of the arch, say between five and six feet in width. The moat outside was so filled with brick and mortar that one could have passed over dry shod. The officers’ quarters were torn to pieces, the bomb-proof timbers scattered in every [90] direction over the yard, and the gates to the entrance knocked off. The parapet walls on the Tybee side were all gone, in many places down to the level of the earth on the casemates. The protection to the magazine in the northwest angle of the fort had all been shot away the entire corner of the magazine next to the passageway was shot off, and the powder exposed, while three shots had actually penetrated the chamber. Such was the condition of affairs when Colonel Olmstead called a council of officers in a casemate and without a dissenting voice they acquiesced in the necessity of a capitulation, in order to save the garrison from utter destruction by an explosion, which was momentarily threatened. Accordingly, at 2 o’clock p. m. the men were called from the guns and the flag was lowered.

The loss of Fort Pulaski in the spring of that year was so disheartening that Governor Brown issued a proclamation setting apart a certain day for “fasting, humiliation and prayer.”…In Atlanta and in other cities, and towns throughout the state, the citizens assembled in the churches to hear sermons suited to the occasion. All business was suspended and the day was solemnly observed. – The Jackson Argus, December 2, 1898

On April 13, 1862, a portion of the Confederates surrendered at Fort Pulaski were loaded on the USS Ben Deford as prisoners of war for transportation to Fort Columbus, in New York Harbor. Others of the Confederate garrison, including Colonel Olmstead, the commander of the fort, were taken away as POWs by the steamship Oriental.

Steamship Oriental transported Colonel Olmstead and other POWs to a federal prison after the capture of Fort Pulaski

After the fall of Fort Pulaski, Savannah became even more vulnerable to an approach to across Whitemarsh Island and St. Augustine Creek, and an assault on Causton’s Bluff. In a letter to his father , Lt. Charles C. Jones Jr. [Chatham Artillery at Isle of Hope,] expressed the thoughts on everyone’s mind that April when the news of Fort Pulaski’s fall reached Savannah: “If the heavy masonry walls of Pulaski were of no avail against the concentrated fire of those Parrott guns posted at a distance of more than a mile, what shall we expect from our sand batteries along the river?” – Robert S. Durham

Historian Craig Swain observed, “St. Augustine Creek, which connects the Wilmington and Savannah Rivers… also lead back east to the waters behind Tybee Island, in close proximity to Fort Pulaski.”

Soon the 29th Georgia Regiment would be sent to reinforce the 13th Regiment at Causton’s Bluff.

Highway 441 North
Cornelia, Georgia 30531


Public Company
Incorporated: 1984
Employees: 261
Assets: $328.1 million (1997)
Stock Exchanges: NASDAQ
Ticker Symbol: HABC
SICs: 6712 Bank Holding Companies 6022 State Commercial Banks 7374 Data Processing and Preparation

Company Perspectives:

The mission of Habersham Bank is to become the financial services company of choice in the community which it serves. Its vision is to be a regional and multifaceted financial services company which provides superior customer service, innovative products, and consistent growth of investment for its shareholders.

Established as a holding company in 1984, Habersham Bancorp combines Habersham Bank--a northeast Georgia financial institution incorporated eighty years earlier--with a number of other bank and non-bank holdings. In addition to Habersham Bank itself, Habersham Bancorp's banking subsidiaries include Security State Bank, a financial institution chartered in 1988 in Cherokee County, Georgia and BancMortgage Financial Corp., a full-service mortgage and construction lending company located in the northern part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. Non-bank subsidiaries include The Advantage Group, Inc., which manages a children's banking program called Kids' Advantage, and develops personal computer software and other services Appalachian Travel Service, Inc., a travel agency in Cornelia, Georgia and Advantage Insurers, a Cornelia insurance agency. With its base in a fast-growing part of the country, Habersham Bancorp places a large portion of its lending dollars in home mortgages and construction.

