Georgia Civil War Commission
Quarterly Meeting Minutes
Saturday, June 15, 2019

Chairman John Culpepper welcomed everyone to the Awards Ceremony for the 2019 Art and Essay Contests at 2:00 inside the Cochran Public Library in Stockbridge, Georgia He turned over the festivities to Chief of Staff Barrow, who told the audience who the Commission is and details about the different contests. Once the awards were given to the winners that were present, Chairman Culpepper stated that the Quarterly Meeting of the Commission would begin at 3:00, allowing everyone to visit. All the winners and their families left prior to the start of the Quarterly Meeting

Chairman John Culpepper called the meeting to order at 3:08 on March 23, 2019 at Cochran Public Library in Stockbridge, Georgia. Commissioners present were John Culpepper, Kelly Barrow, Curt Collier, Inger Eberhart, Ken Griffiths, Hank Segars, and James Yancey. Commissioners not present were John Carroll, Brian Wills (Vince Dooley Leadership Seminar), and Karen Ledford (funeral). Cassie Barrow, Chief of Staff, was present. Members of the audience consisted of Mary Yancey, Marie Segars, Georgianah Barrow, and William Barrow.

Chairman Culpepper told the audience who we are and our mission. He then went on to state that he sent an announcement of the meeting to the Henry County Herald on June 10, 2019 to publish in the notices, as well as the announcement was posted on social media and at the location in compliance with the Sunshine Law.

It is required that eight Commissioners must be present to have a quorum. A quorum was not able to be established, allowing for the meeting to be considered legal.; therefore, Chairman Culpepper deemed this meeting a work session. Any recommendations will be brought as motions before the Commissioners present at the next Quarterly Meeting to be ratified.

Commissioner Barrow opened the meeting in prayer. Chairman Culpepper led everyone in the pledges to the U.S. and Georgia flags.  

Chairman Culpepper requested for each of the Commissioners present to introduce themselves. Following this, Chairman Culpepper welcomed the audience and requested they introduce themselves and the group he/she was representing.

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

Chairman Culpepper reminded everyone the minutes from the March Quarterly Meeting were emailed to each Commissioner for review prior to this meeting. Clerical changes were sent to Chief of Staff Barrow and made prior to the meeting. Commissioner Griffiths made a motion to accept the minutes with clerical errors corrected; Commissioner Eberhart seconded.

The 2018-19 financial report was read by Chief of Staff Barrow. Chairman Culpepper explained that the Commission only has $25,000 for the fiscal year. Treasurer report is attached to the minutes. Commissioner Collier made a motion to accept the report, Commissioner Griffiths seconded.

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. Nothing was presented.

Under Old Business: Chairman Culpepper addressed Mr. Brad Quinlin’s project to locate the African American soldiers who served under General Sherman. At the previous meeting, Mr. Quinlin gave an update and the Commission encouraged him to request funds either for his stretcher bearer monument or the short film/ audio on each of the soldiers. Chief of Staff Barrow reported that she contacted Mr. Quinlin via email twice. Mr. Quinlin stated that he needed more time to get the request completed and would submit something in the next fiscal year.

Next on the Agenda, Chairman Culpepper stated the Commission only had 10 members, with 5 vacancies and 3 current members are up for reappointment. Chief of Staff Barrow emailed the Governor’s Appointment Secretary Lisa Durden to see when the appointments would be made. Ms. Durden stated she was unsure of when the appointments may take place since many new committees had been created during the last secession that were precedent over us, but she was sure it would be after the June 15, 2019 meeting and probably after the beginning of the 2019-20 fiscal year.

Chairman Culpepper recognized Commissioner Eberhart, Chairman of the Website Committee, to give a report on the website. Commissioner Eberhart shared the goals set by the committee with the Commissioners. Chief of Staff Barrow stated that she and Mr. Thomas Harris were working on making those goals a reality. Short discussion ensued about making the website the main project of the 20119-20 fiscal year. This will help to promote heritage tourism, which is one of the mandates of the Commission, and be a portal of information for those wishing to travel throughout Georgia visiting places dealing with this time period.

