Atlanta History Center

Sep 20

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Margaret Mitchell Opening Her Mail, c. 1945

Margaret Mitchell worked tirelessly to open and respond to all fan mail that resulted from Gone With the Wind. Oh, to have been a Windie back then! Check out the photos of Scarlett laying on the couch next to Margaret.

Browse and order prints from our collection.

Sep 19


1897 view of the English-American Building under construction at the corner of Peachtree and Broad. 
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Browse and order prints from our collection.

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1897 view of the English-American Building under construction at the corner of Peachtree and Broad. 


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Browse and order prints from our collection.

Sep 18

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View of the Woman’s Building, which stood in Piedmont Park near Atlanta, Georgia during the Cotton States and International Exposition

The Cotton States and International Exposition opened on September 18, 1895. Atlanta hosted the Cotton States and International Exposition to bring attention to the growth and potential of the New South. Several buildings were constructed specially for the event in Piedmont Park, including the Woman’s Building, the Transportation Building, and the Atlanta Brewing Company. None of these buildings remain today.

Browse and order prints from our collection.

Sep 17

Gone With the Wind Behind the Scenes Photo
Director Victor Fleming sits on the camera cradle preparing for one of the most famous crane shots in motion picture history. One of the most challenging scenes in the production was Scarlett’s search for Dr. Meade at the depot where hundreds of Confederate soldiers lay wounded or dead.  The studio called for thirteen-hundred extras to report to the Atlanta Car Shed set, but the Screen Actors Guild could only provide 600 actors.  Six-hundred dummies were constructed and a scenic painter added other soldiers after the film shoot.  Selznick rented a 120-ton crane with a sixty-foot reach and one of the most famous crane shots in film history was completed in one take.

Photo by Wilbur Kurtz, historian and technical advisor for Gone With the Wind. For more, see Wilbur G. Kurtz: History in Gone With the Wind at the Atlanta History Center. On display July 2, 2014 - April 4, 2015.

Gone With the Wind Behind the Scenes Photo

Director Victor Fleming sits on the camera cradle preparing for one of the most famous crane shots in motion picture history. One of the most challenging scenes in the production was Scarlett’s search for Dr. Meade at the depot where hundreds of Confederate soldiers lay wounded or dead.  The studio called for thirteen-hundred extras to report to the Atlanta Car Shed set, but the Screen Actors Guild could only provide 600 actors.  Six-hundred dummies were constructed and a scenic painter added other soldiers after the film shoot.  Selznick rented a 120-ton crane with a sixty-foot reach and one of the most famous crane shots in film history was completed in one take.

Photo by Wilbur Kurtz, historian and technical advisor for Gone With the Wind. For more, see Wilbur G. Kurtz: History in Gone With the Wind at the Atlanta History Center. On display July 2, 2014 - April 4, 2015.

Sep 16

Atlanta Rail Depot

They are permitted to carry a limited amount of property…even enslaved servants, but only if they are willing to go. In all, nearly 2,000 residents leave, carrying 9,000 boxes of clothes, personal possessions, and household belongings.

Watch Episode 22

Georgia Public Broadcasting and the Atlanta History Center commemorate the 150th anniversary of Union General William Tecumseh Sherman’s 1864 march into Georgia with the original series, “37 Weeks: Sherman on the March.”

From the Archives: Civil War Letter

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Atlanta, Ga
Friday Sept . 16. 1864
Mr + Mrs Tripp,
        This being a pleasant morning and not much else to do I thought I would write you a few lines in answser to your letter, which I recieved last Sunday, and which found me well, and I was greatly pleased to hear from you, so soon again. You were wishing that Atlanta would fall, it had fallen before your letter reached me, the 3rd Brigade of our Division took the City, and our Brigade the ( 2nd) was the next to follow, we came in the City on Friday Evening and I understand you had the news in Duchess County on Saturday. We had a gay time on Entering the City. There were Several Store Houses filled with Tobacco + Cigars, and we fastened on what we wanted of it. I got 750 Cigars but they were very poor, and from 50 to 75 lays Pliys of Tobacco, Then we went in for Garden Vegetables and we made them Suffer, last Sunday we made our Camp, to the inner line of works in the City ( built by the Rebels) and an order from Gen Sherman guarantees us to stay here 1 month + perhaps longer, it depends all together upon the movement in Virginia, how long we will remain here. Our new camp is Splendidly laid out Each Tent is built of boards to accommodate 4 men Each, and in front of each row of Tents, is small pine Trees stuck in the ground to afford us shade everything Ditch that is dry is done by measure and everything looks as neat and tidy as a Farm House in Duchess, We have had orders this morning, to clean up our accouterments, and prepare for and Inspection tomorrow, By some Inspectore or another , The weather here is quite warm, and the Rebel mosquitoes, make a fellow “ walk, chalk, [giyen?],  blue.” when he lay down to sleep nights. We had our first Dress Parade today that we have had in a long time, and our Colonel made a speech congratulating us on our brilliant Acheivements, during the Summer Campaign. There was also order to read from Gen Sherman to the Effect, that Every Regiment in his Command shalle Inscribe the word “Atlanta” on our banners, Gen Grant also was represented in the way of a Congratulatory Speech, Uncle Abraham has also had a Circular printed, + distibuted through Shermans Command, Speaking to us in terms of Commendation, It Cheers us, it revives us , to hear that our Northern friends are so proud of thier war torn veterans, and we are ever ready and willing to Deck our Banners, with more laments and now are anxious to Inscribe Macon + Augusta on our Regent little banners that we so much cheirish,
Hoping this will find you + the Family well, and with my kind regards to all, who inquire after me,
I remaine
With much Love + Respect Very Truly Your Sincere Friend
James Neumann

P.s. Awnser Soon

Sep 15

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Greek dancing group performing at Lenox Square. c. 1970

Browse and order prints from our collection.

