The Troup Artillery’s “Sallie Craig”
Athens Historian Volume IV (1999)
by William S. Smedlund
While the Troup Artillery was in Camp Lawton in Savannah, June 1861, Lieutenant Pope Barrow wrote a letter to Mary Ann Cobb, wife of Howell Cobb: “You have, I suppose, seen the account of Miss Sallie Craig’s defying a whole regiment of Lincoln’s troops at Bethlehem. It appeared in the Charleston Courier when I saw it. There is some talk of naming our new howitzer for her. The names will then be Olivia, Helen, Frank Hill, and Sallie Craig.”1 The naming of their guns took place in Richmond, Virginia, on July 11.
It was during the Civil War that the beautiful teenaged Sallie Craig became the sobriquet to a cannon of the elite Corps of the Troup Artillery. The pre-war company, organized in 1858 in Athens, Georgia, as the “National Artillery,” had obtained three of its guns prior to the war. On January 2, 1861, the day Clarke County voters elected Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb as one of their delegates to what would be Georgia’s secession convention, the “National Artillery” members appropriately voted to change their name to the “Troup Artillery.” The name was chosen to honor former Georgia Governor George Michael Troup, “the great champion of States’ Rights – the author of the Georgia sentiment, ‘The argument is exhausted, let us stand by our arms.’”2
The naming of guns would become customary in the Confederate artillery. Even when Union guns were captured, they were renamed by their Confederate captors. “Long Tom” and “Long Charlie,” guns captured from Rickett’s Battery at the battle of First Manassas, were mentioned many times in a variety of communications. No doubt the most famous guns of the war were “Matthew,” “Mark,” “Luke” and “John,” thus named by the theological students of “Stonewall” Jackson’s Rockbridge Artillery. Much less well known were the guns of the elite artillery unit from Athens, Georgia.
Connections to the University of Georgia were numerous; thirty- four members of the Troup Artillery were students at the University. Private John O. Waddell was the grandson of the President of Franklin College (the University of Georgia), Moses Waddell (1818-1829). Captain Marcellus Stanley was a tutor at the University. Private Howell Cobb, Jr., was the son of Howell Cobb, former Georgia governor and later major general. Three sons of Joseph Henry Lumpkin, Georgia’s first Chief Justice and brother of another of Georgia’s governors, also served in the Troup Artillery.
Two Barrows, Tom and Pope, were brothers of David Crenshaw Barrow, who became Chancellor of the University soon after the turn of the 20th century, and the only living Georgian to have a county named in his honor. Middleton Pope Barrow (called Pope), who suggested Sallie Craig’s name, was an honor student at the University and boarded in the home of Howell Cobb.
In Richmond, Virginia, the men were divided into two sections, with two detachments per section, one detachment for each gun. The first section, commanded by 1st Lieutenant Henry H. Carlton, had two six-pounder rifled guns; the second section, commanded by 2nd Lieutenant Frank Pope, had two six-pounder smooth bore guns. The new howitzer was apparently traded for another six-pounder rifled gun so they would only have to carry two types of ammunition. Positions were then assigned for each gun.
The guns were named in honor of the patriotic citizens and soldiers of Athens. The smooth bores or howitzers were thought of as being feminine since they were less powerful than the rifled guns; thus, a feminine name was always given to the smooth bore guns.3 The first detachment of the first section, commanded by Lieutenant Carlton, had the rifled gun called the “Frank Hill,” their original Type 1 James Gun, named for their first captain, A.A. Franklin Hill. The name of the second six-pounder rifled gun held by the second detachment of the first section, commanded by 3rd Lieutenant Ed Lumpkin, is not known. In the second section, with the two bronze six-pounder smooth bore guns, the gun of the fourth detachment, commanded by 2nd Lieutenant Frank Pope, was the “Olivia,” one of the two six-pounder guns that came from Athens. The “Olivia” was named for Ann Olivia Newton, sister of Sergeant George Newton of the Troup Artillery. Olivia would marry Lamar Cobb, son of Colonel Howell and Mary Ann Lamar Cobb on July 30, 1861. The third detachment, commanded by 4th Lieutenant Pope Barrow, named their six-pounder gun the “Sallie Craig” in honor of 16-year-old Sarah “Sallie” Church Craig.