Beginnings in the Back of a Store

Habersham County is located in the northeast corner of Georgia, near the North and South Carolina state lines. Named after Georgia statesman Joseph Habersham, the county was founded in 1818, and for many decades thereafter, it was relatively removed from the life of Atlanta or of the cotton-growing lowlands. The Civil War had little effect on the area, whose soil was not suited to large crops. Even with the coming of the automobile age, the county was several hours' drive north of Atlanta. Nonetheless, Habersham County built its financial base on an unlikely combination of tourism and recreation on the one hand, and manufacturing and processing on the other. The county's two principal towns long represented these seemingly contradictory trends: Clarkesville, the county seat in the north which serves as a gateway to the mountains and Cornelia in the south, which would one day become home to a number of manufacturing companies. Among these companies was Fieldale Farms Corporation, a chicken-processing operation owned by the Arrendale family, who would come to retain an almost 40 percent share in the eventual Habersham Bancorp almost a century later. At the time that Habersham Bank was founded, however, the establishment of Fieldale Farms--which would become Habersham County's largest business--lay two generations in the future.

One night in the early part of the twentieth century, many of the prominent men of the area gathered to discuss Habersham County's greatest need. Their names--West, Asbury, Burns, Erwin, Furr, Mauldin, Bass, and McMillan--would remain prominent for many years to come in Clarkesville. These community leaders agreed that Habersham County was in need of a bank. Putting together their funds, they began to hammer out a charter, which Robert McMillan, an attorney, formalized and presented to the Georgia Secretary of State.

On May 13, 1904, Secretary of State Phillip Cook granted a charter to Habersham Bank (the founders chose the name to signify its mission of serving the entire county), and the bank commenced operations. With the pooled assets of its founders and others, the new bank had $25,000, and offered stock at $100 a share. Its location, however, was not very bank-like: one of the founders, Dr. E. P. West, had a store on the county square in Clarkesville, and the new financial institution operated out of the back of his shop.

Growing Through the Depression and Boom Years

Three years after its founding, in 1907, the bank was moved across the square to a structure known as the Martin Building, which remained standing nearly a century later. Ten years later, the United States entered World War I, and in the years following the Armistice, Habersham Bank experienced rapid growth. During that period, as the county welcomed a number of new residents, the bank made numerous agricultural loans.

This boom period, however, came to a halt with the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed. In the aftermath of the Wall Street crash, Habersham Bank experienced considerable losses. Yet the citizens of the county, much like the residents of the fictional Bedford Falls in Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (1946), rallied around their local bank, and purchased shares of stock. Just as Jimmy Stewart's character in the film managed to keep the Bailey Building and Loan open during a period of widespread bank closings, Habersham Bank's customers saw to it that their bank stayed closed only for a few days. On February 13, 1934, the bank's charter was renewed, this time under the newly-established Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which protected depositors against possible future bank failures.

Soon thereafter came the advent of World War II, and the United State's involvement in it. When the war ended, Habersham County--like much of the nation--experienced a period of economic growth that was greater and much longer in duration than the one that followed World War I. Habersham bank flourished.

In the 1960s, W. F. Holcomb became bank president, inaugurating a period in which the bank expanded significantly. In 1964, Clarkesville lawyer Steve Frankum, like Robert McMillan submitting the original charter sixty years before, submitted a petition for its renewal, which the state granted. During the 1960s, the bank finally acquired air-conditioning, along with something entirely new in Habersham County: a drive-through window.

Expansion in the 1970s and 1980s

In 1969, the bank moved into a new facility it had built on Washington Street in Clarkesville, vacating the location it had held since 1907. Toward the end of the 1960s, the fortunes of the Arrendale family grew. Tom Arrendale became bank president and chairman of the board, and the Arrendale brothers--Tom and Lee--established Fieldale with a third partner in 1972. Late in 1972, Habersham Bank opened its second office in Baldwin, at the extreme southern end of the county. Physical expansion continued in 1975, with the enlarging of the loan department at the Clarkesville main branch. The growth of the 1970s, however, would be dwarfed by that which occurred in the 1980s, when Habersham Bancorp was established.

Even in the 1970s, when interstates 75 and 85 crisscrossed Georgia, Atlanta seemed a long way from Habersham County. Travellers had to take a two-lane highway for many miles, and could seldom make the journey in less than two and a half hours. But with the opening of I-985 and Georgia Highway 365 in the late 1970s and 1980s, the psychological distance to Atlanta&mdash well as the time it actually took to get there--was much reduced. Habersham County, semi-isolated from the larger world for many years, found itself increasingly linked to the growing hub of metropolitan Atlanta.

