This week’s Time Capsule looks at Marietta’s abandoned baby and the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain centennial events.
100 years ago …
In Friday, June 26, 1914 edition of the Marietta Journal and Courier, there was a front page story about the then-upcoming unveiling of the marble and bronze Cheatham’s Hill Monument to the soldiers of the State of Illinois who fought at the site during the Civil War. The monument was to be unveiled almost 50 years to the day of the famous battle. Illinois Gov. Edward Duune and his staff along with “a party of veterans of the Federal army” were expected to be on hand.
A second story that week reported that J. Gid Morris of Belmont, near Marietta, sent the first cotton blooms of the year to the Journal’s office. The blooms were found on June 18 on his farm. Another farmer, C.J. Weaver, brought in a bloom to the paper that opened on June 21 near town while H.H. Carrie of Kennesaw brought in two cotton blooms from his farm less than a week ago.
50 years ago …
Colorfully-clad Union and Confederate troopers from across the country were reported in the Sunday, June 21, 1964 Marietta Daily Journal as arriving in the county for the week-long “commemoration of the bloody Battle of Kennesaw Mountain.” At least 2,000 “reactivated” Civil War soldiers from more than 30 states were expected to participate in the event – billed as “one of the largest ever planned in the four-year, nationwide centennial.”
Also that day, it was reported that photographs taken of the four-month old abandoned baby mentioned in last week’s column were ruled unsuitable by the FBI and a request for more pictures were made. The pictures, which were to be used to identify if the child was a kidnapped child from Chicago, were made by a commercial photographer in Marietta and flown to Chicago by jet. Special emphasis was given to the baby’s ear lobes. Since no footprints were made of the child before it was stolen, the ear lobes “presented the best possibility for identification.”
The following day, Monday, June 22, 1964, it was reported that Marietta’s abandoned baby was not the missing Chicago baby. FBI Special Agent Marlin M. Johnson of the Chicago FBI office said medical experts studied the photos of the two babies and found seven physical differences including the shape of the ears.
A Civil War medic’s exhibit reported in the Tuesday, June 23, 1964 paper showed the medical uniforms, instruments and methods of 100 years ago as part of the events of the centennial celebration. The exhibition was held at the First Presbyterian Church in Marietta, located on the same site of its original building on Church Street which served as one of the five hospitals in the city during the Civil War.
Rep. Joe Mack Wilson, leader of a legislative move to prevent Atlanta from annexing property in Cobb County, was quoted in the Wednesday, June 24, 1964 paper as saying that he saw no immediate danger that the city would spread across the Chattahoochee River. Wilson told members of the Cobb Real Estate Board that his effort – blocked in the General Assembly by Fulton and DeKalb county legislators – was aimed at providing protection “15 to 20 years” down the road.
A band of dedicated Rebels from the unlikely Confederate states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Michigan were reported in the Thursday, June 25, 1964 paper as clattering into Marietta to join the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain Centennial celebration. Crowds gathered on the sidewalks as the colorful unit of mounted cavalrymen, horse drawn supply wagons and artillery pieces arrived after a four-day ride through north Georgia. The troops reportedly fired pistols and muskets while whooping and hollering on their march through town.
The commanding officer of a reactivated Confederate cavalry unit from Nashville, Tenn., was reported in the Friday, June 26, 1964 paper as becoming the first serious casualty of the Cobb County centennial when a replica Civil War cannon exploded. Lt. Gen. Richard Cornwell of the 1st Tennessee Cavalry suffered a broken cheek bone and the near loss of his eye as the artillery piece misfired. Witnesses said a fragment of the shattered barrel struck Cornwell in the face as he watched a demonstration of the firing of the old-fashioned gun at the centennial encampment on Clay Street. The cannon apparently overloaded with a blank charge of powder, was torn apart by the explosion.
20 years ago …
In the Tuesday, June 21, 1994 MDJ it was reported that after a three-day search of the Chattahoochee River, Cobb County police divers found the body of a Smyrna man who they believed was knocked off his bicycle into the water by a hit-and-run driver on a Cobb Parkway bridge.
State Sen. Johnny Isakson was quoted in the Friday, June 24, 1994 paper as saying that Cobb’s resolution critical of the gay lifestyle “was a mistake, and rescinding it would be the best thing we could possibly do.” But, the east Cobb Republican said he doubted that would occur and told a Marietta Kiwanis luncheon that he supported a compromise resolution offered by Cobb Commission Chairman Bill Byrne.
Another story that day, reported that Cobb County had tentatively agreed to shell out $100,000 to lawyers who won a 2½ year battle to stop Cobb from displaying a Ten Commandments plaque in the State Court building. Assistant county attorney Jerry Gentry and Gerald Weber, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union, reached the agreement on June 17.
In the Saturday, June 25, 1994 paper it was reported that the day before a Wells Fargo truck skidded off the road on wet pavement to avoid a stopped vehicle making a left turn near the corner of Canton Highway and Shallowford Road. None of the money fell out in the crash. The driver and two guards stationed in back were taken to Kennestone Hospital in Marietta with minor injuries. Shortly after the accident, four other guards arrived and safely transported the money from the overturned vehicle to another Wells Fargo truck that quickly left the scene.
Damon Poirier is the Newsroom Administrator for the Marietta Daily Journal.
If you are interested in learning more about the stories that were presented in this week’s column, you can search the newspaper’s digitized microfilm archives online. NewsBank, which hosts the archives for the Marietta Daily Journal, charges a fee for retrieved articles and has various price packages available. If you have any trouble with your username, password or payment options, please contact NewsBank at firstname.lastname@example.org.