Re-enactment of Sherman’s occupation of Marietta to be held July 8 at Root House

Root House -- photo by Larry Felton Johnson

 

On Saturday July 8, 2017, 10 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. the William Root House Museum & Garden will host a re-enactment of the July 1864 occupation of Marietta by General William T. Sherman’s Union soldiers during their advance toward Atlanta.  The Root House is located at 80 North Marietta Parkway NW, Marietta, GA 30060.

According to the press release announcing the event:

Union Major General William T. Sherman invaded Georgia in May 1864. Moving into Georgia from the vicinity of Chattanooga, Tennessee, the Union Army was on a mission to occupy Atlanta, and would follow the Western and Atlantic Railroad all the way down. As the Union Army approached Marietta, William Root made plans for his family to head south. The Root family gathered their most treasured belongings and made their way to Washington, Georgia. The Root family would remain in Washington through the end of the war and would not return to Marietta until 1865.

The event will feature re-enactors representing Union soldiers in the process of taking over the house, constructing a headquarters, and attempting to recruit new soldiers.

The Root House is typical of the houses occupied by middle-class southern families at the outbreak of the Civil War and were much more common than the huge columned plantation houses often imagined when the modern public thinks about that era.  It was built in about 1845, for Hannah and William Root.  William Root was born in Philadelphia and moved to Marietta in 1939, where he opened a drug store, the first in the city.  He married Hannah Remer Simpson, and they built the house on the corner of present-day Church and Lemon streets.  In 1893 it was relocated downhill from its original location for the construction of a library.

Garden at Root House — photo by Larry Felton Johnson

Trevor Beemon, the executive director of Cobb Landmarks, the private nonprofit corporation that maintains the Root House, told River Edges,

At the Root House, we try to find different ways to keep the site active, and keep visitors coming.  Last fall, in October, we did the house in mourning, and had a lot of visitors come through for that, so we were trying to figure out something we could do that would get people into the house, and give them a different look at it.  We decided to do the occupation of Marietta.  We’re going to have the main rooms of the house kind of emptied out of all of the valuables, and smaller pieces, and then have some of the Union army occupying the site.  We don’t know exactly what the house was used for when Marietta was occupied, but it was right across the street from St. James church, which was used as a hospital, and so we think that maybe the hospital staff or nurses might have even lived in the house while they were in town.

He said the Root family left in June of 1864 when Sherman’s troops were advancing toward Marietta, so when the city was occupied by federal troops in July, no one was staying in the house. Beemon said it would have been taken over and used somehow.

Back of Root House — photo by Larry Felton Johnson

He said a future plan for the Root House includes the relocation of a cabin onto the property, to use as a headquarters and research library for Cobb Landmarks.

For more information about the July 8 event, or the Root House, phone 770-426-4982.

Well at Root House — photo by Larry Felton Johnson

 

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About the Author

Larry Felton Johnson
Larry Felton Johnson is the "World's Oldest Journalism Undergraduate". He retired after too many years as a software systems engineer, and he's now a senior in the journalism department at Georgia State University. He's the editor and publisher of River Edges.