Sunday, September 30, 2012

Glenmore and Sarah Carter - A Life of Service

Last week I shared part one of Sarah Elizabeth Woods Carter's memories regarding living along the Dog River from 1909 through the early 1920s.  

The second part of her narrative begins when the Woods family moved to Texas in 1922.

Her words are italicized.  My comments appear in regular print.

The day came when we were told we were moving to Texas in 1922.  I still feel the heartache when, as the cars were loaded and we were on our way, we passed a calf of mine in a neighbor's pasture.  I choked up and hoped that Mary, my calf, didn't see me.   I didn't want her to think I gave her away.   

As to the results of our move to Jefferson, Texas, to make the story short, five of us married Texans.   The stay in Texas was not too long and all came back to Georgia.

At seventeen, I went back to Jefferson to attend school and took several classes under a young teacher, Glenmore Carter.  After two years we were married at what is now Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, and we continued our education together. 

Andrews University is a Seventh Day Adventist sponsored college dating back to 1874.  The school's motto, which the Carters seemed to take to heart is "Seek knowledge.  Affirm faith. Change the world."

We spent thirty-eight years in the ministry in India and in many of the large cities in the United States.  With us, part of the time, were two sons, Lee Edwin and Glenn Thomas.

Of course, serving as a missionary in various parts of the world can be very dangerous and during the 1930s and 40s it was no different.   The Southwestern Union Record, a Seventh Day Adventist newsletter, dated September 4, 1935 mentions the Carters.   The article states, "A letter just received by Mr. and Mrs. L.N. Carter from their son Glenmore brings the news that because of the Suez situation being so serious word was received from Washington for them not to sail from New York via Europe.  It also advised that the missionaries in Addis Ababa have been ordered to leave.   This without a doubt bespeaks of the seriousness of things in the east Mediterranean....Glenmore Carter and family will now sail from Seattle, Washington on September 13, 1935."

The Suez situation mentioned above is often referred to as the Abyssinia Crisis involving Italy and Ethiopia.   You can read more about it here.

The narrative continues:

There came a time when the sons reached college age and their bills were more than our salaries, so I did special duty nursing and we always had the bills paid at the end of the school year.  One dollar per hour was the pay for the special duty nursing in those days.

An issue of The Record, a Seventh Day Adventist newsletter from 1956 indicates Glenmore Carter was the pastor of Houston Central Church and the announcement was being made regarding the purchase of property for a new church and school facility.   The church - with a membership of 600 - had outgrown its building.

By 1963, the Carters were in Little Rock, Arkansas where Glenmore had become a regular on local television appearing on various religious and community shows as a representative of the Seventh Day Adventist faith.  

The narrative continues:  

After retirement I thought it was my turn to suggest where we would live.  That ended up with our going to the county where the old Dog River flowed.  But retirement was not for us.  

In the 1960s along with 42 other Adventist the Carters bought the old church used by the Methodist in the center of Douglasville - at the corner of Price and Church Streets (where the city parking lot stands today) - with the handsome stained-glass memorial windows and organized a new Adventist church there.  The building is seen below......

In March, 1964 they named the new church Lou Vansant Memorial Seventh Day Adventist Church in honor of Sarah's grandmother who is listed as the first practicing Seventh Day Adventist in Douglas County.   The property was sold to the City of Douglasville in 1970 and the church moved to the Bright Star property where it's located today.   

The narrative continues:

We saw the need for medical and hospital work in that county on the edge of booming Atlanta.  We saw the plans for the big new freeway, Interstate 20, to be built right by us, so we invested in 500 acres of land and this paid off.  

We used the gain to put up a lovely nursing home, the Georgian Villa, on a beautiful lake.  Then we built a school, and last of all a 400 bed ultra modern hospital, Atlanta West Hospital, just twelve miles west of Atlanta, right on I-20.  It was a dream come true when I had the privilege of planning a modern hospital with every nook and corner designed for the best in nursing care. 

In 1973, projections to build the 11-story cylindrical nursing tower with an attached rectangular medical building stood at 17 million dollars, however, later editions of the Seventh Day Adventist newsletter advised the final cost was closer to 27 million dollars.  Below is  a picture of Glenmore and Sarah Carter along with Malcom P. Cole who served as the first hospital administrator as they review blueprints of the building and another picture of the building under construction from the newsletter. 