Sep 12

So This is Goodbye…

Strange to say goodbye as I introduce myself to many of you for the first time. My name is Trevor Beemon and I have been the “social media guy” at the Atlanta History Center for seven years. Yes, I’m the history nerd churning out steady flow of historic photos, factoids, live blogs, and even a few history memes here and there.

It’s been an amazing seven years, and I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I have. My job has been so much more meaningful because of your enthusiasm for learning about and sharing Atlanta history. Now, I proudly pass the social media torch to my colleagues who will continue to share our collections, programs, and Atlanta history with all of you. I look forward to joining y’all as a fan of the Atlanta History Center!

Sep 10

Samuel P. Richards

Anticipating Sherman’s arrival, Atlanta bookseller Samuel P. Richards writes that he and his wife “have about decided to stay at home, Yankees or no Yankees. We hear and read terrible tales of them, but I don’t think they are as bad as they are said to be.”

Watch Episode 21

Georgia Public Broadcasting and the Atlanta History Center commemorate the 150th anniversary of Union General William Tecumseh Sherman’s 1864 march into Georgia with the original series, “37 Weeks: Sherman on the March.”

Civil War Hardtack This cracker was a Union soldier’s main ration. Popularly known as “sheet iron crackers,” they were notoriously difficult to bite into and chew. Unlike leavened bread, hardtack was quite durable and would keep for a veeeerrrry long time. This cracker was signed by two soldiers of the Eighth Pennsylvania Infantry and kept as a souvenir of their service.

Civil War Hardtack
This cracker was a Union soldier’s main ration. Popularly known as “sheet iron crackers,” they were notoriously difficult to bite into and chew. Unlike leavened bread, hardtack was quite durable and would keep for a veeeerrrry long time. This cracker was signed by two soldiers of the Eighth Pennsylvania Infantry and kept as a souvenir of their service.

From the Archives: Civil War Letter

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Saturday Morning Sept 10th 

We are still holding the same position; near Griffin; we have had a quiet time for a week; we have been most of the time engaged in cooking eating + sleeping and we have also enjoyed a good rest which was badly needed with us.

I have made up my mind to send Warren home on to morrow morning We have got no letters from you yet by mail; Our postmaster has not been found yet; I am told there are 2 wagon loads of letters in Griffin now for this army; I want you to send me a small box by him one that he can handle with ease; put in it some meat; flour and butter; you had best put the butter in a jug which you can do by melting it sufficiently to pour it in then put the jug in water to cool; we get it out by breaking a hole in the jug;  try and get a thin one; put in some pods of red pepper we want it to boil with our beef to kill the maggots; we have but little of that kind now as our beef is killed every day; we need grease to fry it with more than anything else It is generally believed that we will be disbanded in a few days as Sherman has offered to Hood and [sic] armistice of 10 days it is also reported that Beauregard is on his way here to supersede Hood with twenty thousand troops; it is also said that Wheeler has blown up the tunnel and scattered [sic] it to the four winds of the (yearth [earth]) none of this do I believe as you can see by me sending Warren home; If you can get ready and some on with Warren do so I would be the gladdest in the world to see you get your mother to stay with the children and come on; you have only got to live until you die; and so have I. there is no danger in your coming we are between you and the yanks if they get you they are good for me first; So far as the money is concerned it is not worth a thought; what it will take to bring you here and back you can cook provisions enough to last you here; I can very easily get board about here in a private house besides you will have an opportunity of seeing more than you have ever yet seen; I think you would be pleased with the trip; you will have and [sic] opportunity of seeing Augusta; Macon and all the towns along the railroad; and as you go home you can go through Milledgeville and see the great city; I shall look for you I will give you three days to make up your mind as Warren can stay that long; he will leave here to morrow morning at 9 o clock A.M. get to Macon at 2 o clock leave at 4 P.M. get to Augusta at 7 monday morning and that evening get to Washington so he will get home monday night; Tuesday; Wednesday + Thursday he can stay home; Friday he must start back; Sunday he will get here I saw it published in the mornings paper officially that there is an armistice of 10 days agreed upon to commence on the 12 which is next monday during that time no danger at all of a fight need be feared I think I will start up a petition for a furlough to day; if I succeed I can go home with you a good many are getting furloughs now; I would have made application before now had I not been expecting to get a detail; if you cant possibly come you must send me some money by Warren; I had rather you would come and bring it.  I have a heap of talk for you; Why cant Mrs Robinson pay some on her account she has had plenty of time I am sure there are others also that have had time I want you to charge them interest also; Tell Otis that our little soldier is doing well; and has caught him two young squirels [sic] and has them tame; it is now said that we will be disbanded for the present and take our arms home with is and hold ourselves in readiness at a moments warning; to fall in again if that be true you need not be afraid to come if we start we will meet you somewhere; and all you need to do is to inquire about what brigade and Regt if it be the 1 Regt and 1 Brigade you may guess I am there; you cant help but know when you pass a brigade; Bring all the money you can get I can make it useful to me Tell all Howdy Good bye until I see you  A. T. Holliday
N. B. If you don’t come write me all the news but I shall be disappointed if you do not.

