Georgia Civil War Commission
Quarterly Meeting Minutes
Saturday, March 18, 2017
Vice-Chairman Kelly Barrow called the meeting to order at 2:16 on March 18, 2017 at the Kennesaw University Education Center in Kennesaw, Georgia. Commissioners present were Kelly Barrow, Ken Griffiths, Karen Ledford, Brain Wills, Ted Brooke, John Carroll, and Inger Eberhart. Commissioner Curt Collier was present via conference call, which is addressed in the minutes below. Commissioners not present were John Culpepper, James Yancey, Edward Shelor, Charlie Lott, and Rusty Henderson. Cassie Barrow, Chief of Staff, was present. Members of the audience consisted of Kenneth Ledford; Nancy Ledford, Robert E. Lee Chapter # 115 United Daughters of the Confederacy; Jimmy Kennedy, Old Capitol Camp Sons of Confederate Veterans; Brad Quinlin, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War; Barry Colbaugh, Stiles Aiken Camp #670 Sons of Confederate Veterans; Steve Camp, Thirteenth Brigade Commander Georgia Division Sons of Confederate Veterans; and William Lathem, Robert E. Lee Camp Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Vice Chairman Barrow announced that the meeting had been advertised in the local newspapers, as well as posted on social media and at the location; therefore, complying with the Sunshine Law.
Due to a death to a close friend, Chairman Culpepper was unable to attend the meeting at the last minute. Commissioner Yancey’s wife was put into the hospital Friday, not allowing him to be able to attend. Commissioner Collier could not attend due to the death of the son of a close friend, but was available to be at the meeting via a conference call. Vice Chairman Barrow explained the extending circumstances surrounding the above-mentioned issues and stated that Chief of Staff Barrow had been in close contact with Chairman Culpepper apprising him of the situation. Vice Chairman Barrow explained that Chairman Culpepper stated that without a motion suspending the by-laws, and then in turn, allowing Commissioner Collier to be present via conference call, a quorum could not be established. Commissioner Carroll made the motion and Commissioner Griffiths seconded it; motion carried. Vice Chairman Barrow called Commissioner Collier and placed him on speaker phone for the duration of the meeting. Quorum was established.
Commissioner Carroll opened the meeting in prayer, while Commissioner Griffiths led everyone in the pledge to the United States and Commissioner Ledford led the pledge to the Georgia flag.
At this point, Vice Chairman Barrow 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.
Vice Chairman Barrow requested for a motion to allow new business to be first on the agenda, and old business second; add 14A to discuss the Longstreet Symposium; and add James S. Boynton to number 17. Commissioner Carroll made this motion and Commissioner Brooke seconded it; motion carried. Vice Chairman Barrow then asked for a motion to approve the agenda with changes. Commissioner Collier made the motion to approve the amended agenda and Commissioner Griffiths seconded; motion carried. Amended agenda is attached to the minutes.
Vice Chairman Barrow reminded the Commissioners that the November 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. Commissioner Carroll made a motion to approve the minutes as corrected, Commissioner Wills seconded; motion passed.
The 2016-17 financial report was read by Chief of Staff Barrow; the report is attached. Commissioner Ledford made a motion to accept the 2016-17 Quarterly Treasurer Report, and Commissioner Eberhart seconded; motioned carried.
At this time, Vice Chairman Barrow 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 New Business, Vice Chairman Barrow recognized Nancy Kennedy with the Robert E; Lee Chapter #115 United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) to discuss the request for funding to assist in the repair of the Confederate monument in Milledgeville that had been hit by a car in August of 2016. Mrs. Kennedy stated that the accident was ruled as not intentional and no drugs or alcohol were involved. The damage was not as bad as it could have been, but the price to repair and place back on the pedestal were above the amount given to the chapter from the insurance company. A monument company in Elberton was awarded the job and stored the pieces of the soldier in his warehouse. The cost to just repair the solider was $25,000, this amount being obtained from the insurance company. Reinstalling the soldier and fixing the base would be an additional $7,500 that is not being funded by the insurance company. Mrs. Kennedy expressed that at this point the Georgia Division United Daughters of the Confederacy was not willing to help financially in this endeavor. The chapter has spoken to the local Sons of Confederate Veterans camp, as well as garden clubs, seeking help to raise the money. There was much discussion on how to raise the money needed to complete this project. Mrs. Kennedy was requesting at least $2,500 from the Commission to help. A motion was made by Commissioner Griffiths for the Robert E. Lee Chapter #115 UDC to peruse other funding opportunities and to return to the Quarterly Meeting in May to discuss the final amount the chapter was still in need of. Commissioner Eberhart seconded the motion that received five ayes, and two nayes from Commissioners Carroll and Ledford. Motion carried.
