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Archive for March, 2009

The “Guys”

Paul Brown (94) and Roy Braswell (100) farmed with mules together in 1930 Vinings, Georgia

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Smynings?

According to “Atlanta Cuisine” this month, an area at I-285 and Atlanta Rd, claim residential and retail evironments as being “Smynings,” due to their “proximity to Vinings…”  Argh. …that would make some other near areas – what;  Sandy Sprinings, Roswellings, Buckheadings, Mariettings, or Atlantings?

Of course I claim that real Vinings residents are “Vininians” (nothing to do with sausage), unless you can think of completing this: “How many Vininians can you pack in a ….?”  

A commercially derivatized place association doesn’t count.

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Roy and Leeanna Braswell
Roy Braswell is celebrating (well, humbly) his 100 year birthday this Sunday March 29th.  Nobody’s quite sure, and some say he’s been 100 years old for a couple of years.  Roy grew up in Vinings, Ga., having moved here with his parents James and Emma from Logansville, Ga in the early 1900’s.  He worked on the Davis farm with mules, heavy labor on the railroad replacing ties and rails, grave-digger, and became the custodian/care-taker  for the Bert Adams Boy Scout Camp in Vinings until it closed in the early 1960’s. 
Uncle Sol Williams

Uncle Sol Williams

Working on Railroad

Working on Railroad

Married to Leanner Braswell, herself in mid-90’s, they still reside in Cobb County and share their stories as remembered without reservation. The following is a 15 min. oral history recorded in October 2008, while his wife prepares dinner in the background. (one must know he knew my father and grandfather, i.e. the beginning
references).
 roy-story1  and part 2 roy-story2

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Recent documents relative to Hardy Pace and H.I. Randal were located on a relatively new on-line document service called footnote.com, which allows a search of Confederate records.

There are three documents dated in 1863 and 1864, where Pace sold goods to the Confederate war department prior to Sherman’s invasion of Georgia. In 1863 he sold a pack horse, and in late June 1864, he sold a rather large voucher item of  “fodder, oats, and iron,” and a few days later another voucher of “oats and fodder.”  Interesting to note, this was barely a week before he reportedly fled Vinings, although the vouchers indicate transacted at “Paces Ferry, Georgia.”

The documents on H. I. Randal (son of P.H. Randal), show his enlistment in Company B, 9th Georgia Artillery, as a First Lt., and later as Captain. His later name use is associated with one of Margaret Mitchell’s lesser characters  “Captain Randal,” preparing against Sherman as he approached Atlanta. The interest here, is that in 1863 a document shows he resigned his commission as Captain “in order to return to the ranks” – and becoming a Corporal or Sgt. rank  (doesn’t indicate). His resignation was accepted and approved without reasoning beyond his inclusion.  

Images provided:

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Better late than never, and within 10 days of being advised, I feel confident enough to confirm the existence of a remaining Union Army artillery placement in Vinings proper.

 

On background, Union forces in Vinings the summer of 1864 took the high ground above the river to assert artillery coverage against retreating Confederate forces, and protect the placement of supply lines by rail into Vinings Station. Two levels of placement put the shorter range mobile 6-8 pounder cannons at slight rise along the river, and the longer range 12 pounder at higher points. 

 

One would assume, that by ignorance of provenance all of the existing Cochise Dr ridge has been developed and that no such position would remain.

 

March 10th – Yard sale in Vinings, someone mentions an old cannon location on the ridge, and provides an address.  Immediately visited location and observe a U shaped earthwork pointed in the direction of the river, which without trees and current houses, would have easily been within range of the river.

 

March 13th – Began researching similar earthwork placements of documented CW era artillery placements. Met with Norman Robinson, who relates that Wm Davis who farmed the Cochise area back in the 1930’s had a cannon placement not far from his house on the ridge, which not only had a cannon still there, but a pyramid of cannonballs stacked beside it.  Davis, according to Robinson, had a little park around it.  He also relates that the cannon and balls were ultimately stolen away, and there was only one

placement to his knowledge.

 

Advise the VHPS, which have no knowledge thereof, and skeptically question – as they should.

 

March 15th – Checking with others who might know, there’s no direct knowledge expressed, but continued research and re-visitation tends to support “theory” that placement could be real.

 

March 18th – Revisit with Frank Walsh of the VHPS, is suggestively supportive subject to further scrutiny of a couple of others knowledgeable of Civil War scatter.

 

Forward an e-mail inquiry to Sheldon Sims, whoms father developed Cochise Dr., as to what he may know of site.

 

March 19th – I get this from Sheldon:

 

I thought I mentioned these to you but maybe I forgot to.  There were several u shaped placement positions – 7 I think – in that area along that ridge and stretching back toward Paces Ferry Rd. Parts of some may still exist between some of the houses. The remains of the Davis house were in the vicinity of 3247 & 3251 Cochise Dr. as I remember.  My Dad built and lived in the 4 story house on the other side of the remaining placement and I do not remember which lot that site is on – maybe both.  It was always a conversation piece.  I believe the addresses are 3337 & 3343.”

 

Bingo.

 

…and that in several other yards along the ridge there may be other partial remains on private property.

 

Close enough to call, and now being submitted to the Georgia Battlegrounds Association for recognition, this U shaped earthwork is “likely” the last Union artillery placement intact position identifiable in Vinings.

 

Time: 10 days.

 

…and another example of how fragile history is patch-worked into Vinings in bits and pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

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