Symbolic of this shift was the establishment in 1980 of a central Habersham Bank location in Cornelia, overlooking Highway 365. With the extension of 365 past Cornelia in the late 1980s and 1990s, the county became part of a corridor from Atlanta to North Carolina, and tourist traffic increased manyfold. In May of 1989, Habersham Bank opened a hospitality center in its original 1907 office. In addition to offering tourist information, the Hospitality Center served as headquarters of the bank's Golden Advantage Club and marketing department.

Another change, both symbolic and actual, was the establishment of Habersham Bancorp on December 31, 1984. In 1987, The Advantage Group became the holding company's first subsidiary. The first merger came on June 30, 1995, when Habersham Bancorp paid $9.2 million for Security Bancorp, based in Canton, Georgia. Security Bancorp owned Security State Bank in Canton and Waleska, both towns of which are located on the northwest fringes of the Atlanta metropolitan sprawl--several counties away from Habersham. "Habersham's acquisition of Security represents a very significant expansion for Habersham," Arrendale stated in a company press release. "We are confident that we now have the best group of community bankers in Cherokee County, which is one of the best markets in the country."

Such growth occurred in spite of state laws which, in the eyes of many, hampered the growth of small banks while failing to prevent takeovers by rapacious super-corporations such as North Carolina's NationsBank. Among those who held this view was Habersham Bancorp President and CEO David D. Stovall, quoted in a Wall Street Journal article on the subject: "In the next few days, Georgia lawmakers will close out their legislative year having once again retained barriers to widespread banking in the state&mdash&primeotecting the interests of the protectionists . But while everybody's talking, Georgia bankers, increasingly competing in a national interstate-banking environment, are left with a remnant from 1960 . "

This "remnant" dictated that a bank wishing to expand beyond county borders could only establish a branch in a county where it possessed a charter or else it had to purchase an existing bank. Both options are "expensive and painstaking processes," and the law was particularly detrimental in a state which has 159 counties--the second-largest number in the nation, after Texas. Moreover, according to the Wall Street Journal, the law failed to offer small-town bankers protection against acquisition by greedy superbanks "Instead, the losers are people like David D. Stovall, who runs Habersham Bank in Clarkesville, a town of about 1,150 in northeast Georgia. Seven counties touch Habersham County and Mr. Stovall, who boasts that 'I call my customers by name,' wants to bring his community-banking spirit to those markets."

Commenting on the current state laws governing bank expansion, Stovall said, "Let's get real . Everything is for sale at a price. But I can't afford to pay two times book [value] to grow my market. On the other hand, if BankAmerica wants to come into Georgia, they have the capital to pay that." Bankers such as Stovall were opposed by the State Community Bankers Association, whose chief executive, Julian Hester, offered an "if its not broken, don't fit it" explanation of his position. An interesting footnote to this disagreement between Stovall and Hester: Hester had once held Stovall's job, having served as president of Habersham Bank in the 1970s.

The Late 1990s and Beyond

Against challenges to expansion, Habersham Bancorp continued to grow. On May 6, 1994, it celebrated its ninetieth birthday with a party on the lawn of its Cornelia office, complete with birthday cake, ice cream, fireworks, and entertainment by country and western singer Larry Stewart. "On May 4, 1904," noted a brochure announcing the event, "Habersham Bank opened its doors to its first customers in Dr. E. P. West's store in Clarkesville, now Carey's Department Store . In those days, all our entries were done by hand. Interests and dividends were figured on paper. Now, we are serving the great-grandchildren of some of our original customers."

A little more than a year later, in July 1995, Habersham Bancorp stock began trading on NASDAQ. On January 2, 1996, when it acquired BancMortgage, a full-service mortgage lender in the northern part of metro Atlanta, Habersham Bancorp grew even further from its Cornelia base than it had with the purchase of Security Bancorp the previous year. Calling Habersham Bancorp "growth-minded," the Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that the mortgage company would open an office in the north Atlanta suburb of Dunwoody, and planned to take on some thirty employees in the next year.

