Industry and Discord in Confederate Athens
Athens Historian Volume V (2000)
by Michael Gagnon
The myth of the “Lost Cause” refuses to die. At its center is the falsehood that Southerners unanimously stood shoulder to shoulder in defense of the Confederate nation against the onslaught of Yankee aggression. This myth ignores that one third of the South’s population remained enslaved during the Confederate period; it ignores that most blacks anticipated with joy the emancipation they knew would follow the Union Army; and it ignores that large numbers of freedmen joined the Union Army to fight valiantly in its cause. But even if one could find a reason to discount the activities of black Southerners, white Southerners also divided over the Confederate cause. The State of Texas executed over two hundred peace activists in Galveston early in the war. Pro-Union insurgents in Alabama and Kentucky supplied formal units to the Union Army. Real civil war, the killing of neighbor by neighbor over political differences, played a role in the battles for control over Missouri, northwestern Arkansas, northern Alabama, eastern Tennessee, and western North Carolina. Near the end of the war, deserters and their relatives in North Carolina made up a large portion of the peace movement in that state.
The lack of unity over the war effort was not a strictly Southern problem. That Lincoln suspended civil liberties in Ohio to put down peace efforts of “copperhead” U.S. congressmen, and that he declared marshal law in Maryland to prevent that state’s politicians from declaring for the Confederacy, is well documented. Nor can one ignore the race riots as New York City’s Irish population opposed drafting Irish immigrants into the Union Army to help emancipate Southern blacks. Both North and South instituted conscription because they could not raise sufficient forces to fight the war with only volunteers. William Grady had to leave Athens and seek volunteers in his native North Carolina to fill out the quota needed to form Clarke County’s fifth volunteer company. And both sides allowed the wealthy to purchase replacement troops for themselves when they chose not to participate in the war. Neither North nor South was fully united in the cause of the war.
War causes disharmony because the burdens of warfare are never shared equally, and Athens is a useful window for examining those that could arise in Southern industrial towns. This study does not uphold Athens, nor any particular citizen of Athens, as unpatriotic. Far from it, people did what they believed they had to do, and they usually exceeded their own and their society’s expectations. Rather, this study shows that the vast differences in resources in an industrial town like Athens created differing experiences of the war between those with resources and those without. And it will show that those who led the homefront emerged with the resources to direct the town’s economy after the defeat of the Confederacy.
By 1860, Athens already had long experience with the industrial revolution. Entrepreneurs constructed three textile mills in Athens in the 1830s – the Georgia Factory, the Athens Factory and the Princeton Factory – and aided with constructing mills in neighboring counties – Scull Shoals Factory and High Shoals Factory – soon afterwards. By 1840, Clarke County led the state in manufacturing textiles, and even though larger towns soon superceded Athens during the mill building boom of the late 1840s, the seat of the University of Georgia remained among the top textile towns in Georgia. In 1860, Athens was the fourth largest textile center in Georgia, ranking after Augusta, Columbus and Macon. Additionally, when the textile industry expanded, Athens built a foundry and a bobbin mill to support the industry throughout northern Georgia, making it a regional industrial hub. Further, by 1860, Athens’ well-trained workforce included homegrown factory superintendents.
With the coming of the Civil War, industrial facilities proved essential for the war effort and allowed the Confederacy to fight a truly modern war for four years against the industrial behemoth of the North. Indeed, for the factory companies in Athens, war production proved remunerative. Throughout the Civil War, Athens’ three cotton factories operated as fully as their access to raw materials allowed. Likewise, the bobbin mill and the foundry found constant employment in supplying the factories. Finally, the area’s distance from the battlefront attracted one new war industry, a gun manufacturer. 1
The armory of Cook & Brother relocated from New Orleans to Athens in 1863. Brothers Ferdinand W.C. Cook and Francis L. Cook learned gun manufacture at the Enfield factory in England in the 1850s, and then settled in New Orleans. Evacuating New Orleans just one day prior to its capture by federal troops in 1862, the brothers temporarily moved the remnants of their establishment to Selma, Alabama, the national foundry of the Confederacy, and soon after moved to Athens.2 In July 1862, Cook & Brother contracted to manufacture 30,000 Enfield style rifles in their Athens armory and deliver them to the Confederate army between January 1863 and June 1864, at the price of $50 for a rifle with a bayonet or $43 without the blade. In August 1862, the brothers purchased a sixty-three acre water power site on Trail Creek just across the river from the town of Athens, about a half mile above the Athens Factory. By November of that year, the construction of their two- story factory was far enough along that the firm obtained insurance, and by March 1863 the armory began a monthly production of approximately 600 weapons – infantry rifles, artillery rifles, and musketoons – with a total wartime production of approximately 4,000 weapons, well short of the promised 30,000 guns. In July 1863, the Confederate government required an inventory of the new armory to secure government guarantees of a $150,000 private mortgage. The inventory estimated the value of the land, buildings, machinery, and stock of goods at slightly more than $600,000 in Confederate money. However, because the Confederate government was slow to pay its bills, Cook and Brother had to promise to pay its creditors upon receipt of payment from the national government. Weapons production continued until the following July when payment from the government ground to a complete halt, and a portion of the workers went to fight as state defense forces around Savannah.
