Georgia Fletcher Cole

Georgia Fletcher Cole was the daughter of Dix and Louisa Fletcher. She moved to Marietta with her family in 1849 and grew up in and around her parent’s hotel, The Kennesaw House (this building). Growing up in a southern town with parents who supported the Union, Georgia could have rebelled against them and become a Confederate (like her sister Eliza). She did not support the south, however, and instead married a man so Pro-Union that he was imprisoned during the war for being a spy!

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Louisa Fletcher

On their move in 1849 from Savannah to Missouri, Louisa Warren Fletcher and her husband Dix visited friends in Marietta. They were impressed by the fast-growing town’s business opportunities and decided to stay here instead. They bought John H. Glover’s warehouse and breakfast house and Dix expanded it into a full-fledged hotel, The Fletcher House (this building). Dix and Louisa found life as innkeepers to be difficult but a solid source of income.

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Jane Glover

Jane Bolan Glover was the daughter of a wealthy South Carolina planter. She married John Heyward Glover, Marietta’s first Mayor, and they moved to Marietta with their first six children in 1848. They bought several thousand acres stretching from Marietta to Smyrna and built a Greek Revival Mansion named Bushy Park. By 1851, Jane wanted to live closer to town, so they built a home just off the square known as the Glover Townhouse.

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Minerva McClatchey

Minerva Leah Rowles McClatchey and her husband Wylie Jarrett McClatchey lived in Tennessee until the Civil War began to simmer. They felt that there were too many Union sympathizers and abolitionists who looked down at them as slave owners. They moved to Marietta so their sons could attend the Georgia Military Institute.

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Julia Morgan

Nashville native Julia Morgan and her children refuged to Marietta in early 1862 when her last place of refuge, Chattanooga, became overwhelmed with troops. She moved into the Kennesaw House Hotel (this building) and became a favorite among visitors because she was one of the few who had real coffee to make and give to friends. In 1892 she published her memoirs of her life during the War: How it Was, Four Years Among the Rebels.

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Roswell Mills and the Civil War

The neutrality claim was proven false and General Sherman ordered the mills burned, including Ivy Mills and the Roswell Manufacturing Company’s two cotton mills. Four hundred mill workers, mostly women, were charged with treason and sent by wagon to Marietta. There, they and operatives from Sweetwater Manufacturing Company, were placed at the Georgia Military Academy and on the 15th of July, were marched to the train sta- tion and sent north, including to Indiana and Kentucky.

Sherman wrote: “I repeat my orders that you arrest all peo- ple, male and female, connected with those factories, no matter what the clamor, and let them foot it, under guard, to Marietta, which I will send them by cars to the North...The poor women will make a howl.”

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The Occupation of Marietta

Minerva Leah Rowles McClatchey was born around 1820 in Maryland. Most of her married life was spent in east Tennessee, before the family moved to a farm a mile south of Marietta in 1862. The relocation to Cobb County was an attempt to get away from Union sympathizers and to bring the family close to the Georgia Military Institute in Marietta, where the two oldest sons had been students and where the youngest would enroll during the war.

McClatchey was a writer, having published a number of articles while living in Tennessee. Her husband was slave-owner and farmer. Suffering from a broken hip, he was unable to join the Confederate army. In 1864 he fled with his slaves and silver to middle Georgia, leaving behind his wife, a disabled son, and a niece. The strong-willed Minerva McClatchey was determined not to abandon her plantation, regardless of the consequences. Her nineteen-year-old son, Devereaux, was exempt from military duty, having lost three fingers in an accident. The narrative starts just after a skirmish at the McClatchey farm where Southern troops were forced to retreat.

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The Burning of Marietta

On Nov. 13, 1864, Sherman himself watched the city burn.
Gen. William T. Sherman to Gen. Oliver O. Howard, 12 November 1864:

"I start this morning."

With this dispatch to the commander of his army’s right wing, Sherman began his infamous march of destruction, laying waste to everything from Etowah to the coast, sparing only Savannah.

Sherman described his plans well enough in a dispatch dated Nov. 1, in which he declared that he would “sally forth and ruin Georgia,” and in another that he would “make a hole in Georgia that will be hard to mend.”

Simply put, Sherman meant to deprive the Confederacy of both the means and the will for continuing the war by striking deep into the heart of Georgia, leaving horrific devastation.

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A Confederate Memorial Day, 1916

A Day In The Life Of a Cobb County Native by Barbara Eavenson Kirk
As Told to William C. Billenger

Mrs. Barbara E. Kirk left the farm as a teenager to work at what was then called “The Roswell Store” (believed to have been owned by the old Roswell Mill), and later worked for the Roswell Bank, and eventually retired from the U.S. Post Office in Roswell in the early 1970s. She married James Forest Kirk in the mid 1930s and had two children, a boy James and a daughter named Barbara Ann, both of whom still live in the area. Mr. Kirk, now deceased, started the first appliance store in Roswell. Mrs. Kirk is 94 years young and still going strong.

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The General's Boots

With the Civil War's end, life in Marietta began to creep back toward normalcy.

The spring of 1865 saw the great conflagration of the previous four years burn itself out. One by one, the various Confederate generals surrendered, and those soldiers who had not already deserted were now formally mustered out. Like the Hebrew remnant in the Book of Ezra, Mariettans who had dispersed before the Yankee juggernaut now made their way home from exile.

Much had been lost, yet much was to be found again: The grief experienced by those who found their town burned, their trees cut and their houses stripped bare was mingled with the profound, inexpressible joy of being reunited with friends and family.

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