Sallie was born September 18, 1844, in Fort Jesup, Louisiana, daughter of Lieutenant Colonel Louis Stevenson Craig and Elizabeth Church Craig, and granddaughter of the Rev. Dr. Alonzo Church, president of the University of Georgia 1839-1859. Sallie’s father was a career soldier and served with many of the men who would become officers in the Confederate Army. He fought in the Mexican War and was decorated several times for gallantry and meritorious service in the battles of Contreras and Churubusco, Mexico. His last promotion was to the rank of brevet Lieutenant Colonel on August 20, 1847, as he continued in the Army after the end of the Mexican War, serving under Lieutenant Colonel John Bankhead Magruder. Colonel Craig was killed by two deserters on June 6, 1852, while escorting a group of Texas citizens living along the Rio Grande from the Mission of San Diego to Camp Yuma. Two years later Fort Craig, New Mexico, was named in his honor.
While Lieutenant Colonel Craig was off at war, Sallie and her mother lived in the home of Dr. Alonzo Church in Athens. In 1858, Sallie joined many other Southern-bred girls as a student at the Moravian Female Seminary in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.4 Every ounce of fiber and every drop of blood in this brave young girl was Southern. When she heard that a regiment would be marching by the school on their way to Washington City, she decided to challenge Lincoln’s regiment against all warnings by her southern compatriots.5Sallie was from a military family and the military did not intimidate her and certainly did not stop her.
It was nearly time for Sallie to make her appearance. The regimental band could be heard above the cheering crowd. She had made a secession flag, which she hid in the folds of her dress, and stood waiting for the regiment to appear. As the troops came in sight, she stepped forward from the crowd, waved her flag, and exclaimed, “Three cheers for Jeff Davis and the Confederate States!” Although nearly half of the student body were southern belles, the immediate crowd became silent, no doubt in shock and expecting some form of reprisal. This was not enough for Sallie Craig. She stepped closer to the troops and, extending her arms, yelled out, “Now, kill me! Now, kill me! But remember that for every drop of my blood that is shed, fifty Southerners will be ready to kill you Yankees!” The teachers had heard enough. They scurried Sallie off to her room and locked her up for her own protection, fearing possible violence or imprisonment; fortunately no attempt was made.6
Sallie immediately wrote her grandfather in Athens to have someone come to take her home. As soon as she packed her trunk, she took the train to her mother’s home in Chicago. Sallie’s widowed mother had married James Robb of New York in 1860 and shortly after moved to Chicago. Mrs. Robb’s obituary described her as a “soldier’s friend,” administering to the sick and wounded Confederate prisoners at Camp Douglas near Chicago in 1862. In addition, she acted as nurse at other Confederate prisons: Rock Island, Point Lookout, Fort Warren, and on board the steamship Vermont.7
While Sallie waited in Chicago, help was on the way. A family friend, Mr. Edward Reginald Hodgson, Sr., decided his 17-year-old daughter Elizabeth Preston Hodgson (called “Lizzie”), should come home from the school she was attending in Illinois. Lizzie had attended school with Sallie before their leaving Athens for finishing school. The thrilling story of their journey homeward was detailed years later by Lizzie and published anonymously.8
Upon his arrival to retrieve Lizzie and her belongings, Mr. Hodgson was warned to leave immediately or he would be suspected of being a spy. Thus he and Lizzie took the midnight train and arrived in Chicago the next morning to collect Sallie. At the railroad station, the baggage men were overheard to say that the girls’ trunks were unduly heavy, that they must have guns in them. The group was allowed to pass through, but later the owners of the heavy trunks were called to have them inspected. The girls’ trunks held no contraband, were slammed shut and the sides marked prominently with chalk. These chalk marks allowed them to pass without further inspection.9
Upon their arrival in Louisville, Kentucky, it was necessary to change trains for home. The delay of a day gave the three travelers time to visit a hotel where General Robert Anderson greeted them courteously. He was the same Major Anderson who had surrendered Fort Sumter to the Confederates on April 13, 1861, and now commanded the Department of Kentucky for the Union Army. General Anderson had been a fellow officer with Sallie’s father in the U.S. Army, and upon learning that Sallie was Lieutenant Colonel Craig’s daughter, conversed freely with her about the time he served with her father. The conversation changed, however, when Sallie asked for assistance in getting through the lines; General Anderson said that he was unable to give them a pass, that even the Governor of Kentucky could not get through the lines without being searched, but that they should not fear any mistreatment. He recommended that they board the next train south.
As they waited in the passenger car for the train to pull away from the station, they recognized another Athenian coming through the car. Mr. R.L. Bloomfield, a textile manufacturer in Athens, approached them carrying an unusually large umbrella. When he sat beside them, he turned the umbrella over and shook it, spilling its contents: a package fell out for each of them. He then asked them to pay him no attention and walked away. After the train pulled away, the girls opened the packages and found that they were now smuggling priceless surgeon’s silk for sewing up incisions and wounds.
