Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 40A

Web exclusive

Bonu
conte s
nt

More

M ysteries

at Georgia museums

BY LAURA RAINES

The Drummer Boy Civil War Museum,
Andersonville
Mary Surratt was the first woman
ever executed by the U.S. government. A military trial found her guilty
of conspiring to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln and assisting
in the escape of John Wilkes Booth.
The judges voted for the death penalty but also recommended mercy
on the basis of her age (she was 42
and considered an elderly woman)
and gender. President Andrew Johnson claimed never to have seen the
clemency plea, although a judge said
he had.
Historical opinion is divided on
how much she knew and whether
she should have been hanged. The
plot (originally to kidnap and later
to kill Lincoln) was made in her
Washington boardinghouse, and her
son, John, was a friend of Booth's.
Other conspirators testified to her
guilt, but she maintained her innocence till the end.
"I think that Mary was involved,
but not as much as her son, and I
don't think she should have been
hung. [Secretary of War Edwin] Stanton may have used her as a pawn to
lure her son back from Canada, but it
didn't work," says Cynthia StormCaller, curator of the Drummer Boy Civil
War Museum in Andersonville. "This
bonnet was the last one she wore.
They took it off her head to put on
the hood before hanging."
The bonnet came to Georgia as
part of the Civil War collection of
New York collector Gerald Lamby;
it was one the artifacts belonging to
Maj. Thomas T. Eckert, chief of the
U.S. Military Telegraph Corps under
September 2017

COURTESY THE DRUMMER BOY CIVIL WAR MUSEUM

Mary Surratt's bonnet

This bonnet, which was removed from
the head of Mary Surratt moments before
she was executed in 1865, is housed at
the Drummer Boy Civil War Museum in
Andersonville. Surratt was found guilty of
being part of the conspiracy to assassinate
President Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln and later president and chairman of Western Union.
"Eckert and the president were
close friends. Lincoln spent a lot of
time reading telegrams in his office,
and their sons played together in the
White House," StormCaller says.
Eckert also assisted Stanton in
getting through the crowds to the dying Lincoln, who had been moved to
a nearby boardinghouse.
"When we heard that the collection was coming up for auction, the
City of Andersonville and the Andersonville Guild applied for a OneGeorgia Authority grant to purchase
it for the museum in 2003," StormCaller says.
The collection included uniforms
More online at www.georgiamagazine.org

from both sides, weapons and the diary of Capt. Albert Wilbur, who participated in Booth's manhunt with the
16th New York Cavalry.
"The collector told us he found
the bonnet and three books of flimsies [copies of U.S. military wartime
telegrams] hidden in a wall under
the stairs in Eckert's home. No one
knows why," she says.

Last piece of cloth made at
Enterprise Mill

Augusta Canal National Heritage Area
Interpretive Center, Augusta
The last piece of cotton duck
cloth made at Augusta's Enterprise
Mill was signed by the plant manager and 19 employees when the
mill closed in March 1983. Now displayed at the Augusta Canal National
Heritage Area Interpretive Center, it
speaks volumes about the rich textile
history of Augusta and the South.
"Augusta, in the Civil War era,
was the Silicon Valley of the South.
Its entrepreneurial ideas made the
town a thriving industrial center, even
during Reconstruction," says Rebecca
Rogers, director of marketing and
public relations.
One idea was the system that
used log pipes to bring water from
Turknett Springs into the city in 1830,
when most cities were relying on cisterns and wells. It was the first of its
kind in Georgia and one of the first in
the United States.
Another game-changing idea was
the Augusta Canal. "Tired of producing the raw material that went to
Northern factories, the town fathers
thought it would keep economic activity closer to home," Rogers says.
Started in 1845, the canal gave
40A


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - September 2017

Contents
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 3
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 5
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 6
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 7
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 8
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 9
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 10
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 11
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Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 14
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 15
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 16
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Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 18
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 19
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 20
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 21
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 22
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Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 24
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Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 26
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 27
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Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 31
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 32
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 33
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 34
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 35
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 36
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 37
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 38
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 39
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 40
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 40A
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 40B
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 40C
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 40D
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 41
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 42
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Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 45
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 46
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 47
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 48
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 49
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 50
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Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 53
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 54
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Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 56
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 57
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 58
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 58A
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 58B
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 58C
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 58D
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - Cover4
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