Vice Chairman Barrow recognized Barry Colbaugh of the Stiles/ Aiken Camp # 670 Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) and Brad Quinlin to discuss the funding request to research the Stout Records found in University Texas of Austin. Samuel Hollingsworth Stout was the Surgeon for Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama and kept meticulous records. The goal of this project is to get the records that Stout kept for Kingston, Cassville, Griffin, and Conyers hospitals, in hopes to be able to identify the unknown graves. These primary sources have already been gotten by Marietta and Barnesville areas. Mr. Colbaugh mentioned that the Cassville names, once identified, would be placed on a monument since the list that the Georgia Building Authority is incomplete and inaccurate at best. The research would be shared with the local historical groups and organizations. There was discussion of even binding the information together to be printed, but it was unsure if the University of Texas in Austin would give permission. The research would also be used at the Atlanta History Center in the new exhibits they have slated for the grand opening after the renovations are completed. Discussion ensued with the main question being if Mr. Quinlin would be able to review all the 60,000 pages of material and the additional funding from the requesting SCV camp, John McIntosh Kell Camp #107 SCV in Griffin and the Conyers SCV camp. At present, $1,000 had been raised but an addition $500 is needed to make this project funded. A motion was made by Commissioner Wills and seconded by Commissioner Carroll to pay up to $500 upon receiving the expense receipts associated with the retrieval of the Stout records for Cassville, Kingston, Griffin, and Conyers, Georgia from Brad Quinlin. The vote was five ayes, and Commissioners Griffiths and Brooke voted nay; motion carried.
Next on the agenda was the William A. Hughes sign to be placed in Stonewall Cemetery and James S. Boynton sign to be placed in Oakhill Cemetery, both in Griffin. Chief of Staff Barrow had emailed the signs to each Commissioner, but Vice Chairman Barrow realized that the verbiage was incorrect. It was discussed that William A. Hughes was a Confederate Medal of Honor recipient written about in Company Aytch by Sam Watkins. The sign would use the primary source of the diary to tell the story of how Hughes saved Watkins’ life by being killed instead. The sign for Boynton would discuss his political career before, during and after the War. Commissioner Brooke made a motion that the signs be approved for order upon review for grammatical errors. Commissioner Collier seconded this motion that passed.
Vice Chairman Barrow mentioned that agenda item #18 should have been under Old Business, but would follow the agenda as it was approved. The Commission had sponsored a trip the to the National Archives for Brad Quinlin to research the black troops under Sherman during the Atlanta Campaign. Mr. Quinlin stated that he spent a total of 18 days in Washington D.C. taking pictures of original muster rolls and comparing compiled service records if undercooks. During his research, Mr. Quinlin found a tintype of Jose Simmons, 45th Illinois, who became the face of a play about Sherman’s undercooks that Mr. Quinlin created using these primary sources. The play was first presented in February at the King Center, and will be presented again during Memorial Day weekend at the same location. In addition to that, Jose Simmons will be showcased at the Atlanta History Center in their new displays about the Atlanta Campaign. Mr. Quinlin gave a detailed list of his findings to the Commission. This list would be placed in the Research Library of Nash Farm Battlefield Museum. It was requested that Mr. Quinlin make sure that the Commission did receive all the recognition as being the sponsors of this project, and the logo of the Commission to be placed at the Atlanta History Center and on the program at the King Center. Mr. Quinlin agreed, and Chief of Staff Barrow was asked to send a high definition logo to Mr. Quinlin so that he can forward it as needed. Also, Mr. Quinlin was asked to present a copy of the play to Chief of Staff Barrow, and to send the details about the play so it can be advertised on the Commission FaceBook page.
Under Old Business, Vice Chairman Barrow asked Chief of Staff Barrow to present to the Commission the details on Art and Essay Contest for 2016-17. Chief of Staff Barrow stated that the Commission received over 100 entries in the art contest and over 30 essays. She reminded each Commissioner that the topic for the essay contest was “Georgia’s Civil War Diarist” and the topic for the art contest was “Georgia’s Common Civil War Soldier”. The finalist in each contest were in the back of the room for the Commissioners and guests present to vote on his/her top three. The first, second, and third place winners of each category would be the entries receiving the highest amounts of votes. Chief of Staff Barrow stated that the winning art entries would be used as greeting cards to be given to local museum to help provide revenue for needed projects. The winning essays would be put into a booklet that would be given to those interested in participating in the 2017-18 essay contest.