The hospital was funded through bonds which were advertised far and wide.   Here is an advertisement dated March 19, 1973 from The Evening Independent.  I found other such ads in other newspapers across the country.

Mrs. Carter advises.....

Construction was very successful and the new medical plant opened on time, but the administration we had chosen failed us and quickly wasted over a million dollars in opening reserve.   

This link here takes you to an article concerning the dedication and opening of the hospital with several pictures..

 In her book concerning Douglas County history Fannie Mae Davis states, "The advanced architectural design was matched by a far-sighted approach to equipment inside the hospital.....Unfortunately, low utilization of the facility resulted in financial problems."

Mrs. Davis continues, "....The hospital operated efficiently, but lack of operating funds forced the founders deep in debt and finally, the hospital faced bankruptcy.  In 1976, a class action suit was filed against Atlanta West, it's corporation and officers, the bond trustee bank, the bonding company [First Dayton Corporation], and others.  The case hung in court for six years, but finally came to trial in federal court in Ohio in December, 1981.  The Carters relinquished legal responsibility three and a half months before the bonds went into default, but never hesitated to enter the court and acting as their own attorney, defended every charge.  After a lengthy trial, the federal court jury gave a clear verdict on every point, favoring the Carters and the hospital corporation.  Their defense was complete and decisive and it was said to have helped save millions for the bond holders, who ultimately received their full original investment and considerable interest."

You can read more about the legal issues involved with the case here.

Mrs. Carter continues with her narrative:

We contacted Hospital Corporation of America and they wound up purchasing the fine plant and making it one of the best operated hospitals in America.

My research indicates they purchased the hospital for 22 million dollars.  An article from the Douglas County Sentinel noted "real stability happened in 1980 when the Hospital Corporation of America bought the hospital and changed its name to Parkway Regional."  

The Georgian Villa Nursing Home was also part of the purchase and its name was changed to Garden Terrace.  One important first for the original Georgia Villa was it was the first facility of its kind in the nation to receive a Medicare check for nursing home care.  In 2008, the nursing home changed its name once again to Douglasville Nursing and Rehabilitation.  

Parkway Regional eventually met its demise due to the swing of a wrecking ball in 2004.  Bob Smith has furnished the next two pictures showing the facility during its demolition in September, 2004.   I'm told the recyclable steel was sold and shipped to China for their building boom  Today, a Home Depot sits on the spot where the hospital once served as a unique landmark along the expressway.

I'll be writing more about the hospital later.

The Carters finally took that retirement.....

There comes a day when retirement becomes a reality.  We thought it would be wonderful to be up in the mountains of Tennessee near the Smokies and figured that was the answer.  It was beautiful and relaxing, looking out over the hills and mountains.  But one thing we did not take into consideration, the legs that had been faithful for over seventy years now did not desire to carry up the hills.  On icy winter days we did not always go in the right direction.  So, in 1981, we moved back to Texas, level and plenty of heat to care for arthritis.  After six years back home in the college town of Keene, where Glenmore grew up, we are doing grand.  At present (1986) we do traveling for our hobby and thoroughly enjoy taking life a bit easier.  

....and that's the end of the narrative.

Glenmore passed away in 1996 while Sarah reached the age of 98 before passing away in 2007.  

A Douglas County Sentinel article regarding Mrs. Carter's death and impact on Douglas County can be found here.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Life Along the Dog River During the Early 1900s

A few weeks ago a friend handed me a history of the Vansant family compiled by Sarah Elizabeth Woods Carter.

I finally got around to looking at it.

Mrs. Carter was a member of the Douglas County Genealogy Society, and did a great job researching her family and presenting the information in her book.  Her introduction really grabbed my attention mainly because it was well written as well as informative.

After thinking about it for a bit I decided Mrs. Carter's narrative is very important to the Douglas County story not only because of the contributions she and her husband, Gilmore Carter, made to the region during the 1960s to the mid 1980s, but because the narrative paints a portrait regarding how many citizens of Douglas County lived their lives during the early days of the 20th century - from 1900 to the early 1920s and how those same people handled all of the changes during the last half of the century.

Think of it as "Little House on the Prairie" meets the turbulent 1970s.

Mrs. Carter's time here in the county could be considered as a great case study regarding how Douglas County changed from an extreme agricultural and rural community to an Atlanta suburb.  

