Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Newnan Georgia, a Bastion of Confederate Heritage

Had an extended stay in Newnan GA over the past few weeks and was thrilled to see that Confederate heritage is very much still appreciated in this small Georgia town.  If you don't know where Newnan is located, it is southwest of Atlanta, just off I-85 exits 41 and 47, about 30 miles outside the Atlanta I-285 loop.  While work kept me busy during the days, I was able to take in a few of the historic highlights of the town.  The family spent a couple days over here and we enjoyed the Casa Bella bed and breakfast.  You can check Trip Advisor but last I saw they had all perfect 5 star ratings.  Casa Bella is a brick mansion in Greek Revival architecture with massive front porch columns dating from a century ago.  The couple who own Casa Bella had a number of photographs throughout the house including some special guests including Mickey and Minnie but also a couple who visited for a local reenactment and took the opportunity to be photographed at the house in their period Confederate uniform and hoop skirt attire.  The proprietor indicated that the large home next door served as a hospital during the War.  In researching this, apparently many of the buildings of the old Temple College were commandeered into this service during the War Between the States and this particular house was on the outskirts of this area and may have just served in that capacity.

Casa Bella in Newnan GA
General Joseph Wheeler also resided in Newnan GA and used the home as his headquarters during the Battle of Brown's Mill.  Just south of Newnan is the Brown's Mill historic site of one of Wheeler's great victories where he routed a Union force of 3600 men, capturing 2000 of them with his cavalry of 1400.
Wheeler House in Newnan
The historic downtown area is centered about a court square with a thriving shopping, dining and business district about the square.  In front of the courthouse on the west side are a number of memorial monuments but the most impressive is that for William Thomas Overby, the Confederate Medal of Honor recipient who fought under Mosby's Rangers and is buried in the Newnan Oak Hill Cemetery. 
Overby Monument on the Newnan Court Square
Also on the court square and surrounding streets are a number of fine restaurants including the upscale Cellar and 10 East Washington as well as cafes including Golden's on the Square and one of our personal favorites, the Redneck Gourmet which had such Southern delicacies on the menu as pimento cheese and fried pickles.  They also had the Battle flag in a display case and the highlight of our dining experience, a framed portrait of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest flanked on either side by Gen. Patton and John Wayne.
Dragoon Stuart Forrest Waldo Pointing to Gen. N.B. Forrest Portrait
In a previous blog here the Newnan Oak Hill Cemetery was highlighted including the Confederate cemetery with historic marker noting the hundreds of dead Confederate veterans buried there including William Thomas Overby.  A huge marker set by the UDC as well as a flagpole flying the Battle flag highlight the old historic graveyard.  Also mentioned previously, Dragoon Stuart Waldo's great great grandfather, Confederate veteran Pvt. Elijah Hunt is buried there and spent his final days in one of the hospitals there in Newnan before passing away in 1864 after fighting in and surviving many of the War's preeminent battles.  Took the opportunity to show my daughter the final resting place of her great great great grandfather under the cedars in Oak Hill.
Visiting Great Granddad Hunt's Grave in Oak Hill

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