The armory resumed operations in January 1865, about the same time the Confederate Ordinance Bureau considered purchasing and consolidating Cook & Brothers with equipment taken from a less efficient armory. Government inspectors valued the Athens armory at over one million Confederate dollars in March 1865, but the war ended before the government could consummate the deal.3 Clearly the firm prospered in Athens despite the failure of the Confederate government to pay for its goods in a timely manner, but the armory was in good company in its prosperity.
Supplying war materiel to the Confederacy also enlivened the prospects of the textile industry in Athens. The cotton mills went into full production manufacturing thread and cloth for the Confederate national government and for the defense forces of the state of Georgia. The Athens Factory spun cotton yarn, sewing thread, and knitting cotton; it also wove flannel for underwear and made wool jeans for uniforms and cotton duck for tenting. In 1864, the Athens Factory also dyed fabric that would later be sewn into pants and coats for uniforms, and it sold the army an occasional cotton rope for use in a hospital as well.
Textile sales to the Confederate government proved extremely remunerative. The Confederate War Department purchased goods valued at $181,171.38 from the Athens Factory in 1863, and at least $351,904.93 worth of textiles in the first seven months of 1864. Similarly, the Princeton Factory sold the Confederate quartermasters not less than $109,080 worth of osnaburg between January 1863 and April 1864. The Confederate Army bought at least $133,440.17 of osnaburg from John White’s Georgia Factory, mainly between August 1863 and April 1864.
The receipts of Clarke County’s three cotton factories reflect the extreme inflation that beset the Confederacy, making estimates of total production or war profits problematic. The price of osnaburg serves as a good example of the problem. In March 1862, this rough cloth retailed in Athens for eighteen cents per yard. In 1863, the War Department paid forty cents per yard for Athens-produced osnaburg, and by 1864, the War Department paid $1.25 per yard for the same item.4 For textiles, this increase came from several sources. First, the Confederate government avoided direct taxation by resorting to fiat currency, printing whatever money it needed to pay its bills when the sale of war bonds failed to equal its debts. Secondly, and more directly tied to manufactures, government contracts essentially drafted the productive capacity of the factories for the duration of the war. Thus increased demand by the government drove up prices while the accompanying decrease in the supply of textiles to civilians drove market prices up even further. The factories increased their production, by extending hours of operation for all Athens’ factories. However, such changes entailed increased costs, both because night production required lighting and because the local insurance company altered the factories’ premiums to reflect the added risk of this night work.5 Nonetheless, production of textiles to fulfill either state or national contracts required that Athens’ factories operate at full capacity for most of the war.
While gross receipts do not necessarily demonstrate profitability, dividends may better attest to the accumulated earnings on wartime industrial investment. The Athens Factory serves as a prime example of the profitable war plant. In September, 1860, before the war began, the Athens Factory declared 6 percent returns on capital stock in its first dividend since rebuilding after the fire of 1857. Thereafter, with the start of the war, the factory issued dividends of not less than 25 percent every six months while expanding its facilities at the same time. On May 3, 1862, the company declared 25 percent dividends; on October 4, 1862, the company declared another 25 percent dividend and granted its agent the authority to build an addition, to expand the dye facility and to purchase new steam boilers. On February 19, 1863, the Athens Factory declared yet another 25 percent dividend, bringing the annual dividend rate to a 75 percent return on investment. Thereafter, one can see some of the effects of inflation. On October 3, 1863, the Athens Factory increased its semi-annual dividend declaration to 50 percent, and then upped it again to 100 percent on January 11, 1864, and October 1, 1864. The last of the official war dividends returned 250 percent on February 4, 1865.6 One can assume that Athens’ other factories experienced similar returns for their production efforts from the national government on the basis of similar expansion. For example, the High Shoals Factory, at the western edge of Clarke County, doubled its capital stock from $50,000 to $100,000 as it reincorporated itself in January 1863, probably by reinvesting some of its wartime profits. Likewise, the Princeton Factory reincorporated itself in the summer of 1863, increasing its capital stock from $45,000 to $93,500.7
Yet despite issuing a constant stream of dividends and reinvesting what remained in the company coffers, the factories also sought other methods of preventing inflation from undercutting the investments of their stockholders. Key here was the companies’ efforts to avoid the national currency. Instead, the factories disbursed their dividends in kind, rather than in cash. That is, they paid with manufactured goods which retained an intrinsic worth that would consistently increase its exchange value as supply grew shorter. However, the amount of manufactured goods available to investors was regulated by the amount of stock they owned. When a relative asked A. P. Dearing to intercede on his behalf to procure manufactured goods, the former Princeton Factory agent responded that he could not comply at that time because each stockholder is only entitled pro rata to his stock & my quota has been exhausted for some time. When a new pro rate dividend can be made, I will save some for you.8
Thus the factory provided goods to its stockholders which they could either use themselves or sell to whomever they chose at whatever price current market conditions commanded.