I've divided Mrs. Carter's narrative into two parts....part two will publish next week.  

Her words are italicized.  My comments appear in regular print.

It will not be a long story telling you about the life I have lived.  These seventy-seven years have flown by so quickly.  On October 28, 1909 I arrived on Clifton Boulevard in Atlanta, Georgia.  When in my fourth year a little baby brother, John David, arrived.  In my fifth year my parents decided the six of us needed to be on a farm, two older brothers, Curtis and Ottis,  and two older sisters, Fannie Lou and Orella.  The half dozen needed more exercise than city life could give.  

Mrs. Carter published the book in 1986.  The residence she speaks of on Clifton Boulevard is actually Clifton Road that cuts through Atlanta from Ponce de Leon  over to Briarcliff.  Per Mrs. Carter's obituary the property was located along Clifton where we find Emory University today.   Eventually both of Mrs. Carter's sons would earn degrees on the land where their mother was born.  

This picture is the Edgar Woods family and was taken when they lived on Clifton Road.  Mrs. Carter is the youngest child.  

The narrative continues:  

In a covered wagon I rode with my father on a cold day in November the forty miles to our country home on Dog River in Douglas County.  I kept warm underneath a quilt with a lighted lantern.  The only thrill I had for the day was crossing over the bridge on Dog River.  We were going to a farm on which my father lived as a youth.  The house was there - trees had grown up through the porch.   But even though after dark, my father picked up limbs from the trees that had fallen and in no time the huge fireplace was crackling with fire and we were perfectly warm.  The straw ticks for mattresses and springs were filled with pine straw.  No need for more, we slept through it all.  

Mrs. Carter's father was Edgar Woods who married Carrie Vansant in 1874.  Carrie's father was Young Vansant who is well known in the Douglas County history community because he donated the original 40 acres that would become the city of Douglasville.   

The following picture was taken at the time Edgar and Carrie married.

Turning the Woods family property back into a working farm took hard work by all of the family members at a time when folks didn't have the machines we have today.  

Trees had to be cut and hand piled to burn in clearing the land for planting crops the spring following.  I was there and came in at night with the rest, black from carrying burnt brush into piles ready for burning.  I was greeted by the rolling steam from the kettle of hot water and into the tin tub I went and was soon like new.  Soon we were proud of the four hundred acre farm.  A dairy was started.  Orella, my sister two years older was my pal.  We made a game out of all we did and raced on every task.

We were given the calves to care for.  A barn on a rented place near our home was given us, a place to call our own in which to care for our calves.  We fed them and cared for the cleaning of the barn.  If a grown person came around it scared our calves.  

At the ages of ten and eight we milked cows, ran the big old barrel churn, cleaned the "De Laval" cream separator, and walked two miles to school, getting there on time and back home for chores again.  My first administrative task was at the age of eight managing my dozen calves.  They followed me and minded me like my pet dog.

Pictured below is a cream separator like Mrs. Carter refers to above.  Basically it was a centrifugal device that separated milk into cream and skimmed milk.  Most of the time the skimmed milk would be used for the family and some used to feed farm animals.  The cream would be used for churning butter and the excess was sold.

We never thought of keeping busy as work.  It was real life.  And never a day passed but we found time for a game or foot race, or hurried to the piano to see which one made it first.  That mother of ours taught us music.  And not only that, but at the age of six I had finished every word in the old blue back speller.

The blue back speller dates back to 1783 and was created by Noah Webster - author, political writer, and textbook pioneer.   He's the Webster in Webster's Dictionary.  Over five generations of Americans used the book to learn how to spell and read in the days when standardization wasn't a bad word.  

How often I have thanked heaven for that mother of mine.  The Vansant blood that ran through her veins never failed to circulate.  She managed the seven of us.  (I had a  little baby sister, Claudie Mae, arrived on the "ole Dog River" place).   The lessons I learned on mother's knee saved me many a woe in life.  I can never forget the day, sitting on her lap at five years old and the admonition she gave me.  She said, "There is a God in heaven and he expects me to guide you till you get old enough to know right from wrong.  No matter where you are He sees you and will help you.  Every day learn to do something new, and do something you know you should do but don't like to do, and do it with a smile.  I have a Bible text for everything I teach you."

