THE STORY OF THE ROSWELL MILL WORKERS DEPORTATION
On July 5, 1864, Federal General Kenner Garrard's cavalry reached Roswell and finding it undefended, occuiped the city. General Garrard reported to General William T.Sherman on July 6, 1864 that..." there were fine factories here. I had the building burnt, all were burnt. The cotton factory was working up to the time of its destruction, some 400 women being employed."
Former Associate Dean of Emory University, Webb Garrison writes of the destruction of the Roswell Mills. He says..."incidents of this occurred repeatedly throughout the Civil War. Had the usual attitudes prevailed, the destruction of the industrial complex would have ended the matter. That it did not was due to the temperament and inclination of the man (Sherman)."
What General Sherman did next would shock good people in the North and create a mystery that has endured to this day. On July 7,1864, Sherman reported to his superiors in Washington... "I have ordered General Garrard to arrest for treason all owners and employees, foreign and native (of the Roswell Mills), and send them under guard to Marietta, whence I will send them North."
On July 7, 1864, Sherman wrote to General Garrard..."I repeat my orders that you arrest all people, male and female, connected with those factories, no matter the clamor, and let them foot it, under guard to Marietta, then I will send them by cars to the North."
A northern newspaper correspondent reported on the deportation... " only think of it! Four hundred weeping and terrified Ellen's, Susan's, and Maggies transported in springless and seatless army wagons, away from their loved ones and brothers of the sunny South, and all for the offense of weaving tentcloth."
On July 10,1864 General Thomas reported the arrival of four to five hundred mill hands, mostly women, in Marietta. Other documents indicate that an undetermined number of children accompanied their mothers. Webb Garrison writes of the women's arrival in Marietta..." for the military record that closed the case in which women and children were illegally deported after having been charged with treason." He further writes... " had the Roswell incident not been followed immediately by major military developments, it might have made a lasting impact upon opinion. In this century, few analysts have given it emphasis it deserves."
In conclusion Dr. Garrison writes..." The mystery of the Roswell women, whose ultimate fate remains unknown, is one of major importance in its own right. Even more significant is its foreshadowing of things to come."
The mystery of the Roswell women is made up of four to five hundred tragedies. Most of these stories are lost to history; however, three men involved in the monument are either related to or descended from the mill workers. Wayne Bagley of the Roswell Mills Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans is related to Adeline Bagley Buice. Adeline was a seamstress working at the Roswell Mills while her husband was off to war. Deported north with the other women, she went all the way to Chicago. Left to fend for herself as best she could, it would be five years before Adeline and her daughter would return to Roswell on foot . In time, thinking her dead, he remarried. Adeline's grave, in Forsyth County is maintained with a special marker by the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
George Kendley, also a member of the Roswell Mills Camp, is descended from John R. Kendley who served early as a Sargent in Company H, known as the "Roswell Guards", 7th Regiment, GVI, Army of Northern Virginia. He was captured, paroled, and returned to work in the mill. Johnlater served as a Lieutenant in Company A, Roswell Battalion. Because he was paroled, he had to leave early when Union troops got close. If captured, he would have been shot on the spot.
Wayne Shelly is a member of the Nathan Bedford Forrest Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Rome, Georgia. His grandmother was a teenage mill worker and her mother and her grandmother also worked at Roswell Mills. All three were charged with treason and deported. The mother died on a train between Chattanooga and Nashville, Tennessee. The grandmother died on steamship on the Ohio River, after being carried aboard in a rocking chair. Wayne's grandmother married a Confederate Veteran in Louisville, Kentucky. The two tried to make a new life in Indiana; however, the deportation had ruined the health of the young mill worker and a doctor advised that she would not live through another Indiana winter. The couple moved south to Cartersville,Georgia.
The War Between the States was without question Roswell's moment on the stage of world history. If Roswell has a history, it is surely in part the mill workers story.
Excerpt from the Dedication Program for the Mill Workers Monument
July 8, 2000
Confederate Units from Roswell:
The Roswell Battalion
Local Defense Troops
Company E, Cobb's Legion Cavalry Battalion
Company H, 7th Georgia Volunteer Infantry
Monument Dedicated to the deported Roswell Mill workers
Donated by Roswell Mills Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp #1547
To read more about the deported Roswell Mill Workers
and order the book The Women Will Howl
Famous "Sons" of Roswell, Georgia
James Dunwoody Bulloch and Irvine Stephens Bulloch were Confederate naval officers during the War Between the States. They were also uncles of the 26th US President Theodore Roosevelt who married their sister Martha "Mittie" Bulloch, a Roswell, Georgia resident. This photo was taken of them after the war.
In 1905, Theodore Roosevelt toured the South. After spending October 19th in North Carolina and skipping South Carolina, TR visited Roswell, Georgia, the next day. He spoke to the citizens there as his ‘neighbors and friends’ and concluded his remarks as follows:
“It has been my very great good fortune to have the right to claim my blood is half southern and half northern, and I would deny the right of any man here to feel a greater pride in the deeds of every southerner than I feel. Of all the children, the brothers and sisters of my mother who were born and brought up in that house on the hill there, my two uncles afterward entered the Confederate service and served with the Confederate Navy.
“One, the younger man, served on the Alabama as the youngest officer aboard her. He was captain of one of her broadside 32-pounders in her final fight, and when at the very end the Alabama was sinking and the Kearsarge passed under her stern and came up along the side that had not been engaged hitherto, my uncle, Irvine Bulloch, shifted his gun from one side to the other and fired the two last shots fired from the Alabama. James Dunwody Bulloch was an admiral in the Confederate service. …
“Men and women, don’t you think I have the ancestral right to claim a proud kinship with those who showed their devotion to duty as they saw the duty, whether they wore the grey or whether they wore the blue? All Americans who are worthy the name feel an equal pride in the valor of those who fought on one side or the other, provided only that each did with all his strength and soul and mind his duty as it was given to him to see his duty.”
In TR's autobiography, he mentions his Bulloch uncles thusly: "My mother's two brothers, James Dunwody Bulloch and Irvine Bulloch, came to visit us shortly after the close of the war. Both came under assumed names, as they were among the Confederates who were at that time exempted from the amnesty. "Uncle Jimmy" Bulloch was a dear old retired sea-captain, utterly unable to "get on" in the worldly sense of that phrase, as valiant and simple and upright a soul as ever lived, a veritable Colonel Newcome. He was an Admiral in the Confederate navy, and was the builder of the famous Confederate war vessel Alabama. My uncle Irvine Bulloch was a midshipman on the Alabama, and fired the last gun discharged from her batteries in the fight with the Kearsarge. Both of these uncles lived in Liverpool after the war. "
To read about and see photos of the first dedication on 1/7/2001 of the tombstones of the Bulloch brothers in Liverpool England, click on the photo below:
To read about and see photos of the rededication of I S Bulloch's tombstone on 7/18/2009 in Liverpool, England click on the photo below:
Visit the History Channel for more on the War Between the States
Visit the web site Teaching the Civil War with Technology
Visit the Cornell University Site "Making of America"
and view War Between the States documents:
Roswell Mills Camp #1547
5284 Wyntercreek Dr.
Dunwoody, 30338 GA