From the Archives
Rare color footage of Peachtree Street recorded in 1939.
Camp Dog River Near Mobile Ala
March 5th 1864
My Own Dear Julia,
Your favor of the 25th Feby was received a few days since and I was truly glad to hear from you and that you was all well. I wrote you by Mr Queen a few days since which I suppose you have received ‘ere this. My health is good with the exception of a sore throat some signs of dipthera. It has been hurting me for 3 days. But hope I will get better in a few days. Capt Harden will carry this to Atlanta as he has to return to NC to file his bond and attend to some business at Raleigh for the Regt. I am sending by him for some cloth + instructed him to leave it at Atlanta. He has got me to hold on the Q M Office untill he returns which will be about 40 days. I will get $40 a month extra until I turn the property over to him that is from the time he got his appointment the (10th Decr). I do not know when I can get orders or a furlough. I will try when he returns. I was sorry to hear that you was left alone again, but I expect it was all for the best. If Ma does not work too hard she is getting good wages. They have advanced the prices of provisions on us so heavy that the wages I get will not more than keep me up. Rest assured I will do all I can for my little Family but you will see my chance is bad when they charge us 240 ct pr lb for pork + other things in proportion. Ese all the econemy you can + make all the Garden you can.
Mr Queen told me if you needed anything to let him know. His business House is the old barracks building. The firm is Wilburn Taylor Queen + Co. Dr. Taylor is his partner I think. I would be glad you would get acquainted with his Family. They live in the Grove back of Mrs Howards. Oh, Julia you have no idea how glad I was to hear your old acquaintance had called to see you again not withstanding she was rather late in paying her visit but better late than never. You will see from my last letter that I had despared of her calling soon. She has got on very good terms with me. We have cause to be very thankful that things are working on so well. Is it not very strange that she is so punctual. She has never been so kind before. Perhaps she thinks it is war time and the Ladies need all the help thy can get. I hope I may be spared to see you often + her occasionly as long as I have to stay in the service. It is very hard for me to be seperated from such friends, but we must contend and do the best we can + try + put up with such disappointments. I am doing a little better than I did a few days ago, but still their is an aching void at times. Some times I get vexed to think that I cannot have better control of my feelings but a mans mind passions + characteristic and will have their way, in spite of him. When I think what a Kind Wife I have + how affectionate + loveing she is and how devoted I love her + our offsprings how else could I be than to love her society and the affectionate embrace + loveing Kiss that I have received so often, during the last 8 years. all these things make me with + pray to be with her again + so stay during life. Oh I do hope Peace will soon be restored and all our Soldiers be allowed to go home once more and not have to carry a furlough with them that soon notifies them their time is out and they must soon return to their commands or be considered a deserter. our cause seems to be prospering and I hope the Yankees will soon see the error of their way + come to terms of peace + compromise.
I have just finished washing my self + put on clean clothes and sit down to finish my letter as Capt H. will start soon in the morning. I will write to William in a few days. I am at a loss to know what to do in his case. in the first place I do not know whether I can effect the swap or Transfer. it is rather a difcult matter and I am fearful he would not act right, but I hope he would act the Gentleman as he was so near related to me. but I will give it a trial. I was glad to hear Capt Mount had called to see you and I am sorry that I did not get an extension so I could have went with him to get that safe out from Murphy but it is out of my power. I am here + cannot get away easy, but I think I can get orders when Capt Harden returns. if not I perhaps will get off sometime during the Summer. I am more anxious to go back home than I had any idea I would in so short a time. all we want now is for every Man to come out + do his part + we will soon be free but their is such a great disposition on the part of so many to work them selves out of service that is causes thos that will bear the burthen to have to remain that much longer. I Love my Family perhaps as devotedly as any man + would be as glad to be at home, but at the same time I want to see my country free from Yankee Tyranny and that cannot be don by staying at home. we must endure toil dangers + many of us sacrafise our lives before it is accomplished. I know it would be hard on his Family but tell me the difference betwen my Wife + Her and evry Soldier in the same condition and I have never discoverd any great amount of charity in him to my Family or any other Family but a great Thirst for the allmity Dollar, but I have nothing to say if he is not able to do duty. so their has been another change in the Hall + the Atlanta Hotel. thy change their base pretty often. My Throat is much better to day. it hurt me a great deal last night. we are all in good health. the weather is vry pleasant and we are doing as well as most soldiers that is thos that do not visit Saint Michael Street famous for the great number of Fancy Women. I never have seen so much Ludeness in all my Life but I dont patronize them my self – I think too much of that little Lady at home even if I was corrupt enough to visit such places.
I believe I have written all I can think of. Give my Love to Ma Sister Jennie + Mr P. an last though not least the children. tell them Pa often thinks of them and wishes he could be with them.
Let me hear from you as often as you can. I must close by subscribing my-self as ever your devoted and affectionate Husband.
Fulton County Courthouse
Built in 1881 at the corner of Hunter Street (now Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive) and Pryor Street, the county’s second courthouse building was designed by the architectural firm of Perkins & Bruce. It was demolished in 1911 to make way for a new courthouse at the same location.
Located on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta, the Howard Theater opened December 13, 1920. It was designed by the architectural firm of Hentz, Reid & Adler and decorated by W. E. Browne. In 1930, the name changed to the Paramount Theater. The building was demolished in 1960 and replaced with a building which was also demolished. Today the site is empty.
The Peachtree Arcade, Atlanta’s first enclosed shopping mall, was designed by A. Ten Eyck Brown and was completed in 1917. It featured Beaux-Arts style facades that opened onto both Peachtree and Broad Streets. Inside, the building featured a three-tiered corridor of shops covered by an iron and glass ceiling. The building was demolished in 1964 to make way for the First National Bank of Atlanta (now the State of Georgia Building).