Yes, I understand that some parents don't use the Bible to teach their child right from wrong, and I understand it's every parent's choice, but more and more I see parents who choose to be a friend to their child instead of a parent.  I see parents who treat their child more as an accessory than a responsibility.   Mrs. Carter's statement, "The lessons I learned on my mother's knee saved me many a woe in life"..........

Very true.

It was a regular custom at our house to get up at 3 a.m.   One morning it came to my mind as I came bouncing down the stairs at 3 a.m. I thought, I'll bet she doesn't have a text to prove we have to get up at 3 a.m each morning.   Yes, I found her already in the kitchen, up and making those good biscuits that would be piping hot for breakfast.  I said, "I bet you haven't got a text to prove we have to get up at 3 a.m.."   I can see her yet as she turned her head from me to laugh to herself.   But instantly she came back with the answer - "a little more sleep, a little more slumber, the way of the sluggard."   I went on to the barn to milk the cows with the rest of the family and never questioned her integrity again.

Three in the morning!!!  Okay.....I give.   That IS a little extreme.  

So in case you are wondering about Mrs. Carter's mother's response...."a little more sleep, a little more slumber, the way of the sluggard" can find it in the Bible at Proverbs 24:33....meaning.....little procrastinations....any procrastination can ruin men's souls.

I do understand the point.   Procrastination is my own personal nemesis.

I caught up with Orella in school work.  In fact, we raced in everything we did.  Many tasks were given to us, chopping cotton, picking cotton, helping the men folk bailing hay, and any odd jobs were ours.  If I could ride the horse or mule to the house from the field, or sit on top of the load of hay as it was hauled in, was pay enough for the day.

I'm thinking about most of the children I know between the ages of nine and late teens and trying to visualize them chopping cotton, picking cotton, bailing hay, etc.  Broadening my thinking a little I don't know that many adults who could do this sort of work these days.

I'll be continuing Sarah Carter's narrative next week where she discusses her family's move to Texas and moving back to Douglasville years later where she made her mark by building a school, a nursing home, and a hospital and the challenges involved.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wouldn't it be great if you could go online and find deals and coupons specifically targeted for the Douglas County/Douglasville area? can.

Hot Monthly Deals is your spot online for exclusive discount coupons for businesses that are within or servicing the Douglas County area. 

The coupons are rotated monthly.  There is always something new!!!

Consumers benefit and so do advertisers.....

Check them out today.  I'ved linked to them as as well as placed their blog button over at the top of the right sidebar, so you can hope right over to them.

You can find their blog here.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

First Baptist, Lithia Springs - A Dream Come True

The political season is wearing on me, and judging by the comments I hear and read I think it's wearing on most people.  

The spin.

The attacks.

The gotchas.

The convoluted issues.

The negativity in what is already a time where serious problems exist, and we are in need of real solutions if not bona fide action-plans.

It shouldn't be about who got us into the mess or who might want the credit for getting us out of the morass.   It should be about fixing things...that's it.   Just give me your plan with no static or spin.  Don't tell me about the other guy.   Give me your plan, and I'll decide which one I like.

Simple, right?

You'd think so...but politicians get sidetracked with ego and power and just wanting to be "the one."

I would like to think that most people want to do something worthy with their life.  They want to have purpose and leave behind something meaningful....and if they get the chance to leave behind something tangible....something that can be seen, used, and enjoyed by others that it would be even better.

I don't usually find those types of people deep in the confines of politics.  People who want to have real purpose and meaning hang out in everyday life quietly going about their work...their life.  

They tend to dream. 

They tend to work on projects of their own and with others.

They have goals.

Those people....the everyday normal you - and - me types of people amaze me because more often than not they don't see their dream the first time around....projects go awry and goals have to be restructured.

Yet....they keep going even when everything they work for is suddenly taken away from them.

It's easy to give up, but the human spirit can be a remarkable thing when it meets up with adversity.  Sometimes the right group of people come together and make something happen not once...but twice.

Take a group of citizens from Lithia Springs in the year 1946.   A committee was appointed by Union Grove Baptist Church to look into the possibility of moving the church to the business area of LIthia Springs.  Members of the committee included Tom Gore, Ed Ralls, Loy T. Chandler, and I.C. Williams.   

The committee discovered the John James family had given the land for the church only on condition that it be used as a church.   If the church was moved or disbanded, the land would revert back to the James family.  The committee's report was presented to the church and the suggestion to move to downtown Lithia Springs was not approved.