Sep 09

From the Archives: Civil War Letter

Friday morning Sept 9th

Last night we had brought to our post 11 more deserters we have now 14 on our staff; D. Marshall and H. Thomsen are in the crowd; They paid $ 100.00 for a wagon to take them to Social Circle a distance of 30 miles; why would it not have been easy for them to have followed the army as to have taken the route home; they were taken up as soon as they struck the railroad and put under guard sent to Augusta thence to Macon; and then back to us; they look bad and no doubt feel worse; I had a better opinion of Marshall; This is a place to try mens souls; if I can get enough to eat by any means I never expect to leave as a deserter; My health is fine my appetite is better we buy flour and have biscuit to eat and beef steak; we have 2 chickens that cost us 5 dollars apiece for dinner we will have a big pie we are having now what is called a fine time with a soldier; if we remain here much longer and cant get home I expect to write you to come and see me; I can get a boarding place somewhere in or around this place; the position that I hold now gives me more chance of leaving than I have had before as there are 4 of us from Wilkes and 3 are sergeants if one of us is out of place the others fill it; if I had money enough or plenty to eat I believe I would be a happy man I want to be at home some too; I would like very much to see you indeed I would; I have swapped off old Sue for another quarrelsome old slab sided thing that I call Kate; When you get ready to send me money you can direct it to Griffin it will us where ever we go;
A. T. Holliday

Sep 08

Atlanta’s historic Swan House on a rainy Monday morning.

Atlanta’s historic Swan House on a rainy Monday morning.

From the Archives: Civil War Letter

Thursday evening Sept 8th 1864

Dear Lizy: As I am tired of reading and having nothing else to do at present but sit under our blanket tent I will write you a few lines to have ready to send off on to morrow; On Thursday night the night we left Atlanta I lost my large blanket the reason I lost it is that we stopped to rest and while there a Tennessee soldier came along drunk; and fired off his gun into the ranks of the Ma where they were 4 deep wounding 5 men which caused great excitement in ranks I jumped up and left my blanket where I was sitting on it; I had my haversack and knapsack also to carry.. and having more then my usual quantity of baggage and being ordered to march so soon that the blanket was not thought of until I had gone about 2 miles there was no time then for backwards march; could I have toted them I could easily have replaced them with 50 more equally as good.  I had 40 lbs of lead that went up in Atlanta; We have had preaching for the last 2 nights Mr. Dunwoody preached night before last; last night I was on duty and could not go; We are getting beef now exclusively and it is fresh every day it takes about 40 cows per day; they are brought in from our rear; A fine drove is passing now; We have a fine time to desert now as all of our officers are off; I would be glad if they would stay off;
A. T. Holliday

From the Archives: Civil War Letter

Sept 8th 1864

The fact is I must have some money; I will need it more now than ever; as I may be ordered off at any moment on the railroad with prisoners to guard we have one in charge now he is a Ma I pity the poor fellow I cant help it; yet at the same time I feel sad and despondent to think that they have no more love of liberty in them; than to Desert their flag and go home; God have pity upon such men; I heard a man of my own Co make use yesterday of a sensible remark one that has been closely watched by me for some time past; it was this that this was could not be ended, never no never if whiskey had it to do; which is the case now;  all of our staff officers are drunkards to a man; I have become so completely disgusted; that I never use the stuff only as medicine; I have seen Capt Gibson again this morning he says my detail is all right now if I will accept it you may guess about that part of it; Gen Smith is going to see Brown to day he may bring it with him it may be a month yet before I get it as Smith is always drunk I must have some money if you have to sell a negro to get it I expect to sell three when I get home that is Ben, Joe, Alfred you may send Ben to work for the Gov I may sell two or three more also and replace then with negroes that I know from Mothers estate; some of them you want and some I do if I do live to see this war end I expect to spend the remnant of my life in peace at least it is my desire; I have learned how to appreciate rest; I think often how sweet rest is and of my old bench and Charley to ride; in the 60 miles that I had to walk I would have given  2000 dollars for him; as willingly as I ever took a drink of water; I have been promoted I now rank as Sergeant in the provost guard;you may direct your letters as before for the present;  my health is good; Last night I was on guard duty or was wake up every 2 ½ hours to put on reliefs; Tell all howdy I hope I will soon be blessed with the happy privilege of talking to you in person; Oh what a pleasure it would be Tell all howdy; Good bye
A. T. H