Grand Opera House
The Grand Opera House was built on Peachtree Street in 1893 by Laurent DeGive as a larger and more elaborate successor to the DeGive Opera House located on the corner of Marietta and Forsyth Streets. The Grand came under the management of Marcus Loew’s Theater organization in 1916. In 1932, in order to compete with movie theaters, the Loew’s Grand Theater was renovated by architect Thomas W. Lamb. The one screen theater had 2088 seats. The theater was the site of the movie premiere of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind in 1939. The theater closed in 1977 and caught fire January 30, 1978. The damage led to the demolition of the historic venue. The Georgia-Pacific Tower occupies the site today.
1895 Cotton States and International Exposition Buildings
The Cotton States and International Exposition was an event that took place during the fall of 1895 in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park. The Exposition was meant to foster trade between southern states and South American nations and to exhibit the resources of the region to the world. Most of the buildings constructed for the exposition were meant to be temporary and were demolished after the exposition concluded and sold for scrap. In 1904, the city of Atlanta purchased Piedmont Park from the Piedmont Park Exposition Company and extended the city limits north to include the park.
Atlanta has an unfortunate tendency to pave over her history in the name of progress. Because of this tendency, we’ve lost some truly remarkable structures. We wanted to take a look back at some of those losses, so we decided to ask Atlanta History Center staff members to name five of Atlanta’s most significant casualties.
Atlanta Terminal Station
Located on Spring Street, Atlanta’s Terminal Station was designed by P. Thornton Marye, whose firm also designed the Fox Theater. Completed in 1905, the Beaux-Arts style reinforced concrete structure was razed in 1971. A portion of the site is now occupied by the Richard B. Russell Federal Building.
Atlanta’s Equitable Building was designed by John Wellborn Root and was completed in 1892. Built in the Chicago School style, it was considered Atlanta’s first skyscraper. Located on Edgewood Avenue, the structure was demolished in 1971 because some felt it blocked the view of the new Trust Company building constructed nearby.
The Second Kimball House
After the first Kimball House burned in 1883, a second Kimball House opened for business on New Year’s Day in 1885. Located on the south-southeast corner of Five Points, the impressive structure was demolished in 1959 to make way for a parking deck which still stands.
U.S. Customs House
Located on Marietta Street, Atlanta’s U.S. Post Office and Customs House opened in 1878. The structure was used as Atlanta City Hall from 1911 to 1930 when it was demolished.
Located on Peachtree Street, the Piedmont Hotel was built in 1903. Designed by W. F. Denny, architect of Rhodes Hall and the Kriegshaber House (now Wrecking Ball Brewpub), the hotel was demolished in the 1960s to make way for the Equitable Building.
Police officer randomly handing out Valentine’s Day cards on Peachtree Street in Atlanta in 1953. Mr. Peanut photobombing?
Mash-up of the Margaret Mitchell House pre and post restoration. Margaret Mitchell wrote the epic novel Gone With the Wind while seated at a small desk situated in the lower left window.
We are very pleased to share the news that the Atlanta History Center’s Donald R. Rooney is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries (GAMG).
Don is recognized for contributions to the museum field that extend far beyond any one neighborhood, any one institution, and any one organization – he is honored for his long and unselfish contributions to the field. Don’s award acknowledges his commitment to history, historic preservation, and museums for over thirty years serving the city, state, region and the nation.
Over the years, Don has been an integral part in the growth of the Atlanta History Center, adding significantly to its rich collections and curating many of its outstanding exhibitions. As the curator of the Centennial Olympic Games Museum, he sifted through nearly 6,000 artifacts to select those for the exhibition commemorating the games.
In addition, Don has written numerous National Register nominations and served as a notable member of the Atlanta Urban Design Commission. Don has shared his knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm with the Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries for decades and has been involved in the Southeastern Museum Conference (SEMC) and the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH).
Don has also spent years teaching students in Georgia State University’s Heritage Preservation Program, introducing hundreds of graduate students to his process of creating storylines and designs to plan and implement engaging exhibitions. Through an innovative collaboration with different venues, such as the Sam Nunn Federal Building and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the students have gained invaluable practical experience and the venues have presented exhibitions to city residents and international travelers.
We all thank Don for his dedicated service to the Atlanta History Center, appreciate him for his commitment to the museum field, and congratulate him on receiving this distinguished award from his peers.
Jan 8. 1864
I will take the liberty to write you again. The last I have heard from you was april 5. 1863 – I have written you often. I hope to hear from you very soon- you say we have been very fortunate and hope we may not be found wanting when we come to more trying scenes- I will not attempt to give you a history of our travels hardship and privations as you have undoubtedly learned threm through other sources before this time – we are now quite comfortably located – probaly till spring. Though our duties are very heavy being on picket every other or every third day – then we have all our own cooking , washing , mending , all other household duties to perform besides lugging wood and water up or down a steep hill about a quarter of a mile. Our rations have been most of the time abundant in quantity but sadly deficient in vegatables and there is now much suffering – I send you a rag from the coat of Adjutant General Lee, Son of the great rebel General Lee – He was killed at Gettysburg by our regement – there were 16 ball holes in his body and his horsce had hundereds he awas killed while riding up to orderback some rebels who were coming into our lines to surrender. As soon as he was seen half the regiment leveled thier guns at him- I hope all the good people at the north mill unite in giving the government a hearty support in a vigourus prosecution of the war so that it may be soon honorably terminated and we poor eary soliers return to peacefull and more congenial peruits –