News from The Cartersville News

 
The Cartersville News
Cartersville, Georgia
October 17, 1907, page 1
 
Transcribed by:  
 

History of the Town of Kingston
Vivid War-Time Picture by a Lady Who Witnessed and Participated in Trying Scenes.

The story of early Kingston given below was written at the request of the Woman’s History Club of Kingston and read on Memorial day by Mrs. Johnson.

The History club has taken up the work in their town which seemed most needed.  They are going to preserve not only the graves of the departed ones, but the early history of their town and for this reason this article was written and read at their request.

Kingston is not alone in this commendable work.  Other clubs in own federation have taken it up, and may in the federations of other states, but few have done such thorough work and met with such appreciable results as the History club, of Kingston.

Kingston at the beginning of the war was a prosperous railroad village.

On the lot on which Mr. Irby Sheats resides was located the oldest hotel, built when Kingston was first laid out, before the Rome railroad was finished.  It was kept by the widow of Dr. Mark Johnson, who besides entertaining the traveling public, had many summer boarders.  The water from the well on that lot was considered the best on the railroad between Chattanooga and Atlanta.  Then there were the Huson vouse (sic), the Couch house (a large convenient hotel, with Mr. Tom Couch as manager) which was located where the present hotel stands, a two-story boarding house owned by Mrs. McCravy stood where a flourishing mill occupied the lot and square, owned by Mr. E. V. Johnson.  These were on the lot where Messrs. Jolly & Brother and the other business houses here are located.  No houses were below.

The passenger trains on the W. & A. road met at Kingston.  The freight trains often stayed over night; so these four hotels, or boarding houses, were well patronized.  Almost every night persons who were en route to Alabama by the way of Rome, coming in on the midnight trains, stopped over, the Rome trains making connection only with the day trains.  The farmers who lived in the surrounding country were in a prosperous condition, raising large crops of wheat, corn and cotton, shipping quantities by the railroad, besides having well filled barns and smoke houses.

Kingston also had four churches.  The Presbyterian, which was located on the hill overlooking the park, was the largest and would have been an ornament to any place.  Rev. F. R. Goulding, the author of “young Marooners,” was one of its fist pastors.  The Methodist church was a very pretty new building at that time.  The Missionary Baptist was a neat, comfortable church in the south western part of the village, and the Primitive Baptist, which stood near where the colored Methodist now stands.  These were well attended.  The professors of the two colleges at Cassville often preached in the Methodist and Baptist churches, besides the regular ministers.  Many of the people in the surrounding country were members of the village churches.  Where the parsonage stands was a beautiful grove that was used during the war as the camp for Governor Brown’s Home Guards.  Back of this were the fields that belonged to the Clayton estate which entirely surrounded the village.  The lot back of Mr. Davidson’s residence was the parade ground of the Home Guards, whose daily practice was a source of great amusement to the small boy.

