ATLANTA – Written by Mel
A few weeks ago, I was skimming through the Georgia National Park guide looking for somewhere to go. As you may already know from living here or from reading one of my previous posts, if you have a valid library card, you can visit most of these parks for no charge (there are limitations). You just go and pick up your pass from your local library and you’re off to explore some of Georgia’s most exciting parks. I decided to go to Pickett Mill Battlefield primarily because I live near this park and also because I recently found out that my great, great, great, grandfather was a soldier in the Civil War. Growing up, learning about the Civil War wasn’t on my list of priorities; but, when I discovered this tidbit from my family’s past, it ignited a newfound passion in me to explore the topic.
The battlefield is located in a remote part of a town called Dallas, Georgia. When I drove up to the place, I was a bit confused because I expected the museum to be right there at the entrance; however, it was not. I had to drive down a little further to actually get to the museum and let me tell you, driving down that road was a bit scary. It’s not that anything happened or was going to happen, but driving down such a narrow stretch of road with nothing but woods on each side seemed so scary. Good thing I was driving down this road during the day because driving it at night would have been even scarier.
Despite how remote the place is, once I reached the museum, it was quite quaint and pleasant. I started the day off with a picnic because I didn’t know what to expect in terms of walking the grounds. I didn’t want to be hungry or better yet, “hangry” during the tour. They have some picnic tables out front. Even though they didn’t seem like they were used much – and this could have been because of the time of year I went – the area was nice, clean and perfect to use for eating lunch. After lunch, I walked into the museum and was greeted by the very gregarious gentleman at the welcome center. He briefly explained some aspects of the site and then allowed me to watch a short film that really gave me a general idea about the Civil War and the importance of the battle of Pickett Mill.
After watching the film, I proceeded to the display within the museum. It’s not a huge display but I enjoyed the pieces that they had showing. Key things were a cannon, guns, and soldiers uniforms. Once I viewed the display, I had the option of purchasing memorabilia from the gift store such as books and t-shirts but I was a bit adventurous and decided to save this for last. I wanted to explore the battlegrounds, especially to see the cabin that the gentlemen mentioned in the welcome center.
On my journey, I saw a variety of museum workers out in the battlefield dressed in Civil War attire. I came across two ladies who were burning a fire that they built from chopped wood. They talked about what life would have been like during those times. On my stroll, I also saw old artifacts such as more cannons, makeshift firepits, and an ax, designed to give the viewers a feel for what those times were like.
The crowning jewel of the trip was the log cabin that still looks like it is in great condition. It was hard to envision a large family living in the one room cabin but it was certainly a humbling experience and it made me appreciate the modern conveniences that we have.
After completing my tour, I headed back to the gift store. In honor of my grandfather’s legacy, I decided to purchase two uniform hats – one representing the Union Army and one representing the Confederacy. Now I own a little piece of history.
See you on my next outing!
Photos by Mel.