The acquisitions continued. On September 9, 1996, Habersham Bancorp acquired a travel agency, Appalachian Travel Services of Cornelia. A few months later, in February 1997, it purchased Advantage Insurers, formerly Cornelia Insurance Agency. "Our company's vision is to be a regional and multifaceted financial service company," Stovall observed in a press release, "and this acquisition is an opportunity to expand our company's operations in order to provide customers a broader base of services while increasing our shareholders' value." Also in 1997, Habersham Bank opened a branch in the nearby town of Cleveland, in White County--the first Habersham Bank location outside of Habersham County. Finally, on October 23 of that year, it bought Prestwick Mortgage Group and established BancFinancial Services Corporation in Alexandria and McLean, Virginia. Thus, it spread for the first time outside the borders of its home state.

In its May 18, 1997 edition, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution recognized Habersham Bancorp as one of the top 100 companies in Georgia. The company ranked tenth in the banking size category, twenty-fourth among companies in revenue growth, and twenty-fifth in stock value gain among public companies. Clearly the company was, in accordance with a slogan echoed by Stovall in his letter to shareholders in 1998, "Reaching New Horizons." Among other developments, mortgage operations had grown to $422 million in loan closings, and BancMortgage had opened new offices at Town Center in Cobb County outside Atlanta, and in Gainesville. Between its various mortgage operations, including those in Virginia, the bank would end the year with $600,000 in net deferred earnings. Clearly Habersham Bancorp, which started life with a little more than four percent of that figure in total assets, had come a long way since its beginnings in the back of Dr. West's store.

Principal Subsidiaries: Habersham Bank Security State Bank The Advantage Group, Inc. BancMortgage Financial Corp. Appalachian Travel Service, Inc. Advantage Insurers, Inc.

Habersham Bancorp, "History of Habersham Bank," Cornelia, GA: Habersham Bancorp, 1998.
Higginbotham, Mickey, "Business Report on Financial Services: Seasoned Bankers in New Venture," Atlanta Journal and Constitution, January 5, 1996, p. E2.
Salwen, Kevin G., "Georgia's Banking Laws Protect the Protectionists," Wall Street Journal, March 15, 1995, p. S1.
Stovall, David D., "Habersham Bancorp Acquires Security Bancorp Inc.," PR Newswire, July 12, 1995, p. 1.
------, "Habersham Bancorp Announces Pending Acquisition of Cornelia Insurance Agency," PR Newswire, February 28, 1997, p. 1.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories , Vol. 25. St. James Press, 1999.

USS Midway on Display

Although dwarfed by the skyline of downtown San Diego, the Navy aircraft carrier turned floating museum USS Midway occupies a commanding place in the harbor.

Tom Edwards
February 2021

A San Diego museum showcases one of the Vietnam War’s most famous aircraft carriers

Years ago I drove past the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Midway with a friend shortly after it was permanently docked in San Diego as the USS Midway Museum. During my four years in the Navy I was a swift boat maintenance and repair electrician in Vietnam and subsequently stationed on the USS Sperry, a supply ship for submarines, at San Diego’s Ballast Point. I glanced at the massive aircraft carrier and said, “Whoa, that sure is a huge ship!” During my friend’s 20-year career in the Navy he was a pilot with many landings on the flight deck of carriers. Looking at the ship, he answered, “That sure is a small airport!”

Named for the decisive June 1942 Battle of Midway in the Pacific during World War II, the carrier was launched on March 20, 1945, and commissioned Sept. 10, 1945, eight days after Japan’s formal surrender. The ship was decommissioned April 11, 1992. Built by Newport News Shipbuilding Co. in Virginia, the Midway hosted an air group of about 130 planes shortly after it was commissioned.

The ship’s crew totaled about 4,000 officers and enlisted men.

Lights illuminate the Midway’s massive bridge or “island” in the early evening. / Tom Edwards

The ship is 1,001 feet long and powered by 12 boilers turning four Westinghouse steam turbines to provide a propulsion of 33 knots (38 mph). The Midway was the largest ship in the world until 1955. The carrier underwent numerous upgrades as it adapted to the jet and nuclear ages. These included a lengthened deck, installation of advanced radar and more sophisticated weapons. The number of aircraft on the flight deck was reduced to 100 from 130 after determining the reduced number could be coordinated more efficiently.