During the presidential campaign Stephen A. Douglas, the democratic nominee for president, visited Kingston, accompanied by his beautiful wife and her brother.  The occasion drew crowds of people from all parts of the country.  Many prominent men and speakers were here.  Mr. Douglas spoke in a grove near where the Baptist church stood.  Mrs. Huson entertained the party.  When Lincoln was elected there was great excitement.  When South Carolina seceded the citizens met at the Presbyterian church, the largest building in the village, to discuss the situation.  Several of the older citizens were natives of South Carolina and anxious to leave at once to assist, should an attack be made upon her.  Later, when Georgia seceded and volunteers were called for, two companies, under Capt. Joel Roper and Capt, John Hooper, both of this county responded.  The companies were ordered out before the necessary equipments could be made.  The few tailors who were in the country were crowded with work; very few sewing machines had been introduced in the county.  A meeting was called by the ladies of the Presbyterian church and Rev. Mr. Telford, the pastor, assisted them in organizing the Soldier’s Aid Society, appointing the officers and making plans by which it was carried out.  Mrs. Ann Woolley was president and Mrs. Josephine Beck, Mrs. Telford and Mrs. E. V. Johnson, vice-presidents as nearly as I can recollect, Miss Jane Howard, afterward Mrs. Henry Bryan, the mother of the present writer, “Clinton Dangerfield” (Ella Bryan) and Miss Mattie Woolley, later Mrs. Peak, were secretary and treasurer.  Nearly all of that organization have died since that memorable time.  The ladies made the uniforms and underwear by hand and knitted socks for those who went out to their death.  Mrs. Woolley, having a large number of servants, was accustomed to cutting out garments so she did most of it for the two companies.  Bundles of work were sent out all over the country and everyone was glad to assist in the good work.  Mrs. Woolley came in every day, and on one of her visits she took home with her a sick young man whom the doctors thought would never get well, but thanks to her good nursing and food, he not only recovered but grew so stout that his clothes were distressingly tight.  As he was hatless, she ransacked the house till she unearthed an old time beaver to give him, so that when he left his appearance was ludicrous in the extreme.  Miss Rebecca Mayson and Miss Brittain presented Capt. Roper’s company with the flag they carried to Virginia.

Soon afterwards the war really began.  A call was made from Richmond after the first battle for hospital supplies, boxes of food suitable for the sick, lint and clothes for the wounded, sheets and blankets for the hospitals, many sending their last blanket.  Later on, when the soldiers got out of bedding, strips of carpet were sent.  When fall set in many of the soldiers were sick and sent home to recuperate.  Many of them reached here at night, hungry and cold, with no place to shelter them from the night air.  The depot would be closed, as the rule was strict for closing the building as soon as the train reached here so they would remain on the depot platform until daylight.  Mr. Doc Tippin, who was often around the depot, called the attention of the ladies to the situation.  There were many vacant stores, blockade had closed all the ports and few supplies could be obtained by dealers.  The ladies secured one of these stores, fixed up comfortable beds and furniture, bearing all expenses, and would have the meals cooked, until there was a necessity for more room to accommodate the soldiers, so another store was furnished and a cook hired who would have hot coffee and supper for the poor sick boys (for many of them were young men) when they arrived.  Mr. Tippin kindly offered his services to meet the trains, and continued to look after the soldiers until the exposure gave him pneumonia and he died while trying to relieve the sufferings of his fellow-man.  Every day our country friends would bring in something from their bountiful stores.  Some a dozen eggs, others a pat of butter or jug of milk; always something to tempt the appetite.  Mrs. Beck drove about the seventeenth district and collected a two-horse wagon load of supplies, everyone contributing liberally.  It was said this was the first Wayside Home established during the war.  A record was kept of those who stopped here and the number was many hundreds, but unfortunately the books were burned so the names are lost.  Many of the soldiers who lodged there have attributed their recovery to the comfortable bed and good food they received while under its roof.  Doctors Mayson and Word, two of our best physicians, visited the home daily, giving their services and medicine without remuneration.

When Kingston was made a military hospital the home was discontinued. All the stores as well as four churches and two hotels were then pressed into service, and two large hospitals were built near the Beck place for the gangrene patients.  Supplies were getting so low that accommodations for the travelers were hard to obtain.  The mill of Mr. E. V. Johnson was pressed into service by the government and kept running night and day.  Cattle were shipped or driven here from Tennessee and Kentucky, until the fields and hills looked like a large stock yard and the mill ground meal and flour in the day and at night cracked corn for the cattle.  There were no idle hands.  Women were carding, spinning and weaving cloth for the families and to furnish clothes for the absent ones in the army.  The shoemakers had more than they could do.  Many ladies made cloth shoes, leather being a scarce commodity.  Some were quite expert in braiding and made really pretty hats.  The ladies made daily visits to the hospitals, carrying milk and any dainty their limited store house could furnish.  The convalescent ward was at the Presbyterian church.  The soldiers had only two meals a day and would get so hungry they would visit the homes of the citizens and ask for a glass of milk or anything to satisfy their hunger.  Many of others were gentlemen of refinement who would apologize for asking for something to eat.  The commissary would send a large soup bone to one of the ladies who made a quantity of soup, thick with vegetables, that was quite nourishing as well as appetizing.  It was a time to try men’s souls.  Those who had relatives in the army thought of them when contributing to the wants of the soldiers.  It was a pitiful sight to see the suffering in the hospitals, though sometimes amusing incidents occurred.  Visiting the ward at the Methodist church a young man was asked if there was anything he would like.  He invariably replied, a “tater” custard.  A soldier in blue lay in the same ward, near the south window next to the wall, the last row.  His face was always turned to the wall and he would never speak.  Learning from the physician that he was hopelessly ill a dear lady who visited the hospital daily went to him and told him of his condition and offered to write to his friends, or do anything for him, but he never spoke and died with his history unknown.  We felt sad at the thought of the home that would never know his fate.  He is buried in the Kingston cemetery.