However, a small group of twelve people still believed God  was leading them to establish a church at Lithia Springs.  One member of the group in particular....Loy T. Chandler (pictured below)....had a dream one Sunday afternoon after church where he later advised God had given him a vision of a church in downtown Lithia Springs. 

At one time Glen Florence (pictured below) owned several lots of land along Bankhead Highway in Lithia Springs.   He was also involved in various business concerns and later was a member of the Georgia General Assembly for the 39th District.  Ed Ralls contacted Mr. Florence on behalf of the group.

Mr. Florence responded to Mr. Ralls by letter on March 1, 1946 and a copy is stored within the historical archives of First Baptist Church, Lithia Springs.   Mr. Florence wrote, "I will be glad to donate a church site....Have you looked at the place next to the school house, as you could utilize part of the school grounds for large Sunday crowds? ...You might want to get Mr. Watt Mozeley to show you the places and write me the amount of frontage needed and the depth of the place, and I am sure we can get together.  Thank you for the chance to do something."

The church was organized on April 7, 1946 in the auditorium of the present Annette Winn Elementary School then known as Lithia Elementary School.   Finances were discussed and a budget plan approved.  The group pledged  to tithe their income, and it was unanimously voted to have services every Sunday.

Ground was broken soon thereafter to begin construction (see image below).   From left to right:  Mary Gore, Ethel Hodges, Vassie Williams, John and Estelle Rice, Pat Chandler, Jewell Patterson, Amy Copeland, G.W. Southard, Pastor Arnold Patterson, John Cauble, Pastor Pat Johnson and John Brown.

The group continued to meet in the school building until the basement of the church was complete.  At the conclusion of the first year the basement was completed and services were held there. 

The church members completed much of the building themselves.  Men would head to the church site after work and complete another shift until late at night.  Every Saturday was spent seeing to the construction at the church as well with the women providing picnic lunches when necessary.  

On October 23, 1949 the LIthia Springs First Baptist building was dedicated to the glory of God.  The dedication theme was "A Dream Come True", and it was.  It is said the building was just as Mr. Chandler had envisioned.

A regular Sunday schedule was held using all of the new equipment and all of the spaces that were available.  Following the morning service a basket lunch was enjoyed and during the afternoon a congregational singing was held and a message of dedication was given by Pastor Pat Johnson from the Douglasville First Baptist Church.

The dedication was followed by a week long revival, but on that Friday night...October 28, 1949 to be exact....tragedy struck.

As the congregation gathered for the evening services the building caught fire.  Instead of gathering to sing hymns and listen to the pastor's message the congregation watched their many hours of  labor and the result of many months of financial sacrifice burn to the ground.  Later the cause was determined to be a faulty gas heating system.

The above newspaper clipping is from the Atlanta Constitution and is dated Saturday, October 29, 1949.   If you click on the image you can see a larger version and isolate it on the screen by itself.  

The caption underneath the image states, "FIRE DESTROYS LITHIA SPRINGS CHURCH...the new $62,000 First Baptist Church in Lithia Springs was destroyed by fire last night.  The structure  was dedicated only last Sunday.   The fire was discovered shortly before a scheduled meeting."

In those days Lithia Springs didn't have regular fire service.  In fact, it would be the 1960s before Douglas County would have regular fire service.  Fire fighting equipment was called from Austell and Douglasville, and a bucket brigade was formed to no avail due to the town's lack of a water system.  

All equipment including a new grand piano, new white pine pews, carpeting, four pianos in the Sunday School departments, all chairs, heaters, and much more were destroyed.  Written histories filed within the church archives state, "It was well the church had a firm foundation because it went from a mountain-top experience of exaltation to the valley of despair in five short days.  it was in the testing time that the real church emerged to build again an even larger, stronger organization, with more facilities to proclaim God's love in the community."

Three days after the fire a meeting was held where the congregation met to discuss plans for the future.  A plan was put in place to raise the funds and go forward with building another "new" church.  Surrounding churches offered their buildings, plus a store building, the Scout Hut, and private homes were used on a temporary basis.   Later meetings were held in the school until a new sanctuary was completed in August, 1951.   The building still stands on the church campus today as a testament to faith, dreams, and sticking to a goal.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Thomas Coke Glover: The Fighting Physician

One of the things I try to avoid as I share my research regarding Douglas County history is a dry recitation of someone's birth and death dates, where they are buried, who their parents were, their spouse's information and their children's names.

