The Disappearance of New Manchester
September 13-15, 2013
Dedicated to the life and memory of Michelle Emsweller
Interpretive Ranger - Sweetwater Creek State Park
Event & Military Co-ordinator - Gene Harmon
From Cotton to T-Shirts: The Role of Cotton in the Civil War
Link suggested by the 6th Grade History Club
Proud to be the host unit
for this Living History held
annually in September at
Sweetwater Creek State Park,
Lithia Springs, GA -
Presented by the Friends of
Sweetwater Creek State Park
in cooperation with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources
The town was founded principally to support the Sweetwater Creek Manufacturing Co, later known as the New Manchester Manufacturing Company. The ridge above Sweetwater Creek was the location for the town, and the path you will walk along by the river is the main road into town. In 1861, the Mill turned to war production, with all goods going to the Confederate Government. In July of 1864 Federal troops under Gen. Stoneman ( 3rd Division cavalry commander, Schofield's 23rd Army Corps ) entered New Manchester. They proceeded to the mill, which was in full operation and ordered it shut down immediately. A few days later, the townspeople were told to get what they wanted from the company store, as it was to be burned, and to be ready to move in one hour, or the town would be burned. The store and the mill were both put to the torch, and everone in the town ( mostly women and children ) was sent to Marietta, linking up with the workers of the Roswell mills destroyed by Gen. Kenner Gerrard’s Cavalry. Both groups were sent to Louisville, KY and then, if they took the Oath of Allegiance to the Union, were allowed to cross the Ohio River into Indiana to work in the mills in Cannolton.
by Debbie Mattee
MEMPHIS DAILY APPEAL [MEMPHIS, TN], October 12, 1861, p. 2, c. 2
The editor of the Savannah News has been shown a sample ball of sewing cotton manufactured at the Sweet Water Factory, in Campbell county, Ga. The cotton used in making the thread is of the finest kind, costing 23 cents per pound, and the thread is of a very superior quality, strong, even and free from knots, and adapted for use on sewing machines. The ladies will undoubtedly find it preferable to the cheating Yankee spools with which they have heretofore been supplied, as a consequence of our unnecessary dependence upon the North.
Pics below courtesy of Melissa Mattee
This was taken from an observation deck on the trail above the mill. Notice the arch on the left side of the picture where the water entered from the mill race.
The windows are slanted being larger on inside than on outside to allow light to reflect better off whitewashed walls. The horizontal crack running between the windows marks where one of the floors were. Charred wood still remains in places.
The front of the mill is to the left. On the other side of the wall directly ahead is where the wheel and machinery were housed. Water spilled through the arch passing through the mill to the creek on the right.
The original rock lining can be seen just above the water line.