Good Fences

The first settlers marked the borders of their lives with simple fences that grew ever more elaborate over the centuries

Good fences make good neighbors,” wrote Robert Frost, and he meant that fences did more than just enclose space; like his woods and roads, they bounded a social and psychological landscape. That fences also form a kind of historical document is suggested by the photographs on these pages. Read more »

God, Man, Woman, And The Wesleys

In early Georgia, the founders of Methodism got off to a terrible start

THE SUCCESS OF John and Charles Wesley in founding Methodism is well documented, but what is seldom mentioned is that they started their ecclesiastical careers with a period of unrelieved bungling. It all took place in colonial Georgia in the early eighteenth century when the Wesley brothers, as the colony’s founder, Gen. James Oglethorpe, said, attempted to “unroll their rolled-up rules for England” in this struggling young settlement. John and Charles’s adventure, Oglethorpe concluded disgustedly, should be made “a play or tale of.” Read more »

Hell And The Survivor

A Union soldier had a better statistical chance of living through the Battle of Gettysburg than of surviving the prisoner-of-war camp called Andersonville. But Charles Hopkins did it and left this never-before-published record.

On June 4, 1861, at the age of seventeen, Charles Ferren Hopkins enlisted in Company I, First New Jersey Volunteers. He was badly wounded at the Battle of Games’ Mill, Virginia, and again at the Battle of the Wilderness, where he was captured and sent to the notorious prison camp, Andersonville, in Georgia. Many years afterward, he wrote a vivid account of his experiences. This article has been adapted from his original document, which runs to over one hundred and thirty typewritten pages, and which was given to us by his grandson, Gerald Hopkins. Read more »

The Best Girl Scout Of The Mall

How Juliette “Daisy” Low, an unwanted child, a miserable wife, a lonely widow, finally found happiness as the founder of the Girl Scouts of America

In 1911 Juliette “Daisy” Low taught her first seven female Girl Guides to raise chickens and to spin wool. Now their 2,500,000 descendants, called Scouts, can learn to change the washer on a faucet, rewire a lamp, style hair, take a photograph, clean and set the gap on a lawn-mower spark plug, or recaulk a window. They learn to “relate to others,” participate in groups in a “personalized way,” and “work through tensions.” Gone is the loyal, honorable, obedient, thrifty, pure, courteous friend to all and to animals.Read more »

From Atlanta To The Sea

A newly discovered Union diary shows that Sherman’s march was about as Ruthless as Southerners have always said it was

Read more »

“the Most Extraordinary And Astounding Adventure Of The Civil War”

The Date: April 12,1862 The Place: Big Shanty, Georgia The Time: 6:45 A M. Thus began …

On the pleasant Sunday evening of April 6, 1862, the men of Company H, 33rd Ohio Infantry, were relaxing around their campfires near Shelbyville, Tennessee, admiring the Southern springtime and trading the latest army rumors. They were joined by the company commander, Lieutenant A. L. Waddle, who announced that he wanted a volunteer for a secret and highly important expedition behind Confederate lines.Read more »

“We Are Going To Do Away With These Boys …”

The black laborers on John Williams’ plantation never seemed to leave or complain. It took some digging to find out why

Out of the ashes and ruins of the Civil War the shadow of slavery once more crept over the South. Even while some southern Negroes tried to achieve political power, civil rights, and personal security during Reconstruction, many laborers became mired in the quicksand of debt. Booker T.

Private Fastness: Tales Of Wild

CUMBERLAND ISLAND AND HOW MODERN TIMES AT LAST HAVE REACHED IT

One of the good things that happened in America in 1970—a year otherwise noted for spreading oil slicks, raging forest fires, mercury in rainbow trout, and burgeoning pipelines in the tundra—was the decision by the National Park Service to purchase Cumberland Island, southernmost of the Georgia sea islands and a flaming issue in the long and bitter struggle between real-estate developers and conservationists over the future of the state’s coastline. Read more »

F.D.R: The Last Journey

When Franklin Delano Roosevelt was inaugurated for the fourth time, in January, 1945, twelve years of guiding the country through depression and war had sapped the strength of this vital and complex man. His health, which had been a major issue in the 1944 campaign, was the constant concern of his dedicated staff. Roosevelt himself, by this time, was thinking mostly of the problems of the coming peace. The following article is excerpted from James MacGregor Burns’s Roosevelt: The Soldier of Freedom , which will be published in September by Harcourt, Brace & World. This book, which follows the author ‘s earlier biography, Roosevelt: The Lion and the Fox , completes Mr. Burns’s distinguished and engrossing study of the thirty-second President of the United States. Several sentences from the earlier book are included m this excerpt. Among his sources, the author is especially indebted to Bernard Asbell ‘s When F. D. R. Died.

Read more »