I wouldn't want to write it, and you certainly wouldn't want to read it.  Even when I was still in the classroom I thought of myself as a storyteller because that's what history is...a collection of true stories.

As I related in 2006 in a post I wrote for my blog History Is Elementary, "Thousands of people throughout history have gone to great lengths to record history through newspapers, diaries, journals, saved letters, family Bibles, and oral traditions."

I want to do more than just record a litany of facts.  I want to gather up as many of the bits and pieces of the story as I can from as many resources as I can to tell the story

Sometimes it's a real challenge, but in the case of Dr. Thomas Coke Glover or Dr. T.C. Glover depending on the source the story is just too compelling not to relate it. 

Though Glover was born in Augusta, Georgia he chose to make Campbell County his home.   The genealogy research of Joe Baggett indicates Glover was in Campbellton as early as 1850.  He was a medical doctor and evidence suggests he was highly respected and known across the state.

I obtained the following picture from

The picture was posted by Harold Glover a descendant of Dr. Glover's and he advised this was the original office from which Dr. Glover practiced medicine from 1850-1861 in Campbell County.   I'm not sure of the exact location of the building, but following the war Harold Glover advises the building was used as a voting site and finally as a general store.  He also adds that if you look closely at the side of the building, just below the lower left corner of the drink sign, you will see a hole.  This is a result of an artillery shell fired by General Sherman's troops when his men marched from what would later become Douglas County and crossed the river into Campbellton.  

The building no longer exists, but it is said the cannon shell hole can be observed if you visit the History Room at the Old Campbell County Courthouse in Fairburn.

Now you may be asking yourself why I'm discussing a man from Campbell County when my focus is Douglas County history.  Please remember Douglas County was birthed out of Campbell and many of our citizens hold ties to the original settlers of Campbell County including Dr. Glover. 

Dr. Thomas Coke Glover interests me due to the choices he made during the days leading to the Civil War.  He was a respected physician who married Elizabeth (Lizzie) Susan Camp in 1852.   Glover was one of the original town commissioners of Campbellton in 1854 per the research of Joe Baggett.

Glover also served the people of Campbell County as one of the two delegates they sent to represent them at the Secession Convention held in Milledgeville from January 16 to March 23, 1861.  An image of the secession document is published below:

Not only did Glover vote for secession he also assisted with writing the new constitution for the Republic of Georgia.

Of course it was assumed Glover would serve in the Confederate Army, and it was naturally assumed he would serve as a medical doctor, but this is where Glover deviates from the expected.  By serving as an army doctor he would have been spared from actual combat, but Glover chose to fight and set about at once organizing a company of men.

Richard B. Stansberry writes in So Sings the Chattahoochee..."[Upon from the Secession Convention] Dr. Glover organized the Campbellton Blues which became Company A of the Twenty-first Georgia Infantry Regiment.   The men drilled on the streets and about the courthouse square [in Campbellton].  They received so much training they were dubbed the 'West Pointers' of the Georgia Twenty-first, and given the roster distinction of Company A."

The picture below shows the spot where the old Campbell County courthouse stood in Campbellton.....courtesy of Mark Phillips.    The site of Campbellton's old courthouse quare is is on your left...on the your cross the Chattahoochee River on Highway 92 entering Fulton County.

A complete muster roll of Company A including many men from Campbell County....ancestors of many of today's Douglas County residents can be found here.  

This might have been the end of my discussion regarding Thomas Coke Glover, but then I happened upon an interesting book titled History of the Doles-Cook Brigade by Henry Walter Thomas.  The book was published in 1903, and represents the history of four different regiments of the brigade - the Fourth, the Twelfth, the Twenty-first (Glover's regiment), and the Forty-fourth.  Thomas served in Company G of the Twelfth Georgia, and the book is an extensive  history provided mostly by the men who served.  

So often we have the information someone fought in the Civil war, but Thomas' book provides the details regarding where the men in Company A fought and contains eyewitness accounts of Dr. Glover's actions.

Thomas relates how Glover and Company A didn't reach Virginia until Second Bull Run, and soon after their arrival a feud began between some of the officers that grew and spread and lasted until death claimed the principal, Colonel John T. Mercer. 

