Georgia Civil War Commission
Quarterly Meeting Minutes
Saturday, August 13, 2016

Chairman John Culpepper called the meeting to order at 1:10 August 13, 2016 at Nash Farm Battlefield Museum in Henry County, Georgia. Commissioners present were John Culpepper, Kelly Barrow, Curt Collier, Ken Griffiths, Karen Ledford, Edward Shelor, James Yancey, Brain Wills, and Inger Eberhart. Commissioners not present were John Carroll, Ted Brooke, Charlie Lott, and Rusty Henderson. Cassie Barrow, Chief of Staff, was present. Members of the audience consisted of Kenneth Ledford; Bill Dodd, Friends of Nash Farm Battlefield; Jimmy Pettit, Friends of Nash Farm Battlefield; Joe Warnke, SCV; Kate Warnke, SCV; and Henry Bryant, BATL.

Commissioner Barrow opened the meeting in prayer, while Chairman Culpepper led everyone in the pledge to the United States and the pledge to the Georgia flag.  Chairman Culpepper announced that the meeting had been advertised in the local newspaper, Henry County Herald, as well as posted on social media and at the location; therefore, complying with the Sunshine Law. A quorum was established by the Chairman.

At this point Chairman Culpepper requested for each of the Commissioners present to introduce themselves. Following this, the members of the audience were asked to introduce themselves and the group he/she was representing.

Chairman Culpepper requested for a motion to approve the agenda. Commissioner Collier made the motion to approve the amended agenda and Commissioner Barrow seconded; motion carried. Agenda is attached to the minutes.

Chairman Culpepper reminded the Commissioners that the May Quarterly Meeting minutes were emailed to all the Commissioners for prior reading. There were clerical changes emailed to Chief of Staff Barrow by Chairman Culpepper and Commissioner Brooke. Commissioner Griffiths made a motion to approve the minutes as corrected, Commissioner Collier seconded; motion carried.

The 2015-16 financial report was read by Chief of Staff Barrow; the report is attached. The 2015-16 Treasurer Report was given to Commissioner Eberhart, Treasurer for audit. Chairman Culpepper reminded the Commissioners that the State of Georgia audited our files yearly as well. Commissioner Collier made a motion to accept the 2015-16 Treasurer Report, and Commissioner Eberhart seconded, motioned carried.

At this time, Chairman Culpepper asked if anyone in the audience had anything they would like to bring before the Commission that was not on the agenda. There was no business brought before the Commission.

Under Old Business, Chairman Culpepper stated that the Jefferson Davis Memorial Site was asking for $3,000, which has been tabled many times. It was decided at the previous meeting that a representative would have to be present at this meeting or the request would be withdrawn for noncompliance, requiring the grant application to have to be resubmitted. Once again, no one was present to speak on behalf of the Jefferson Davis Memorial Site, so the grant application is hereby withdrawn.

Chairman Culpepper asked Commissioner Yancey to report on the unveiling of the Utoy Creek interpretative marker that took place in July. Per Commissioner Yancey, the unveiling was successful and the marker was a perfect addition to the site. This agreement has been fully satisfied and no further action is required.

Chairman Culpepper updated the Commissioners about the request for an interpretative marker in Cassville pocket park from Barry Colbaugh of the Stiles Akin Camp #670. The pocket park, created by the WPA, is controlled by Georgia Department of Transportation and Mr. Colbaugh is having trouble obtaining the proper permission to have the sign installed. Mr. Colbaugh contacted Chairman Culpepper withdrawing the request.

The Chattanooga Medal of Honor Heritage Center had requested assistance for their new trail that will focus on the 33 recipients of the Medal of Honor, 24 of which will be in Georgia, that are listed in Raymond Evans book entitled Paths of Valor. Chairman Culpepper notified the Commissioners that soon after that meeting Mr. Evans passed away unexpectedly. This and some other concerns, the Center would like to put their request on hold until further notice.

Chairman Culpepper asked Chief of Staff Barrow to give an update on Brad Quinlin’s project to research the U.S. Colored Trooped buried at Marietta National Cemetery. Chief of Staff Barrow read an email from Mr. Quinlin, who was unable to attend due to a prior agreement. It was stated that the $1,000 allotted for travel and expenses for this project have been exhausted. Chairman Culpepper had signed off on the final check prior to the meeting. Mr. Quinlin will come at a future meeting to go into more details about his discoveries.

Chairman Culpepper asked Chief of Staff if the Greenwood Cemetery survey project had requested and had their last reimbursement mailed. Chief of Staff Barrow stated she had received the final invoice and the project has been fully funded.

Chairman Culpepper stated that the Commission has been in the process of updating their website and had entered a contract with VideoIdeas. He asked Chief of Staff to give the Commissioners an up-date on the project. She reported that the website was in a prototype form now and that she had been to the location to train on the program, as well as teleconferences. She requested bios from every Commissioner so it could be included. She stated that if all goes per the schedule she has set forth, she should be able to release the new site by the next meeting. Cief of Staff Barrow discussed the new tabs and how they would hyperlink many of the Civil War Trust lesson plans for teachers to the site, but asked did the Commission want to create their own lesson plans to help teach the War in Georgia? Chiarman Culpepper appointed the following committee to pursue this endeavor: Chief of Staff Barrow, Commissioner Eberhart, Commissioner Brooke, Commissioner Ledford; and Commissioner Barrow. Commissioner Wills and Commissioner Shelor stated they would assist, but the assistance would be limited.

