Confederate Civil War victory ‘hell hole’ to be portrayed today
by Tom Spigolon tspigolon@mdjonline.com
November 09, 2012 11:59 PM | 2012 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Park Ranger James Wooten loads the cannon that will be fired on the tour. <br>Staff / Joe Livingston
Park Ranger James Wooten loads the cannon that will be fired on the tour.
Staff / Joe Livingston
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PAULDING COUNTY — A force of 10,000 Confederates slowed the Union Army’s ultimate destruction of Atlanta during the Civil War when they repelled the Union’s nighttime attack in May 1864 at Pickett’s Mill in northeast Paulding County.

Today, re-enactors will recreate Confederate Capt. Thomas Key’s artillery bombardment of Union soldiers in the battle site’s “hell hole” ravine and Confederate Brig. Gen. Hiram Granbury’s soldiers’ advance that forced the Union’s ultimate withdrawal during four candlelight tours of the battlefield.

Hugh Walters of the Friends of Civil War Paulding County said his group — which boasts about 25 members and helps maintain the historic site — has organized the event for more than a decade.

“Basically, it’s a learning experience for the younger people — and the older,” he said. “We want to educate especially the younger folks, get them accustomed to the period dress, help them understand.”

Tours are scheduled for 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Cost is $8 apiece.

Walters said Nov. 10 “worked out better” for the expected 15 to 20 re-enactors who stay busy year-round at various war sites. The participants are volunteers and will come from throughout north Georgia, he said.

“They will be doing it on the same site with Patrick Cleburne’s troops,” he said.

According to the historic site’s website, “On May 27, 1864, the Federal Army, having been stopped in its advance on Atlanta two days earlier by the Battle of New Hope Church, attempted to outflank the Confederate position. Some 14,000 Federal troops were selected for the task, and Gen. (Oliver) Howard was given command.

“After a five-hour march, Howard’s force reached the vicinity of Pickett’s Mill and prepared to attack. Waiting were 10,000 Confederate troops under the command of Gen. Cleburne. The Federal assault began at 5 p.m. and continued into the night. Daybreak found the Confederates still in possession of the field. The Federals had lost 1,600 men compared to the Confederate loss of 500.”

Attendees will walk through the ravine and up through the battle site. A ranger will lead the tours using candle lanterns similar to those used during the Civil War, Walters said. Those attending should wear comfortable shoes because the terrain is hilly, he said.

One of the park’s cannons will be fired during the event to help accurately portray the historical event to attendees, he said.

Organizers are asking for reservations in advance by calling (770) 443-7850. Tickets are available by calling the same number or going to the park at 4432 Mt. Tabor Church Road off Dallas-Acworth Highway in Dallas.
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