“[The Civil War Comes to Kingston is] primarily an educational event,” said Nettie Holt, president of Kingston Woman’s History Club. “We have a number of people who are providing lectures on different aspects of the Civil War and highlighting some of the events that took place in Kingston.
“... There are several. Of course, the Great Locomotive Chase came through Kingston and Kingston played a significant role in that episode. ... The train was delayed for a little over an hour in Kingston, which affected the outcome of capturing Andrews’ Raiders. So that is one thing that will be discussed. Joe Head will be talking about that in his lecture in the museum. The other is Sherman was in Kingston two different times. The second time he planned the March to the Sea.”
Other significant Civil War happenings in Kingston included the Wayside Home was formed in 1861 and cared for more than 10,000 sick and wounded Confederate and Union soldiers as they traveled through, the decoration of soldiers’ graves — now conducted on Confederate Memorial Day — during the town’s occupation by Union troops in 1865 and the last surrender of Confederate troops east of the Mississippi in May 1865.
To be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Kingston City Park, the free Civil War Comes to Kingston offering will feature Confederate and Union re-enactor demonstrations, concerts, cannon demonstrations and presentations from five local historians: Clent Coker, Trey Gaines, Joe Head, Louise Young-Harris and Robert Jones.
For Gaines, director of the Bartow History Museum, the Civil War-related event will be a prime opportunity to focus on Pierce Manning Butler Young, who was raised in Cass County — now known as Bartow County — and became the youngest major general in the Confederate Army.
“I’m going to do a presentation on a local family — the P.M.B. Young family — and a collection of letters that the family has loaned to the museum over the last several years to process and transcribe and make available to researchers ...,” Gaines said. “I’m going to just talk about what this collection contains, what the letters meant to the family — both receiving them and writing them during the war — and then what we can learn from them.
“They’re written between family members. So the majority of them are written between Pierce and his mother or his other family members. ... They just really contain a lot of good information about the time period. So information about where he is or what battle he’s experienced, a little bit about what’s going on back home as it relates to crops or social things back home. So just good insights as to what’s going on on both sides of the war.”
Following The Civil War Comes to Kingston, the Kingston Woman’s History Club will carry on the tradition of marking the graves of fallen soldiers during the 150th annual Confederate Memorial Day Service on Sunday.
Free and open to the public, the observance will start at 2:30 p.m. and include a presentation by State Rep. Christian Coomer, R-Cartersville, at Kingston United Methodist Church, 26 E. Main St., Kingston. Afterward, the program will proceed to the Confederate Cemetery, where children will participate in a grave decoration. A Memorial Day Tea will follow at the Kingston Museum, Martha Mulinix Annex on East Main Street.
To obtain more details about Civil War Comes to Kingston or the Confederate Memorial Day Service, call Holt at 770-386-0146.