For the 2016-17 budget, the Commission received $20,000. Chairman Culpepper discussed and allotted the needed funds to subcategories of the 2016-17 budget. Commissioner Shelor made the motion to approve the 2016-17 proposed budget, and Commissioner Griffiths seconded the motion that passed. 2016-17 budget is attached to the minutes.

Under New Business, Chairman Culpepper stated the Civil War Trust was saving 308 acres of the Rocky Face Ridge Battlefield in Dalton. He had sent the information to the Commissioners prior to the meeting. The suggestion was made to support this purchase like we had the Chickamauga Battlefield acquisition. A motion was made by Commissioner Barrow to send $1,000 to the Civil War Trust earmarked to purchase the property of Rocky Face Ridge in Dalton, GA. Commissioner Collier seconded the motion that carried. Chief of Staff Barrow was requested to send the funds the next week.

Chairman Culpepper recognized Henry Bryant of BATL to bring forth a proposal for additional funds for the restoration of the McPherson and Walker monuments in Atlanta. Previously the Commission had given $5,000 toward the projects. Mr. Bryant shared that the Board was grateful and this allowed them to go receive other grants and donations. The Board decided that they would wait until they were fully funded to do both projects prior to doing any phases. He gave a detail and in-depth lecture on the proposed changes to the islands where the monuments are located, including landscaping and protective measures to keep vehicles from destroying them any further. Currently the group had raised around $125,000 of the $192,000 needed for this project. Mr. Bryant asked if the Commission would consider funding $4,000 even though the Commission had already given to the project. Chairman Culpepper stated that since he had only submitted the information the night before and a grant application had not be completed, that he would entertain a motion to table this until the following meeting with the stipulation that Mr. Bryant did not have to attend that meeting. Commissioner Carroll made the motion and Commissioner Shelor seconded. Motion carried.

Chairman Culpepper stated that it was time per the by-laws to elect officers for the 2016-17 fiscal year and opened the floor for nominations for Chairman. Commissioner Shelor made a motion to carry the current slate of officer, which include Chairman John Culpepper, Vice chairman Kelly Barrow, Treasurer Inger Eberhart, and Secretary James Yancey, to the 2016-17 fiscal year. Commissioner Carroll seconded the motion that passed.

Chairman Culpepper allowed Chief of Staff Barrow to present to the Commission the idea to have an essay and art contest that will be open to all Georgia students. It would be similar to the one the Civil War Trust has yearly. There was discussion about how to handle the rules and topics. Chairman Culpepper appointed a committee that consisted of Chief of Staff Barrow, Commissioner Eberhart, and Commissioner Ledford to determine all the details like rules, topics, application, etc. Then the discussion began about the amount to a lot for this project. Commissioner Eberhart made the motion to allot up to $1,000 to the project of the two contests, with Commissioner Ledford seconding. Due to the amount of discussion, Chairman Culpepper asked for a roll call vote, which was as follows, Chairman does not vote, Commissioner Barrow yes, Commissioner Collier yes, Commissioner Carroll yes, Commissioner Eberhart yes, Commissioner Yancey yes, Commissioner Shelor no, Commissioner Ledford no, Commissioner Griffiths no, Commissioner Wills no. Commissioner Eberhart amended her motion at the request of the Commission to up to $500, and Commissioner Shelor seconded the motion. The next roll call vote was as follows: Chairman no vote, Commissioner Barrow yes, Commissioner Collier yes, Commissioner Carroll yes, Commissioner Eberhart yes, Commissioner Yancey yes, Commissioner Shelor yes, Commissioner Ledford yes, Commissioner Griffiths no, Commissioner Wills yes. With this the motion to allot up to $500 for the awards for the essay and art contest to be offered to Georgian students during the fiscal year of 2016-17 passed.

There was then discussion on whether the Commission should have an Educational Symposium for the fiscal year of 2016-17, like the ones they have had in the past. Commissioner Yancey and Griffiths both believed Kennesaw Civil War Institute did a great job and we should not do one, while several of the other Commissioners stated that they would like to be able to have a say so in the speakers at the Kennesaw Civil War Institute because many were bias against the Southern perspective. Chairman Culpepper asked Commissioner Wills, who is the Director of the Kennesaw Civil War Institute, and Chief of Staff Barrow to work together to have a joint Commission and Kennesaw Civil War Institute Educational Symposium so that it would accommodate everyone’s opinions. Both agreed and Commissioner Wills stated the Spring Symposium was not planned to date, so that would be the perfect time to do this. Commissioner Wills also reminded the Commission of their sponsorship of the Kennesaw Civil War Institute Preservation Dinner that was forthcoming.

The Commissioners had the opportunity at this time to bring an item before the Commission. Chief of Staff Barrow reported a thank you card was received for Artios Academies of South Atlanta for the posters and cannon pencil sharpeners the Commission had donated to them. Also, the Children of the Confederacy thanked the Commission for the maps, booklets, and cannon pencil sharpeners that were given to the attendees of the General Convention in Chattanooga, TN in July. There was no other business.

The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for November 6, 2016 in the Chapel at Chickamauga, Georgia. The time will be determined once the unveiling of the Confederate marker is set.

Commissioner Shelor made a motion to adjourn and Commissioner Collier seconded the motion; meeting was adjourned at 3:05 P.M.

Respectfully submitted by Cassie Barrow, Chief of Staff