“We decided on this topic after being approached by Amanda Monson,” Gobbi said. “She’s the adult services coordinator for the Bartow County Library System. Primarily we’re talking about Bartow County in the Civil War and specifically events that happened in Euharlee and the impacts on Euharlee’s residents. I like to think of the Civil War, especially in Georgia, as something that just wasn’t impactful on the battlefield but as [Union Gen. William] Sherman marched through and even prior to Sherman marching through [there] was also a lot of things going on at the home front as well.
“We hear the stories about houses being taken over by Union soldiers and homes being destroyed but also that same year there was a bad harvest and the Confederate and Union soldiers had really decimated what food stores the civilians on the home front had left. So there was just a lot of suffering going on as well. So I like to think about it as something that really touched everyone.”
While Euharlee was not the site of any Civil War battles, Gobbi said the city was impacted in 1864 as troops descended on the county.
“The original Milam Bridge ... was actually burned by Confederate soldiers,” she said. “On May 21, 1864, 5,000 Cavalry came through and they knew that the Union soldiers would be following shortly after, so they burned it in hopes for kind of stalling [them] or making them divert into a different direction.
“On May 23, the 20th Army Corps came through and actually crossed the Etowah. It’s not far at all from downtown Euharlee. [There were] actually several columns that came through Bartow County mid-May towards the end of May in 1864.”
Considering herself a “Civil War buff,” Monson is excited Emmie Nelson Library will be offering a program on a topic she feels will appeal to numerous people.
“It originally came about because our summer reading program theme this year is literary elements and talking with colleagues here at the library we thought, ‘Well, what kind of elements can we bring about?’” Monson said. “We wanted to do something out at Euharlee and it was suggested that I contact Katie at the museum and see if she would be interested in bringing a program and talk about some historical aspect of the community — some kind of element.
“When we met, we were talking about this year is the 75th anniversary of ‘Gone with the Wind’ being released as a film. We thought, ‘Well, we need to tap into that somehow.’ And that’s when Katie thought, well we’ve got this Civil War exhibit we can talk about, how the Civil War affected the community and just have a little bit of a ‘Gone with the Wind’ aspect to it. I’m a personal big Civil War buff, so this was right up my alley, so of course I encouraged it. We recently had a Civil War speaker come in and do a presentation here at the Cartersville library and it was a big hit. So you throw around Civil War and people will come,” she said, referring to the appeal of Civil War-themed programs.
Also on Thursday, the Civil War exhibit, “War Comes to Bartow,” will open at the Euharlee History Museum, 118 Covered Bridge Road.
“Primarily it is just telling again the story of what happened in Bartow County, covering a chronological timeline of events that affected the people in Bartow County during this conflict,” Gobbi said. “We’ve got some interesting artifacts that Euharlee residents have found in the past and brought to the museum. We’ve got minie balls and belt buckles and different things like that coming off of uniforms.
“A portion of this exhibit is a temporary exhibit that’s going to be up through the duration of the sesquicentennial. We just thought with it being the 150th year of Sherman’s March to the Sea, this was a way that we could commemorate that event because it had a large impact on our state and our community. We hope that they will walk away with an understanding of the events that occurred in Bartow County and in and around Euharlee.”
For more information about the upcoming library program, call 770-382-2057.