A Painstaking Mission to Save Atlanta’s Colossal Civil War Painting

ATLANTA — What, exactly, do you do with a 130-year-old work of art, mythmaking and Civil War history that is longer than a football field, more than 40 feet tall and urgently in need of a new home?

This city is finding out. After decades of deepening disrepair and disinterest in the painting commonly known as the Atlanta Cyclorama, workers this month are moving the panorama as part of a $35 million plan to rescue and maintain a titanic, deteriorating example of an art form that has mostly disappeared.

Saving “The Battle of Atlanta,” which is among the largest oil paintings in the world, has proved to be an undertaking of remarkable complexity. It is rife with logistical tests, engineering quandaries, curatorial challenges and political and racial sensitivities that linger more than 150 years after Gen. William T. Sherman’s military campaign here. Yet after taxpayers spent years supporting an imperiled painting in a building troubled by leaks and temperature fluctuations, formal opposition to the effort, which is privately funded by multiple philanthropists, is strikingly scarce.

“The fact that this painting has survived when so many others were left out to mold and rot and get burned up and whatever is nothing short of a miracle,” said Gordon L. Jones, the senior military historian and curator at the Atlanta History Center, which reached a license agreement with the City of Atlanta to display the cyclorama.


“The Battle of Atlanta” is among the largest oil paintings in the world. Philanthropists have donated $35 million to help relocate, restore and maintain the 1886 painting over the next 75 years. CreditAtlanta History Center


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Cape Fear Civil War Symposium at Ft. Caswell – May 5-7

Greetings, Civil War history fans!

Attached you will find information about the upcoming Cape Fear Civil War Symposium at Fort Caswell, which is to be held May 5-7, 2017. The symposium’s theme is “War of the Carolina Coast,” and we have entertaining and educational lineup of speakers who will speak on the varying, unique topics of their expertise. You won’t want to miss learning from their singular perspectives on the ways the war touched North Carolina. Our lecture lineup includes:
  • Dr. Robert M. Browning Jr. – “None Could Be More Vigilant Than We Are.” The Federal blockade of Wilmington, NC
  • Dr. Stephen Wise – Running the Blockade: an overview of Confederate blockade running near Wilmington, NC
  • Dr. Chris Fonvielle – Closing Down the Kingdom: the Wilmington Campaign
  • Mr. Wade Sokolosky – To Prepare for Sherman’s Coming: Operations on the North Carolina coast
  • Mr. Jim McKee, Mr. Andrew Duppstadt, & Mr. Chris Grimes – Hard Luck Ironclads of North Carolina
In addition to the 5 lectures listed above, the registration fee covers:
  • A Friday night banquet, breakfast and lunch on Saturday, and Breakfast on Sunday
  • Two breakout sessions with interactive experiences or demonstrations
  • Exclusive private tours of Fort Caswell and Fort Anderson
  • A large-group artillery demonstration at Fort Caswell!
More details are available in the symposium schedule (attached)
Those who are interested in staying on-site at beautiful, historic Fort Caswell may do so for an additional fee, which is covered in the attached registration form. For more information on Fort Caswell, please see the attached “About Fort Caswell” flyer. 
We hope you’ll consider joining us for this exciting event! This is the first year we have ever done this symposium, so please help us spread the word by forwarding this email to your friends and colleagues. 
If you have any questions, please contact Nathan Sloan in Fort Caswell’s main office by email at nsloan@nullfortcaswell.com. You may also reach him by telephone at (910) 2789501

Ed Bearss in Georgetown, OH on March 11

Ed Bearss will make his annual appearance in Georgetown, OH on March 11. His topic this year will be “Ulysses, from Cadet to General”. Make a day of it and experience a free tour of the Grant Boyhood Home from 10 to 12 pm. The program begins at 12:30 pm at the Gaslight Theatre with Civil War music, followed by Ed Bearss ‘ lecture from 1 to 3 pm.

 Tickets are $10 by phone or at the door. The lecture will be held at the Gaslight Theatre on the corner of Main Street & State Street in Georgetown. For more information, call 937-378-3087 or 937-378-4119.

Click below link for more details.



21st Annual Grant Days will be held in Georgetown, OH April 20, 21, & 22.  Click below link for more details.



Civil War Institute Summer Conference June 9-14

The Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College is hosting its annual summer conference June 9-14, 2017. The event features lectures, battlefield tours, and discussion panels. Tuition rates are available at their website.  Part-time attendance is an option.  