Commissioner Barrow, chairman of the Confederate Veterans Home interpretive sign committee, did not have a report for the Commissioners. Commissioner Collier stated he would like to help with this committee, which consists of Commissioners Barrow, Griffiths, and Yancey. It was discussed again that it would be difficult to get this marker approved. Chief of Staff Barrow encouraged the committee to write the sign so that she and Commissioner Segars could proof it. Then, she would send the dialogue and images to Mr. Bill Dodd to be formatted. Once it was formatted, it would be easier to show the different entities what was being proposed.

Chairman Culpepper asked if anyone was able to attend Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic marker dedication, on Saturday, March 30, 2019 at Andersonville National Cemetery. He reminded the Commissioners that he had sent a letter to the Department of Interior on behalf of the Commission in support of this marker being returned. No one was able to attend the dedication.

Chairman Culpepper verified that Chief of Staff Barrow was planning on bringing greetings on behalf of the Commission to the Daughters of the Union Veterans National Convention on July 20, 2019 at 9:00 AM since he was unable to attend. Chairman Culpepper asked if any other Commissioner planned on attending as well, but no one was.

Senate Bill 77, which was authored and submitted by Senator Jeff Mullis, that protects all monuments, markers and cemeteries was signed into law on April 26, 2019 at the Gordon Lee High School in Chickamauga. Chairman Culpepper and Chief of Staff Barrow were both in attendance. The law will go into effect on July 1, 2019.

Chairman Culpepper read the various emails sent from Mr. Hayes in reference to the preservation of Camp Letterman General Hospital in Gettysburg. It appears that no action at this time will be taken by the owner of the property. Chairman Culpepper reminded the Commissioners that he sent a letter on behalf of the Commission requesting the preservation of this hospital where numerous Georgia soldiers were treated.

Chairman Culpepper updated the Commission on the lease agreement. Chief of Staff Barrow verified that Dutton Cavanaugh had the ability to sublease. Once Commissioner Griffiths reviewed the lease a final time and approved it, the lease was signed. Chief of Staff Barrow stated the office has been moved from her house to the new office.

Under New Business, Chairman Culpepper stated that BATL had sent the required written financials and project update; therefore, adhering to the Commissions stipulations for BATL to keep the funds previously given. Delays are still plaguing this project, but Mr. Henry Bryant is hopeful that by the end of summer of first of fall things will begin.

The Commissioners were made aware that Chief of Staff Barrow uses her personal computer to complete work for the Commission. Chairman Culpepper would like the Commission to consider using reserve funds to purchase a laptop that Chief of Staff could use for Commission work exclusively. Chief of Staff Barrow stated that with the new office, she purchased a new printer, which Chairman Culpepper had approved, since the old printer was shared between the Commission and her personal use. Ironically, the old printer stopped working the same week she purchased the new printer/ scan combo. An external hard drive with firebox has also been purchased for the Commission. A recommendation that Chief of Staff research and purchase a computer, not to exceed $400, for the Commission was made by Commissioner Griffiths and seconded by Commissioner Segars. This will be brought before the Commissioners at the next Quarterly Meeting to be discussed and ratified.

The proposed amended 2018-19 was discussed, but no action could be taken since there was not a quorum. The proposed budget for 2019-20 fiscal year was reviewed but no action could be taken. Both of these items will be tabled until the next Quarterly Meeting. The proposed amended budget 2018-19 and the proposed budget 2019-20 are attached to the minutes.  

At the end of the meeting, each Commissioner may bring something before the Commission. Commissioner Barrow recommended that the Commission place a sign at the new office. Chairman Culpepper asked him to investigate the logistics of this and report back at the next meeting. Several of the Commissioners brought up the excellent turnout of the Awards Ceremony.

The next Quarterly Meeting was tentatively scheduled for August 31, 2019 at 1 PM at the Griffin Spalding Library. Chief of Staff Barrow would contact the venue and make sure it was available. Commissioner Collier made the motion to adjourn and Commissioner Barrow seconded. Meeting ended at 4:32.

Respectfully submitted by Cassie Barrow, Chief of Staff