The discussion then turned to if the Commission would sponsor a 2017-18 essay and art contest. Chief of Staff Barrow presented the topics chosen by the committee – Essay Contest – The Capture of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Irwinville, Georgia; Art Contest – Headstones, Cemeteries, or Monuments in Georgia to Civil War Soldiers. Commissioner Eberhart made the motion that the Commission sponsor a 2017-18 Art and Essay Contest with the topics presented by the committee and following the same rules and guidelines of the 2016-17 contests. Commissioner Carroll seconded the motion that carried.
To get the word out about the contests to a variety of students, Chief of Staff Barrow discussed her time at the Cobb Library Homeschool Expo. She mentioned that she had sent the website to the Southeast Homeschool Expo that will be at the Cobb Convention Center in July. Chief of Staff Barrow discussed that a table at this Friday and Saturday event will cost the Commission around $750 total. It is estimated that over 5,000 people attend this expo during the weekend. The Commissioners discussed that a similar setup like the one that Chief of Staff Barrow had at the Cobb Library Homeschool Expo would be beneficial to the Commission in getting the word out about the contests, but would also bring awareness to the Commission as being an educational entity desiring to come alongside parents to teach this era. Commissioner Eberhart made a motion to allow Chief of Staff Barrow to pursue this venue and rent the table and purchase all needed items necessary for the weekend at her discretion and Commissioner Brookes seconded the motion. During discussion, Commissioner Ledford made a motion to cap the spending for the project at $1,500, which included the table rental and Commissioner Brooke seconded. A vote on the amendment was taken and passed. Then a vote on the amended motion was taken and it carried.
Chief of Staff Barrow reported that the committee dealing with the field trip program was unable to finalize details for this meeting. The goal is to have a set of rules and guidelines by the next Quarterly Meeting so that the Commissioners would be able to discuss it further. Commissioner Carroll made a motion to table agenda item # 13, which deals with the field trip program, until the next meeting. Commissioner Collier seconded and the motion passed.
Vice Chairman Barrow stated that he had sent a proclamation recognizing Col John S. Pemberton, inventor of Coca Cola. A copy of the proclamation was given to each Commissioner. As of that time, the Governor’s office had not responded to the request.
At this time, each Commissioner had the opportunity now to bring something before the Commission. Commissioner Eberhart commented that she had been busy with the Twitter account during Black History Month, gaining new followers to the account.
Commissioner Carroll wanted to readdress the Milledgeville monument, stating that the monument was in a prominent place in Milledgeville. Commissioner Carroll thought that it was not right to leave Mrs. Kennedy and the ladies of that UDC chapter waiting to see if the Commission would be willing to support their project. Mrs. Kennedy had made the trip as was requested to all entities and persons seeking funds from the Commission, but to ask her to make the trip again was not acceptable. Commissioner Carroll stated that we live in a time that many of our monuments are under threat and the Commission should be working to assist putting one back into its rightful place. At this, Commissioner Carroll made a motion to fund the requested $2,500, either when they receive the needed $5,000 or by the end of our fiscal year, whichever comes first, to the Robert E. Lee Chapter UDC to be used to put the Confederate monument back where it was prior to the accident but with the deadline that the UDC chapter must use the $2,500 on this project by June 30, 2018 or revert the money back to the Commission and that the Commission be invited to the rededication of the monument. Commissioner Ledford seconded the motion that carried. Commissioner Griffiths stated that he was never against the project, but wanted to ensure the additional $5,000 was raised.
Commissioner Wills mentioned that Vice Chairman skipped 14A – Longstreet Symposium with the Civil War Center at Kennesaw State University. He wanted to thank the Commission for the support of that event, as wells as the Preservation Dinner that was in February. There was discussion on possibly making this an annual event that is co-sponsored with the Commission and the Civil War Center. Commissioner Ledford made the motion that the Commission sponsor a Spring symposium with the Civil War Center up to, but not exceeding, $1,000, but with the understanding that the topic and speakers must be approved by both entities. Commissioner Carroll seconded the motion, which carried.
Commissioner Collier apologized to the Commissioners that this unforeseen issue made it to where he could not be at the meeting in person, but was grateful to be a part of the meeting via conference call.
The next Quarterly Meeting was set for May 13 at Nash Farm Battlefield Museum at 1:00 P.M. At this meeting the winners of the essay and art contest would be presented with their awards.
There was no other business.
Commissioner Brooke made a motion to adjourn and Commissioner Collier seconded the motion; meeting was adjourned at 3:35 P.M.
Respectfully submitted by Cassie Barrow, Chief of Staff
Georgia Civil War Commission