In a 1947 test of new technology, the Midway launched a captured German V-2, the first large-scale rocket fired from a moving platform. That success was a catalyst for naval missile operations. Two years later, the ship launched a modified P2V-3 Neptune capable of carrying a 9,000-pound atomic bomb, proving that airplanes loaded with atomic bombs could be based on aircraft carriers.

Over 10 years, the Midway made seven deployments in European waters as a part of the Atlantic Fleet. After work at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard from June 1955 to September 1957, the Midway returned to service with its home port in Alameda, California, near San Francisco. In April 1962, the carrier departed on a Far East tour to Korea, Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines.

Midway’s operations in Vietnam began in March 1965 with airstrikes over North Vietnam in Operation Rolling Thunder. On June 17, F-4B Phantom IIs from the carrier’s Fighter Squadron VF-21 shot down two MiG-17 fighters, the first official aerial victories against the North Vietnamese.

Operating in the South China Sea in October 1965, Midway displays the added angled deck that extended its usefulness. / Naval History and Heritage Command

On Jan. 12, 1973, another Midway-based F-4B scored the last aerial victory in the war when it downed a MiG-17 over Haiphong, North Vietnam, killing Senior Lt. Luu Kim Ngo of the 923rd Fighter Regiment. That F-4B bearing the names of its crew, Lt. Vic Kovaleski and Lt. j.g. Jim Wise, is on the Midway flight deck today.

Also on display is a UH-1 Huey helicopter armed with machine guns and rockets. Hueys
occasionally deployed from the Midway to provide cover for small Navy patrol craft, “swift boats,” plying inland waterways. Other aircraft on the flight deck include an RA-5C Vigilante reconnaissance plane, an A-4 Skyhawk attack aircraft, an EKA-B3 Skywarrior multi-mission aircraft and an F/A-18 Hornet fighter painted to resemble a Russian MiG, an F-14 Tomcat fighter, an A-6 Intruder attack aircraft, an EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare plane with radar-jamming equipment and a C-1 Trader cargo plane.

The Midway museum offers an opportunity to see an SH-3 Sea King anti-submarine helicopter (which could be armed with torpedoes) that played an important role outside the war zone. It was used to recover Apollo astronauts after their spacecraft landed in the ocean. It also served as the president’s “Marine One” helicopter.

The scene inside the Midway’s command center—the “bridge”—gives tourists a rare glimpse of the machinery used to maneuver such a huge ship. Interestingly, the primary helm control used to turn the Midway’s rudders and steer the ship is a rather modest-size brass wheel.

The now mannequin-occupied engine control room is stuffed with instruments and communications equipment that controlled the engineering plant and regulated the amount of steam going into the turbines.

After nine months off the coast of Vietnam, the Midway returned to the United States in November 1965. The ship was decommissioned in 1966 for an expensive four-year overhaul at a San Francisco shipyard. The work included expansion of the flight deck and the installation of new electronic systems.

The Midway went back to Vietnam in May 1971, relieving USS Hancock in the Gulf of Tonkin, and returned to Alameda in November 1971.

The largest carrier when World War II ended, Midway is smaller than its successors, but dominates the marina around it. / Getty Images

The ship was underway again in April 1972 for a third deployment after the March 30 “Easter Offensive” invasion of South Vietnam by North Vietnamese forces. The Midway’s aircraft played a major role in the U.S. effort to stop the flow of North Vietnamese troops and supplies into the South. In May, aircraft aboard the Midway joined those on other carriers to drop mines into the waters of North Vietnam’s major ports. During summer 1972, bombers launched from the Midway struck sites in North Vietnam during the Operation Linebacker air campaign.

The Midway sailed home to Alameda after President Richard Nixon announced a ceasefire on Jan. 15, 1973, during negotiations in Paris for a peace treaty. The Midway and its Attack Carrier Air Wing 5 received a Presidential Unit Citation from Nixon recognizing their “excellent teamwork and dedication and sustained superior performance” in Vietnam from April 30, 1972, to Feb. 9, 1973.
The Midway wasn’t in the U.S. long. In September 1973, the ship left Alameda for a new home port in Yokosuka, Japan, where it arrived in October. It was the first American carrier with its home port in a foreign country.