When the order came to go to Manassas a large number of the regiment were down in their tents with measles.   When the order to strike tents was received the rain was pouring down in torrents, and Glover went to Colonel Mercer and asked that the tents be not struck down from over the men sick with measles stating the danger to their lives would ensue from their getting wet.  

Colonel Mercer refused to listen to him, and....Captain Glover refused to obey the order so far as his company's sick were concerned, and was placed in arrest...the tents were struck and about twenty men with measles were left in the rain.

Almost all the other company officers of the regiment took sides with Captain Glover, and the breach thus made was never healed as long as the principals lived.

On arriving at Manassas....the regiment went into camp and a few days later the arrested officers were returned to duty without any thing further having been done.

Glover and his men were soon caught up in assisting the Twenty-first North Carolina in capturing the Union supply at Manassas Junction.  Glover's commanding officer, Brigadier General Isaac Trimble gleefully said, "Give me my two Twenty-ones and I'll charge and capture hell itself!"

Glover and the Twenty-first Georgia took part in the Battle of Sharpsburg or Antietam in September, 1862.

One of the battle reports relates how the Twenty-first Georgia was ordered to wheel to the left, and, taking shelter under a low stone fence running at right angles to their former line, direct their fire upon the wavering Yankee regiment, with the view of breaking the enemy's line at this point.   They did so promptly, and a few rounds from them had the desired effect, and the enemy's line was entirely broken.

Discussing the same action Thomas' book states:

We were given orders to reach the fence.   In obedience to this command there was exhibited the most daring bravery that came under our observation during the war - a bravery not surpassed in the charge of the famous Light Brigade at Balaklava.  Volley after Volley was poured into the Twenty-first Georgia, mowing down the men by scores, yet they never faltered or wavered, but onward went, closing up the gaps in the lines as if on dress parade, with their gallant commander Colonel [Thomas Coke] Glover, in front with his sword in his uplifted hand calling for his men to follow.   And they did.   Oh God!  What a sight; what carnage.  What a feast of death was that!

....The fence was reached the work of death commenced at short range.  From this fence we poured volley after volley into them for some thirty to forty minutes....The regiment went over to the fence with one of its most blood-curdling rebel yells.

...Then they fled and the day was ours; but at what a cost!   ....Company A went into battle with forty-five men, nineteen were killed and twenty-one wounded, some of them fatally and others crippled for life. 

One of the wounded happened to be Glover himself who at some point during the battle realized ammunition was getting low and his men were wasting it on an enemy who was too far out of range.  The book Antietam: The Soldier's Story by John M. Priest relates how Glover sought out Colonel James Walker (C.O. Trimble's Brigade) to ask to move the men under his command.   

Walker gave the order for the Twenty-first Georgia to move out.   As his aide delivered the command to the regiment a ball struck Major Glover through the body and sent him to the ground - severely wounded.....but he did live to fight another day.

In fact, he lived to fight many fights before his death leading his men through 107 various engagements with the enemy.

When Colonel John T. Mercer of the Twenty-first Georgia was killed at Plymouth, North Carolina Glover rose to Lieutenant Colonel on April 18, 1864.  

Five months later on September 19, 1864 he was shot and killed instantly at Winchester, Virginia and was buried there.

Strangely, it is reported a few hours before his death, Lieutenant Colonel Glover heard about the fall of Atlanta and said, "Atlanta has fallen, and I fear all is lost, but I shall not live to see it."

How amazingly prophetic.

Thomas relates in The History of the Doles-Cook Brigade.....No braver or truer man that he ever drew the breath of life.  He was always at this post of duty ready to lead his men to battle.  His own safety was of no consideration to him when or where duty called  Not a single battle was ever fought by the regiment, but that this noble officer was with it, encouraging and leading his men to victory and glory...Colonel Glover was to the Twenty-First Georgia what Stonewall Jackson was to the army of the valley.

....and a final note regarding the Twenty-First Georgia including Company A from Campbell County......Of all the regiments engaged in the war between the states, North and South, the Twenty-first Georgia was the third in number of men killed in battle.  The regiment that lost the greatest number was the Eighth New York, and they were killed by the Twenty-first Georgia.  

Next Monday I'll continue the Glover saga with a post concerning his wife and her importance regarding how we remember the Civil War...not just here but across the South.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...