 Speakers highlights:

  • T.J. Stiles, “The Trials of George Armstrong Custer” AND “Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War”
  • Barton Myers, “Robert E. Lee on the Front Lines of Battle”
  • Lorien Foote (Texas A & M University), “Escaping Confederate Prisons: The Journey of Union POWs”
  • Kenneth Noe (Auburn University), “Reluctant Rebels: The Confederates Who Joined the Army After 1861”
  • Harold Holzer (Hunter College), “Lincoln as a War President”
  • John Coski (American Civil War Museum), “The Confederate Flag”

Tour Highlights

  • Mosby’s Confederacy (Dennis Frye and Richard Gillespie)
  • Antietam (Carol Reardon and Tom Vossler)
  • The Last March of the Iron Brigade (Jennifer Murray)
  • Armistead’s Brigade at Gettysburg (Wayne Motts and Jim Hessler)

Roundtable Highlights

  • Myths & Realities of Civil War Battle Tactics
  • Debating George Gordon Meade
  • Debating William Tecumseh Sherman

For more information about the conference and to register, please visit www.gettysburg.edu/cwi/conference. If you have any questions, please direct them to civilwar@nullgettysburg.edu.

10th Ohio Regiment (sometimes referred to as the “Bloody Tenth”)


The Genealogy & Local History Department at Downtown Branch of the Hamilton County Public Library is presenting an exhibit in March, 2017 dedicated to the 10th Ohio Regiment (sometimes referred to as the “Bloody Tenth”). The 10th had a good number of the troops were of Irish descent, and they were planning the exhibit as part of commemorating Irish genealogy/history month. They want to know if any our members had any artifacts (letters, clothing, etc.) from the 10th that could be part of the exhibit . They would be given great care and be part of the Cincinnati Room exhibit space, which is very secure. If you have any artifacts or perhaps know anyone who has items of interest related to the 10th, you may contact Colleen.Phillips@nullCincinnatiLibrary.org or Albert Hallenberg, CCWRT.   Albert Hallenberg is the Reference Librarian at the Public Library of Cincinnati’s Downtown Branch.

Inclement Weather & Possible Meeting Cancellations

CCWRT has been fortunate in that bad weather has forced us to cancel a meeting only two times in the last fifteen years, but we want to be prepared to communicate last minute information on meeting day if necessary. If bad weather makes the streets difficult to travel, you can check the following sources to determine if the meeting is still on or if it has been cancelled:

  • Check the home page on our web site at http://www.cincinnaticwrt.org/. We will post a simple update informing the membership that the meeting has either been cancelled or it is still on.
  • Check your email for an update. If the weather leaves you wondering whether we’ll meet or not, the CCWRT Listserv will be used to communicate the latest information to members who have provided us their email address.
  • Call the Drake Conference Center at 513-418-2500 and inquire about the status of the meeting. If we decide to cancel, they will be the first to know and their switchboard operators will be informed.
  • Call Lester Burgin, President, at 513-891-0610.

Lester will make the decision on the status of the meeting by noon the day of the meeting. The decision will be based on the condition of the roads, the safety of our members, the status of the speaker, and the Drake Meeting Center’s ability to serve us. If a cancellation is required, we will have a June meeting to make up for the cancelled date because we are contractually obligated for eight meetings per year.

2017 Preservation Project Announced

Our Preservation Committee has selected the John Parker House for our 2017 preservation project.

For more information about the project and how to make a donation, click the Preservation tab.

Your generosity is appreciated.

Civil War Governors of Kentucky Launches New Website

A couple of years ago, the Civil War Governors of Kentucky Digital Documentary Edition contacted libraries, archives, museums, and historical societies across the United States in the course of a nationwide search for documents related to Kentucky’s five wartime governors, Union and Confederate. The project received many intriguing research leads and many more kind responses with best wishes for our project.  The 10,000 digitized and searchable Civil War-era documents have now been made available on their new website (http://discovery.civilwargovernors.org).  The site lets readers explore the lives of everyday people in a society torn by conflict.

The next phase of the project is to annotate every person, place, and organization found in each of these documents to assemble those annotations into a massive biographical glossary and interconnected social network. This ambitious goal of locating, researching, and connecting hundreds of thousands of historical individuals, businesses, military units, and places will only be possible with collaboration from libraries, universities, and networks of local and family historians across Kentucky and the United States.

For that reason, we ask you to review the new Civil War Governors site for connections to your own collections, community, and mission. Ohio researchers may be interested in a Cincinnati rebel raising a company of Union scouts to defend against guerrilla invasion, an Ohio soldier explaining his grievance with Salmon Chase, or Governor Anderson’s requisition for a fugitive on a murder charge.

Please share Civil War Governors with interested researchers you know, and contact Assistant Editor Whitney Smith (whitney.smith@nullky.gov) with any questions or comments to help improve the site. The Kentucky Historical Society hopes that Civil War Governors will not just be a research resource but also a vehicle for continued exploration of the past to better understand our shared present and future.