In April 1975, as South Vietnam was about to fall to a fast-moving takeover of the country by the North Vietnamese, the Midway was once again in Vietnamese waters as it participated with dozens of other ships in Operation Frequent Wind, an effort to evacuate thousands of Americans and South Vietnamese working closely with U.S. personnel. The evacuees were flown by helicopters to the American ships.

Over two days, the Midway’s big H-53 transport helicopters flew more than 40 sorties and carried more than 3,000 Americans and South Vietnamese refugees to safety.

In a most dramatic incident of Operation Frequent Wind, South Vietnamese air force Maj. Buang-Ly flew out to sea in a small propeller-driven Cessna O-1 Bird Dog with his wife and five children inside, hoping for the best. He had never landed on an aircraft carrier before, not even seen one. He saw the Midway and headed in, but the flight deck was filled to capacity with helicopters. To provide landing space for Buang, the Midway’s commanding officer, Lawrence Chambers, the first African American captain of a carrier, ordered several helicopters pushed overboard. Buang landed successfully. A replica of his plane is on the Midway’s hangar deck. (The original is at the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida.)

The Midway’s sprawling hangar deck is full of aircraft and other displays / Tom Edwards

The USS Midway Museum opened to the public on June 10, 2004, at the Broadway Pier in San Diego. Attendance for the first year was 879,281—twice the expected number.

There are 60 carefully restored exhibit areas. The 10 acres of displays include 30 restored aircraft on the hangar deck and flight deck. Venturing below deck, visitors can see crew living spaces, mess halls, a chapel, laundry services and other sections of the ship.

Guided tours provide insights into the command center for flight operations and other ship systems from bow to stern. Flight simulators give you an opportunity to experience air combat in a 360-degree view, and you can roll, spin and loop. Other tours will bring you up to speed on flight deck operations.

The Battle of Midway Theater has 90 seats for showings of the “Voices of Midway” film, which tells the story of the World War II battle. The very extensive Midway Museum Research Library is available to researchers. Although the library doesn’t lend books, many of its resources are digitized and can be downloaded for free.

In May 2007 the USS Midway Museum received the Preserve America Presidential Award from President George W. Bush. The award is on display in the library. V

Tom Edwards is a freelance writer/photographer in Forest Lake, Minnesota. He thanks Karl Zingheim, USS Midway Museum staff historian, for his invaluable and frequent assistance.

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USS Habersham - History

Since the Cherokee had no written language, the White man’s records are of utmost importance in Cherokee genealogy (i.e. the citizenship rolls and censuses).

Additionally, Sequoyah’s syllabary is culturally and historically important and does provide some valuable help with records. Beginning in about 1822, many legal documents were signed by Cherokee using the syllabary. The advantage is a beginning of standardization of names , and the basis for accurate translation of the names into English. Also, the beginning of the publication of the Cherokee Nation newspaper, using the syllabary provides much 19 th century information.

Sequoyah, ( aka Sequaya, Se Quo Yah, or
George Guess) with his syllabary and a
silver Indian Peace Medal.
Generally, the U.S. government’s Cherokee records are available through the National Archives (NARA) but perhaps not at all regional facilities. All the Dawes Records are located at the Southwest Regional Office Fort Worth, Texas.

In later historic times, starting 1777, the Cherokee primarily inhabited southwest North Carolina, southeast Tennessee, northern Georgia, and northern Alabama. In 1777, the Cherokee gave up all their claims to South Carolina, and withdrew to west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. (See our Cherokee Nation of Indians page and map showing the greatest extent of the pre-1777 Cherokee Nation.)

A few Cherokee started moving west, first to what is now Missouri, where they did not stay long because of a series of earthquakes there (New Madrid Earthquake, Missouri Territory). Most of these moved to what is now Arkansas, or returned east. By 1817, there were about 5,000 Cherokee in what is now Arkansas. The states of Georgia and Tennessee wanted the remainder to leave. There was a treaty ceding lands in Georgia and Tennessee in return for an equal amount of land in Arkansas Territory, the first Indian Territory.” This became known as the Cherokee Cession of 1817. The land was located between the Arkansas and White Rivers. The cession was extinguished by the U.S. at the time of the New Echota Treaty, 1835, which led directly to removal, “The Trail of Tears.” This is to say, until 1839, most of the remaining Cherokee lived east of the Mississippi. After 1839, most probably lived west of the river.

