Today Thomaston, Tomorrow the World

The Thomaston Upson Archives has been the fortunate recipient of the wonderful work of volunteer Carrie Wheeless for the past 2 years.  However, the time has come for us to reluctantly say goodbye as the world awaits Carrie and she sets out on the journey of life to do great things.  Make certain to keep your eye out for her name as she is destined for wonders. Below is Carrie’s last article as a volunteer at the Thomaston Upson Archives and we think you will enjoy.  


Life in the Past Lane:  Endings and New Beginnings

The last two years have really flown by, and I have enjoyed every minute of it. I have been exposed to so many different things that I never would have before. I have learned so many new things and met so many new people.

A lot of people ask me, “Carrie, why do you volunteer at the Archives when you could spend all that time at a job making money?”  I usually just look at them and say, “I like going to the Archives and getting to research all sorts of different things. Everyone always wants to know the answers, but few actually want to search for them. That’s where the difference comes in; I like to search for the answers myself instead of having someone tell me all the information.”

My friends always ask, “Why do you like history so much?” Especially since I want to be in the medical field, they always pick at me and say, “You do realize that science and history are two different fields. Are you sure that you still want to major in Biology?” I always look and them and say, “everything is history, history is being created every day, so there is always something new to learn.”

I have learned so many new things about Thomaston. I had never realized how big of a part Thomaston had actually played in the War Between the States. I was able to find out so much information concerning Thomaston and the War Between the States as I was compiling my binder.

There was some really intriguing information that I found, that most people do not even know about such as the Great Fire of 1863 and Wilson’s Raid invading Thomaston, that deal with all the different events. It amazes me at all the different stories that you can come across that deal with all the different events.

Thomaston is full of so much history that many citizens may not ever know about. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to explore and research a handful of the many historical events in Thomaston.

With Thomaston being such a small town, it was captivating to find out that so many important people came out of Thomaston. John B. Gordon, a famous General, was from Thomaston. He played a considerably large role in the war. He was one of the prominent leaders, and he led the Confederacy to many victories. Another important figure that came out of Thomaston was Loula Kendall Rogers. She played a substantial role in the Daughters of the Confederacy and she was also an author. She is credited with creating the first Confederate Flag ever made. She made a second flag, and it was given away in a contest for a group of soldiers that were leaving for war. The soldier that won the flag later became Loula’s husband.  He carried the flag with him all throughout the war.

If you had to guess, most would assume that most of Thomaston’s damage during the war came from the actual war but in reality it did not. The most extensive damage suffered by Thomaston during the war was a result of a kitchen fire. On August 29, 1863 at 10 p.m., the fire broke out and quickly spread. Three of the four sides of the square were destroyed; 37 buildings were destroyed.

There are so many stories surrounding Thomaston and the War Between the States that it is just unreal. I have really enjoyed getting to hear all the stories and having the opportunity to look up all the different information. I will miss the Archives and all the different people that I have interacted with over the course of the last two years, as I transition into the next stage of my life and move off to college.




Update For Historical Photograph

Recently we asked for help to identify a photograph of a group of ladies.  Soon after, Archivist Bonnie Smith found the answer after some very astute deductive and investigative work.  Below are both the photograph as well as the identification of the ladies as well as the explanation of the gathering.