Mill Workers

New Manchester Manufacturing Company

Permission for use of pictures and information granted by Deborah Petite,
author of The Women Will Howl.

millworkers_BellFamilyThe Bell Family
Seated left to right: Elizabeth Bell, William Bell, Elizabeth Bell (his wife)
Standing: James Bell, Raford Bell and Sarah Bell

Thomas Bell and his oldest son William were both employed by the New Manchester cotton mill when Union soldiers arrived in New Manchester. Thomas and William were both arrested as “political prisoners”, and sent north along with Thomas’s wife Mariah and eight younger children. The family was back in Georgia by August 1865, but Mariah died a short time later after giving birth to her tenth child, Raford Bell.


millworkers_berdineandsarah_tuckerBerdine & Sarah Tucker

Having sustained a back injury from a falling tree at Vicksburg, Berdine Tucker was sent home and detailed to work in the Sweetwater factory. Berdine (son of Nelson Tucker) was arrested as a political prisoner and sent north with the New Manchester mill workers.


millworkers_elizabethjenningsElizabeth Jennings
(on left)

Elizabeth was the daughter of Gideon and Jane Jennings of New Manchester. Gideon was employed the New Manchester mill and his name appears on the list of “political prisoners” arrested in New Manchester. Elizabeth, who was only five at the time of the arrest, was sent north with her parents and six brothers. It is believed that Elizabeth’s mother died in Evanston, Indiana before the family could return to Georgia. Her burial place remains unknown.



Elizabeth Tucker

Daughter of Nelson and Eliza Tucker, Elizabeth Tucker, a New Manchester mill worker, met a Union soldier, probably while he was hospitalized in Marietta, and married him 1865. She and her new husband settled in North Georgia after the war.



James Carroll

Union soldier James Carroll married Elizabeth Tucker in Atlanta in August 1865.



The Humphries Family
Back row left to right:
John Humphries, Sarah Humphries,
John B. Humphries

John Humphries operated a shoemaking business, which was probably part of the leather-making operation at the New Manchester mill. John and his oldest son Merrell were arrested as “political prisoners” and sent north along with John’s wife and several young children.

John Benjamin Humphries, second oldest son of John Humphries, was arrested in October of 1864 while serving in the 41st GA. Sent to a Federal Prison at Camp Douglas, John Benjamin was paroled seven months later. He managed to locate his parents and siblings in Jeffersonville, Indiana, and worked in a government stable until he earned enough money to bring them all home.



Nelson Tucker

Avowed Unionist and New Manchester farmer, Nelson Tucker told his wife he was “trying to make crops for the Yankees to subsist on while they whipped the rebels.” Nelson took his wife, Eliza, and their younger children to Louisville after the Yankee army helped themselves to Nelson’s crops. Nelson died in Louisville in 1865, but the rest of the family returned to Georgia.



Synthia Stewart

From a tintype made when she was about 17 years of age. Synthia’s father, Walter Stewart, was serving in the Confederate army when the rest of the family was sent to Louisville.  Synthia recorded her version of the events when she was 92.This recording can be heard in one of the exhibits at Sweetwater Creek State Park.



Walter Washington and Charlotte Elizabeth Stewart

Formerly a mill boss at the New Manchester mill, Walter joined the Confederate Army, but was captured and sent north as a prisoner of war.  After his release, he found his wife and children in Louisville, Kentucky and worked in a local tannery until he could earn enough money to return to Georgia.