A much smaller number remained in the Old Cherokee Nation east of the Mississippi, hence the two modern bands of the Cherokee, Western and Eastern.

((“Cherokee Nation East” is a modern concept, not used by the Cherokee people at the time. In early historic times (1755), the divisions were Over Hill Towns, Valley Towns, Middle Towns, Keowee Towns, Out Towns, and Lower Towns, all referencing the general location of the Cherokee towns.))

The Cherokee Nation after the Trail of Tears was divided into several different groups. Those who removed *prior* to the Trail of Tears were known as *Old Settlers,* (some of who went into Texas -- to be known as the Texas Cherokee), the Emigrant Cherokee, and the Treaty Party.

((*Texas Cherokee* is a modern convention, not used by the Cherokee. Those who came to Texas were known as Diwali’s band for the leader of that group. ”Offically” they were present from about 1819 (a small band) and 1840 (a larger group invited by Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin to aid in the Texans revolt against Mexico -- the Cherokee were expected to buffer the immigrant Texicans from the Comanche and Kiowa who believed that what is now Texas was their hunting grounds. There are remnant descendants of Diwali’s band and the subsequent “buffer” group who still live in Texas and Mexico, but they are not recognized by any of the Federal tribes as a tribe.

The Emigrants and the Treaty Party are basically the same group, although the Treaty Group (re: New Echota Treaty of 1835), are the active political group who were blamed for Removal.))

The *Old Settlers* (mostly settling in Arkansas, between 1817 and 1835) removed so as to get away from the White Intruders in the Old Cherokee Nation.

This list of Rolls has been gleaned from the Internet. I have included microfilm numbers if known, however, these numbers have not been verified! No books or CDs included. I do not guarantee that this list is without error and omissions -- and the Rolls may be known with two (or more) different names. Therefore, I may have them listed here TWICE!

1817 Reservation Roll (those requesting a reservation). The 1817 treaty allowed for a six hundred and forty acre life estate per head of household, which upon the death of the grantee, or abandonment of the land by the grantee, reverted to the state microfilm Group 75.

1817 Emigration Roll (1817-1835 Old Settlers) microfilm A21.

1835 Henderson Roll (also called the Trail of Tears roll). 16,000 plus Cherokee residing in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee who were supposed to remove to Indian Territory under New Echota Treaty of 1835 microfilm T496.

1848 Mullay Roll (resided in North Carolina). 1,517 Cherokee remaining in North Carolina after removal. Taken as a result of an Act of Congress microfilm 7RA6.

1851 Old Settlers Roll This is the Roll of those still alive in 1851, who were already resident in *Oklahoma* by 1839, when the emigrants arrived. This group was about 1/3 the total Cherokee population in what is now Oklahoma. Note: it is important to recognize that this census did not include those “Old Settlers” who remained in Arkansas, Texas, or Mexico microfilm M-685, Reel 12.

1851 Siler Roll (Cherokee East of the Mississippi) microfilm 7RA6.

1852 Chapman Roll (Cherokee East of the Mississippi) The Chapman Roll was taken in 1851 by Alfred Chapman . This roll, which followed almost immediately the Siler Roll, was a result of many complaints by various Cherokees of having been omitted by Siler (JWJ) microfilm M-685.

1852 Drennen Roll (Emigrant Cherokee in Indian Territory). This roll was the first census of the emigrants/new arrivals of 1839. This was the “Trail of Tears” survivors, or New Echota Treaty Group microfilm M-685.

