SURRENDER OF SECESSION – WESTVILLE, GA 1865 HELPFUL HISTORICAL TIDBITS FOR LIFE IN THE LOWER CHATTAHOOCHEE VALLEY IN 1865 19th CENTURY FEATURES OF LUMPKIN, GA - Local militia "Stewart County Guard" fights off Creek Indian attacks in 1835-1836. Disbanded 1850. - Bedingfield Inn (built 1836) - Masonic Female College is razed in 1852 - No railroads till 1886. The railroads had been built in the 1850s to the north and south of Lumpkin which led to a slow decline. - Wooden Courthouse until 1895. - Cotton was its primary crop. (3rd largest cotton producing county in GA.) - Major stagecoach hub. - City in decline by 1861 due to soil erosion, population decline and the lack of a rail station. - 1860 population of Lumpkin was 1,476. - 1860 population of Stewart County was 13,422. - Civil War Infantry regiments included: 2nd GA Infantry - "Stewart Grays" (one company) 21st GA, Company I - "Stewart Infantry" - Notable People of Lumpkin, GA / Stewart Cty, GA Gen. Clement Evans 39th GA Infantry Prentiss Stanley Co. d, 12th Bn. GA Cavalrty - son of Loverd & Elizabeth Bryan Johan George Singer - Singer Shoemaker Shop - son: Joseph Singer - 2nd GA Inf "Stewart Grays" - son: John Singer - Co. E, 31st GA reg. Temperence Carr - Widow to George Singer (Johan's uncle) and GGGGGGrandmother to 1st lady Roslyn Carter. John Singer II - Tailor and Johan's Brother. Edward McDonald - son of Scottish immigrants and wealthy cotton warehouse owner. James John McDonald - Edward's eldest son. Col Crew's cavalry - Iverson's GA Brgde. Lizzie Rutherford - (from Columbus, GA) Active in the Soldier's Aid Society. A Brief Prosperity The county population exploded from 1836 to 1850. Settlers poured in, mainly from other fall line counties, especially Jones, Washington, and Wilkes. Stewart soon became one of Georgia's top-three cotton producers (more than 7.6 million pounds in 1850). Lumpkin, in turn, served as the area's center of commerce and stagecoach routings. By the 1850s, however, signs of decline began to manifest. Rail construction—connecting Savannah to west Georgia's cotton producers—passed north and south of the county but not through it. It would be 1885 before a rail finally entered Stewart, leading to the incorporation of Richland in 1889. Additionally, the European-influenced farming practices of the time led to devastating soil erosion in Stewart County. Underlying soil structures in the area yielded multiple gullies in place of the once-fertile crop fields. As the soil washed away, so too did Stewart County's economic strength. Stewart County lost population in every decade of the twentieth century. COTTON FACTS 1793 - Eli Whitney invents the Cotton Gin - Increases cotton production 8 fold. Cotton utilizes a Hoe Ridge Cultivation. Tools required: Cultivators, harrows, side harrows and double shovels. Planting Cycle Feb-March: Clean out old debris. Seed bed setup. April-May: Planting. May-June: Plants thinned. Swept and hoed 3-4 times. June: Cotton blooms. Plant height is 6"-12". Late July-Early Aug.: Cotton Bolls open. Aug 20: Picking Begins. Sept-Jan. Shipping to Markets. Avg Yields = 100-1500 lbs per acre. Slaves average picked per day = 120 lbs. All slaves (domestic, cook, house, etc) were utilized during picking season. 1865 – contracted Freedman labor, sharecropping Total 1860 US Production = 1.9 million lbs. 1860 US Production equaled 2/3 of worlds supply. A 400 lb bail requires 1200-1500 lbs of cotton produced. Price per 400 lb bale in 1860 averaged $49.60 per bale. (12.4 cents per lb.) Price per 400 lb. bale in 1860 averaged $200.00 per bale (50.1 cents per lb.) 1861 - Confederacy places embargos on cotton to Europe. 