On this day in 1861, the city of Athens had a festive send off of their local Troup Artillery, which had been called up to assist in the protection of Savannah. Their train departed at 11 o'clock in the morning, with stops in Greensboro and Augusta.
Once in Savannah, "the men pitched their tents in two rows of ten each, leaving a space fifty yards wide for the guard tent" in parade ground near Bull Street. They named their cannons for Athens ladies back home, Sallie (for Sallie Craig), Helen (for Helen Newton), and Olivia (for Helen's sister). They would stay in Savannah until June 26th, when they went north to Richmond, Virginia.
In what was called "the grandest civic and military display Athens has ever witnessed," the men of the Troup Artillery were escorted to the train depot by the Oconee Cavalry, the Athens Guards, the Athens Fire Department, the Lumpkin Law School Cadets, many citizens of the city, and students from the University. A band played music at the front of the procession.
At the depot, speeches were given and prayers "to protect those who were about to leave us" were made in front of an estimated crowd of 2,000-3,000 people. According to the Southern Banner, "There was scarcely a dry eye in that vast assemblage. Many were unable to even to utter the last good-bye, and gave the last warm pressure of the hand, which spoke more eloquently the anguish within, than words could have conveyed."
The local papers in Savannah reported on their arrival, stories that were reprinted in local Athens papers, such as this one:
Though initially, the Athens papers had only a partial list of men in the Troup Artillery, a more complete report of officers and privates came from the Savannah News and reprinted the following week in the Banner:
1st Lieutenant--Henry H. Carlton.
2nd Lieutenant--Alexander F. Pope.
3d Lieutenant--Edward P. Lumpkin.
1st Sergeant--George J. Newton.
2d Sergeant--Columbus W. Motes.
3d Sergeant--George A. Homer.
4th Sergeant--Ruel K. Pridgeon.
5th Sergeant--Baptist H. Swan.
1st Corporal--Lee Lyle.
2d Corporal--Lafayette C. Cooper.
3d Corporal--Thomas F. Baker.
4th Corporal--Wm. H. P. Jones.
Samuel T. Aaron,
George B. Atkisson,
Joseph A. Blackman,
Thomas A. Barrow,
George P. Bennett, Richard G. Bearden,
John M. Bostick,
James M. Brown,
Bartholomew R. Cain,
Hedges C. Conger,
Hinton C. Dillard,
James F. Dillard,
Robert F. Dorsey,
Albert S. Dorsey,
John C. Davours,
William H. Dicken,
John W. Edwards,
E. T. England,
Lorenzo D. Furgusson,
John J. Griffith,
John H. Hughes,
James M. A. Johnson,
Charles M. Lumpkin,
Absalom E. Lee,
Howard L. Mullins,
Edward M. Maxey,
John J. McConnell,
Wm. P. Meeler,
Isaac S. Moore,
H. D. C. F. D. Muller,
John F. Murray,
Almon L. Nance,
Joseph A. Moore,
Augustus C. Patman,
John A. Parks,
Edwin W. Porter,
Anderson W. Reese,
James T. Sansom,
Thomas H. Shaw,
Joseph C. Strickland,
Benjamin Pope Taylor,
John O. Waddell,
Henry F. Winn,
George C. Williams,
T. D. Williams.
The unit was part of the 2nd Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry, and joined Cobb's Legion in December, 1861. Among the battles they participated in were Antietam (17 September 1862), Fredericksburg (16 December 1862), Chancellorsville (1-3 May 1863), and Gettysburg (1-3 July 1863). They disbanded after the end of the war, in April, 1865, having lost 47 men.
- Southern Banner, Mar. 11, 1858 - Jul. 1862 on Microfilm in the Heritage collection.
- Athens Historic Newspaper Archive collection in the Digital Library of Georgia.
- Confederate Athens by Kenneth Coleman in the Heritage and general collections.
- Athens, 1861-1865: As Seen Through Letters in the University of Georgia Libraries, edited by Kenneth Coleman in the Heritage and general collections.
- These Men She Gave: Civil War Diary of Athens, Georgia by John F. Stegeman in the Heritage and general collections.
- Southern Watchman, Athens, Georgia: Civil War Home Front Coverage, 1861-1865, abstracted by Faye Poss in the Heritage and general collections.
- Compendium of the Confederate Armies: South Carolina and Georgia, Volume 7, by Stewart Sifakis in the Heritage collection.
- Campfires of Georgia's Troops, 1861-1865 by William S. Smedlund in the Heritage collection.
- Rebel Georgia by F. N. Boney in the Heritage collection.
- Georgia Civil War Historic Markers by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources in the Heritage collection.