The army was now falling back so rapidly that the people were leaving on every train and the village was filled with soldiers who had been ill and were unable to do duty.  Open freight trains were crowded with women and children, carrying a few household goods.  People began to realize that the armies would soon be near their homes and to make preparations to leave.  My own family was notified to leave, cars were provided the day before and we left next morning.  I visited the hospital near the cemetery just before leaving where a car load of soldiers had been brought in and I was struck by the appearance of a large, full-whiskered man, as he seemed so troubled yet looked so well.  He was weeping and talking at the same time, saying, “I want to see my mother.”  Homesick for his best friend!  Died that night, as so many did of homesickness.  After we left the good work was carried on by those who remained behind.  The Misses Howard were untiring in their devotion and that last day, we met them bringing dainties for the sick.

Poor fellows!  How many of the sick and wounded in the hospitals of Kingston sleep on the hill in our little cemetery, yet they are not forgotten for many of their relatives have visited our village hoping to find their graves to mark or remove them, but as the books containing their names were destroyed by the fires that swept over the place, no identification is possible.

Kingston has some historical places.  The house of Mrs. Tom Hargis was used for a few days as Sherman’s headquarters and Gen. Grant dined there while passing through a few years later.  That of Mrs. E. V. Johnson was the residence of Mr. William Stewart, of Alabama, and Mrs. Galloway, Mrs. Stewart’s sister, was with them, a refugee from Memphis.  Col. Galloway was on Forrest’s staff and visited them several times.  Gen. Hardee and many prominent generals of the army were entertained by them.  A noted family, the Erwins, from Wartrace, refugeed here.  Col. Erwin was a close relative of John Bell, of Tennessee, who with Everett was one of many to oppose Lincoln.  Mrs. Erwin was widely known for her benevolence and was so devoted to the sick and wounded that one of the new hospitals was named “Erwin Hospital” in honor of her patriotism, she having given her silver toward the establishment.

The people would have suffered if it had not been for the supplies issued at Kingston, by the federal government, persons coming for them from Floyd county and other places.  Some were issued at the depot and a great deal from the quartermaster’s office at his headquarters, the southwest room of my house.

Gen. Wofford surrendered in Kingston on the 12th of May, 1865.  Of this surrender Miss Frances T. Howard in her book “In and Out of Lines” says: “Gen. Wofford staid with us.  Gen Judah camped at the spring, while the terms of the surrender were arranged in our parlor.”  Gen. Wofford’s forces numbered 7,000.

Poor little Kingston!  She was small in size but she did her duty nobly.  I never hear anyone slurring at the place that I do not think of what she did and suffered during the war.  There are few days left to tell of the scenes of those days, and we are glad that our young people are taking so much interest in keeping up the graves of our fallen heroes, and showing that the memories of the past will never be forgotten.

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Page 4.

Libel For Divorce.

Charlotte Fields vs. Caezar Fields

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Pine Log.

D. W. McDaniel is the father of a bouncing baby boy.

 

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