1865 – Boom crop and 330,000 surplus bales in in Southern, GA at wars end. 1866 – Droughts and floods destroy most the crop. It is a disasterous year. Good begin to flow after Yankees and carpetbaggers bring in jobs and Greenbacks. However, most local people would still have various survival skills that we encourage you to continue in 1865. Survival Skills/Crafts/Substitutes: - Making vinegar - Red Bark, raspberry or whortleberry leaf tea – treats diarrhea - Spanish potatoes to treat bowels - Peach, mayapple, butternut toots – laxative - Making ropes from beargrass, sunflower stalks and cotton - Making ink from walnut hulls or pokeberries - Making pens from goose feathers - Enevelopes from newspaper or just fold up letter - Use of old bottles for drinking glasses - Make soap from myrtle, rosin and chinaberries - Extracting salt from smoke houses, seawater or brine troughs - Mixing dogwood and willowbark with tobacco can make it last longer - Making or using pottery or wooden cups, plates or bowls - Making lampoil from cottonseed and ground peas or lard oil - Making beeswax, lard or tallow candles - Collecting and using pineknots for light (no fires in any of the buildings) - Making clothing, if textiles available. - Simulate making items from horsehide, dogskins or pigskin as a replacement for leather - Raising and shearing sheep for much needed wool - Creating cloth by combining doghair and cowhair (slaves and poor whites only) - Creating durable cloth by mixing rabbit or raccoon fur or wearing of animal skins - Making dyes from barks, leaves, twigs, berries, walnut hulls, pinetree roots, wild indigo and myrtle - Making and using buttons made of thick leather, gourd shells, wound thread, persimmon seeds and wood. - Making bonnets from corn shucks, palmettos, bulrushes, pinestraw and sometimes wool (wool was expensive) - Burning and collection of corn cob ashes as a replacement for baking soda - Use of brown sugar, sorghum, honey and watermelon juice as replacement for sugarcane - Growing and Use of Peanuts – (note: peanuts were rarely grown prior to the war) also called: goobers, pindars, ground peas - Peanut brittle, feed for hogs, cattle and parched peanuts were popular - Common vegetables grown: cabbage, peas, beans, squash, sweet potatos - Most meats are smoked due to limited supply of salt - Coffee Substituttes: parched rye (this was one of the best, but limited in supply), parched peanuts, okra, sweet potato skins, acorns, peas, beans, dandelion roots, cottonseeds, etc - Make homemade muscodine or blackberry wines - Home distilled whiskey replaced imported rum - Stills making private use liquor from most grains and produce was forbidden by the CSA government unless licensed (this law was frequently ignored) Taxes: - Cotton Seed (intended to limit cotton supply and encourage food stuffs) - 10% tax on cotton. Cotton trade was handed back by the Treasury Dept. - Debts due were suspended till the end of the year. - Property taxes in Stewart Cty return to normal levels. Freedman’s Bureau: - Were there to provide Freedmen with contractual labor and court authorities. - They also helped poor whites with relief as well. - Agents were either Federal officers or Treasury agents. Local law enforcement could also be sworn in. - They led the way for black schools, hospitals, census data, marriages, investigation, contract negotiations, etc. Returning Veterans: - Men who surrendered have been back from Appomatox, but those from Tallahassee and Greensboro are still coming home. - Deserters begin to return and take up jobs. - Some can get relief from the Freedman’s Bureau. - They must find jobs with those that pay in Greenbacks. - Many scarred physically and mentally. Georgia Politics: - After war, Governor Joseph Brown was forced to resign. He accepted Peace gracefully and always seemed to be the people’s man. He accepted black equality in courts and labor, but would never accept Freedmen as their equals. - Robert Toombs is missing and the Federals are seeking him. It is rumored he has run off with specie. He ends up in Cuba. - Local political offices are dissolved, but local civic authority is kept in tact if they take an Amnesty Oath. - Radical Unionists nor Fire Eaters would fill many key roles in politics. - Unknown Moderates generally fill political offices. Veterans were favored over those that been exempted or deserted.
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