Near midnight, the train came to a stop where the Dixie train was waiting to accept passengers from the Louisville connection. It was pitch dark with only the conductor’s lantern to see to get off one train and onto the other. Shadowy figures of northern and southern guards moved silently back and forth, in and out of the darkness, watching for any suspicious moves by the passengers, when one of the girls dropped a package of the surgeon’s silk. Near panic seized the three travelers.
One of the southern guards saw the package fall, grabbed it almost as soon as it hit the ground, and stuffed it into his pocket. All finished boarding the train and it pulled away slowly into the darkness.
Soon after the Dixie train steamed safely into southern-held territory, the women on the train began pulling various hidden contraband items from their clothing. Surgical instruments, morphine, quinine, bandages and lint all had been smuggled by southern patriots visiting the North. All of the articles were turned over to someone assigned to gather them so that they could be delivered to southern hospitals.
There was an aggravating delay of one day in Atlanta waiting for the train to take them eastward toward home. The train finally reached the Athens depot where friends and family received the plucky travelers and heard their thrilling stories.
Sallie Craig lived with her grandfather, the Rev. Dr. Alonzo Church, until he died on May 18, 1862. She then decided to rejoin her mother in Chicago, where she possibly worked as an assistant nurse with her mother at Camp Douglas, the prison camp named for Stephen Douglas, whose funeral Sallie had attended.
After the war was over, the former Lieutenant Middleton Pope Barrow, the same gentleman who had suggested that one of the Troup Artillery guns be named in her honor, asked the beautiful and spunky Sallie Craig to become his wife. They were married March 5, 1867, in Athens. Sallie’s mother died the next year in New York City from a disease contracted while nursing Confederate prisoners.
Sallie died at age 37 on December 28, 1881, and was buried in the same lot as her grandfather on the West Hill of the historic Oconee Hill Cemetery in Athens. Also in the same lot are buried her mother, Elizabeth Church Craig Robb, and two of Sallie and Pope’s children: David Crenshaw Barrow and Elizabeth Church Barrow. A third child, James Barrow and his wife, are buried in a lot on River Road, along with two children of Pope and his second wife Cornelia Davenport Barrow.
Pope Barrow became a Trustee of the University of Georgia in 1872 and 1884, and was elected to the Georgia Legislature in 1880. In 1882 he was sent to the United States Senate by the Georgia Legislature. At the time of his death, Pope Barrow was Judge of the Superior Court, Eastern Judicial Circuit and lived in Savannah.
Descendants of Pope and Sallie Craig Barrow still call Athens home; one of the most notable was AHS charter member Judge James Barrow, who died May 30, 2000. He was the son of Pope and Sallie’s son James, who married his first cousin, Clara Elizabeth Barrow, daughter of Pope’s brother Thomas Augustine and Jennie Turner Barrow. A World War II veteran, Judge Barrow taught law at his alma mater UGA as well as serving as the Superior Court Judge for the Western Judicial Circuit from 1963 until he retired in 1990.
Photos of Sallie Craig Barrow and Middleton Pope Barrow are used with permission of the Hargrett Library, UGA. The photo of Lt. Col. Louis Stevenson Craig is used by permission of the owner, Craig Barrow III.
Bill Smedlund is actively researching the Troup Artillery to compile a history of the company. He would welcome letters, diaries and photos of the 289 men who saw combat throughout the Civil War, from their arrival in Richmond in July 1861 to the Siege of Petersburg in April 1865. Contact him at Bsmedlund@aol.com or at home, 101 Barrington Ridge Court, Sharpsburg,GA 30277.
1 University of Georgia Hargrett Library, Special Collections, Ms. 1376, Howell Cobb Papers, June 19, 1861, letter of Pope Barrow to Mrs. Cobb.
2 Southern Banner, an Athens newspaper, January 16, 1861, 2:7.
3 Dillard, Lucy Virginia, A.B. in Education, University of Georgia, 1935. James Fielding Dillard, Confederate Soldier. A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements for Master of Arts degree, 1940.
4 Information provided by Albert Frank, archivist at the Moravian Archives, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
5 Southern Banner newspaper, June 19, 1861, 2:7.
6 Southern Banner newspaper June 19, 1861, 2:7.
7 The Southern Watchman newspaper, February 12, 1868, 3:4.
8 Reminiscences of Confederate Soldiers, Collection of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Georgia Division, Vol. XI, pp. 87-88, “How Two Athens Girls Came Through the Lines in 1861,” Anonymous. [It was written by Elizabeth Preston Hodgson.]