"Georgia's Civil War Past"

last updated October 11, 1999

The Eighth Annual Conference of the Historical Society of the Georgia National Guard was held on Saturday, 9 October 1999 in Columbus, Georgia. The theme for this year's event was"Georgia's Civil War Past."

Open to the public, attendees showed their appreciation to the conference speakers with resounding applause and words of praise. Among the notable speakers were Mr. Bob Holcombe, curator of the Port Columbus Civil War Naval Center. Mr. Holcombe discussed "The Confederate Navy on the Chattahoochee," the importance of Georgia's waterways, and the naval activity which occurred on them. Accentuating his presentation was the use of a slide presentation covering the first ship, the Chattahoochee, a wooden vessel which was built on the banks of Columbus and went into service in January 1863. Also among his slides were photographs and drawings of early Columbus and some of the many artifacts visitors may see at the Naval Center.

Professor John CopeAnother featured speaker was Professor John Cope, Professor of History at Columbus State College. Professor Cope's presentation centered around the events of "Wilson's Raid Through Alabama and Georgia." Also using a slide presentation to tell his story, Cope described the Union forces under Wilson's command and their journey through Selma, Alabama toward Macon, Georgia. He also explained the methodology of cavalry troops leading to the end of the War.

Society Vice-President Joey Seguin gave a very informative and interesting presentation on "A Soldier In The War Between The States," using the 12th Georgia Volunteer Infantry Regiment uniform as his example. Describing not only the details of this uniform, he also showed how a soldier made Mr. Joey Seguinammunition rounds for his Springfield rifle. Seguin had an impressive collection of authentic confederate civil war equipment which he described in detail and demonstrated the proper wear of each item.

Throughout the morning, status reports were given by various officers and committee members on some of the current projects of the Society. Among the topics presented were the wheels of the Napoleon 12-pounder cannon and the French 75MM Howitzer restoration, Georgia Archives Grant, History Book Project, the Journal, and the web page.

A guided tour of the Fort Benning Infantry Museum was scheduled for those interested following the conference meeting, as well as a tour of the Conferate Naval Center.

In conjunction with the Society's Conference was the Unit Historian's Workshop held on Friday, 8 October 1999 at Fort Benning. The featured presentation was made by Mr. Frank Hanner, Director of the Fort Benning Infantry Museum, discussing "The Importance of Preserving Military History." Presentations were also given by Chief Warrant Officer Four Rich Elwell, Staff Sergeant Gail Parnell-Roach, and Mr. Joey Seguin.

Conference scenes: At left Rich Elwell addresses the conference on the history book project. At right Gail Parnell-Roach discusses the museum project. Above, members of the audience.

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