1854 Act of Congress Roll (Cherokee East of the Mississippi) microfilm 7RA6.

1860 Census (of whites in Cherokee Nation)

1867 Tompkin Roll microfilm 7RA4.

1867 Census of Cherokee East of the Mississippi microfilm 7A29.

1867 Kern-Clifton Roll of Cherokee Freedmen , January 16, 1867.

1869 Sweatland Roll (resided in North Carolina ) NARA roll, but number not found.

1880 Cherokee Census microfilm 7RA7.

1880 Lipe Roll microfilm 7RA33.

1883 Cherokee Census microfilm 7RA29 Reels 1 & 2.

1883 Cherokee Roll microfilm 7RA56.

1883 Hester Roll (Cherokee East of the Mississippi) microfilm M685.

1886 Cherokee Census microfilm 7RA58.

1890 Cherokee Census microfilm 7RA60.

1890 Cherokee Payment Roll (The Receipt Roll) microfilm 7RA59.

1890 Wallace Roll (of Cherokee Freedmen in Indian Territory)
((Wallace Roll of Cherokee Freedmen in Indian Territory. These rolls were created because the Cherokee citizenship of many ex-slaves of the Cherokee in Indian Territory was disputed by the Cherokee tribe. The establishment of their status was important in determining their right to live on Cherokee land and to share in certain annuity and other payments, including a special $75,000 award voted by Congress on October 19, 1888. A series of investigations was conducted in order to compile the rolls of the Cherokee Freedmen. These investigations were conducted by John W. Wallace, 1889-1890 Leo E. Bennett, 1891-92 Marcus D. Shelby, 1893 James G. Dickson, 1895-96 and William Clifton, William Thompson, and Robert H. Kern, 1896-97.))

1893 Cherokee Census microfilm 7RA54.

1894 Starrs Roll microfilm 7RA38.

1896 Old Settlers Payment (for Descendants of Old Settlers) microfilm 7RA34.

1896 Cherokee Census microfilm 7RA19.

1898-1902 (1914) Dawes Roll
((Rolls of Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory consisting of 634 pages of names. The Dawes Commission was organized in 1893 to accept applications for tribal enrollment between 1899 and 1907 (some were added as late as 1914), mostly from Indians who resided in the Indian Territory which later became the State of Oklahoma. Tribal membership entitled qualified individuals to land allotments from the U.S. Government. These enrollment records were eventually published as the Dawes Commission, also known as The Five Civilized Tribes, which consisted of the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole Tribes.))

Categories of the Cherokee
as Found in the Dawes Commission Roll

Cherokee by Blood
“by blood” means the individual’s parent(s) were Cherokee, and (generally) that the parents had appeared on a previous census of the Cherokee - but not always. Source: Glen Davis

Minor Cherokee by Blood
For purposes of Dawes, “minor” means the individual was born during the enrollment period which, for the Cherokee in Oklahoma ended 01 Sept 1902. (There are some children on Dawes who were born between 1902 & 1906 - they were admitted if their parents were on the 1902 Roll.) Source: Glen Davis

Delaware Cherokee
Those listed as Delaware were adopted into the Cherokees. The Delaware reservation was in the very northeast corner of Indian Territory. Source: Glen Davis

Cherokee by Intermarriage
White spouses who were adopted into the tribe as Cherokee.

Cherokee Freedmen
Ex-slaves (of African descent) of Cherokee citizens. Before the Dawes Commission Freedmen had to also established that if they removed from Indian Territory prior to or during the Civil War, they returned thereto prior to Feb. 11, 1867 and resided continuously therefrom. Once these two criteria were “proved up” Freedmen were admitted to Cherokee citizenship. Source: Preston L. Washington

Minor Cherokee Freedmen
Minor children of Cherokee Freedmen who were born during the enrollment period which, for the Cherokee in Oklahoma ended 01 Sept 1902. (There are some children on Dawes who were born between 1902 & 1906 - they were admitted if their parents were on the 1902 Roll.) Source: Glen Davis

“Act of Congress” Cherokee
This category refers to those who were enrolled by an Act of Congress 01 Aug 1914. Source: Glen Davis

1900 Cherokee Nation Census

1907 Council Roll of Eastern Band Cherokee microfilm #M-1104, 1-348

1908 Churchill Roll (Cherokee East of the Mississippi) microfilm #M-1104, 1-348.

1909 Guion Miller Roll . A Roll of Eastern Cherokee containing 343 pages. Many Cherokee living in Indian Territory or Oklahoma are included in this list.

1924 Baker Roll . The final roll for the Eastern Band of the Cherokee. The Eastern band was able to avoid allotment but the roll still exists and is now the enrollment roll. #M-1104, 1-348

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