In-kind distributions also provided a hedge against the potential worthlessness of Confederate money, should the South lose the war. Factory stockholders worried about securing their personal investments and routinely demanded distributions so they could determine their own course of action. Thus, in June 1863, the Athens Factory board directed the factory agent to sell the company’s slaves, collect all debts owed the company, and divide all available cash among the stockholders.9 Transferring large amounts of capital to the stockholders gave the investors the opportunity to convert their investment returns into more tangible property, such as real estate or specie. By March 1864, the Athens Factory demonstrated continued concern about the convertibility of Confederate currency when it required stockholders to retrieve their cash dividends. The company could no longer deposit unretrieved dividends, since all the local banks had been converted into a depository for the Confederate Treasury Department, nor would interest be paid on the funds left in its hands.10The lack of confidence in Confederate currency seemed widespread by 1864; at least one Athens artisan advertised his services with a preference for payment in corn over payment in cash. Of course, artisans did not have the same level of profits to distribute. When it became apparent the war was about to end, Athens Factory stockholders met in emergency session to divide their profits in such a way that would not be affected by the change from Confederate to U.S. currency. Without declaring an exact percentage, the company divided the goods on hand at the rate of $1.50 per yard of shirting and $20 per bunch of yarn.11
Desiring to exert some control over their financial futures, Southern investors sought means to secure their personal fortunes without solely relying upon winning this war for Southern Independence. Industrialists in Athens supported the war effort by routinely investing in Confederate bonds and by making donations to support local military units. But they still hedged their bets, which in their eyes seemed wise rather than unpatriotic.12 The advice given by one prominent Athens merchant to his son regarding the investment potential of Confederate war bonds points to the loss of control one would experience if you did not find alternative methods to secure your fortune. Pleasant Stovall explained that bonds or any other investment that promoted the winning of the war would prove both lucrative and safe, if the South would win the war. However, he anticipated that if the Confederacy lost, all Southern property would be confiscated as the penalty for treason.13 The industrialists, caught on the horns of this dilemma, sought and found another option that gave them a say in their own futures: both the Athens Factory and the Georgia Factory diverted a portion of their funds to foreign currencies. The Athens Factory purchased British currency with its extra cash. Irish immigrant John White simply deposited some of the proceeds of his Georgia Factory in Irish banks, and then personally retrieved the funds at war’s end. Thus, both factories possessed capital to insure their firms’ survival and the stockholders’ investments regardless of the outcome of the war.14 They fully considered themselves patriots, but patriotism precluded neither profitability nor financial security.
War production by Athens’ textile mills required expansion by the town’s other industrial concerns. By the beginning of 1862, the Athens Foundry began producing looms which it claimed were “fully equal to Northern looms.” The foundry installed some of these looms in the Athens Factory, while others went to factories outside of Athens. Meanwhile, the bobbin mill also kept busy. Throughout the early 1860s, its owner constantly advertised for the dogwood poles he needed to manufacture bobbins.15
War production also affected the labor supply. General operative labor was not difficult to obtain since the mills primarily utilized women and girls, and boys under the age of conscription. Retaining adult white males probably proved more difficult. For instance, when advertising for a clerk for his factory in early 1864, John White required “a man not subject to military duty.” Even though the Confederate government originally exempted factory workers involved in war production from conscription, the terms of the exemption required manufacturers to limit their “profits” to 75 percent in order for their male workers to qualify. How one determined what constituted a profit in the face of hyperinflation was never explained, but none of the Athens factories was ever prosecuted under this act. Later, when the Confederate government repealed the exemption of factory workers, several factories in Athens organized their own militia groups as local or state defense forces in order to prevent the conscription of their workers. Although Governor Joe Brown eventually ordered some of these units into action, they never left the state and rarely withdrew from the immediate vicinity.16 Thus factory work provided a means of legal draft evasion for those uninterested in fighting the war.
Members of the social elite also found the factories a conduit for evading wartime service at the front lines. In their cases, they “served” in official capacities at various levels of government. Some filled regular elective offices. For instance, Howell C. Flournoy, a lifelong Unionist, served on the town council throughout the war and was later appointed local Freedmen’s Bureau agent as a reward for his political leanings. Others of Athens’ elite filled appointive offices as local agents for the Confederate national government. For example, John W. Nicholson (Henry Grady’s uncle) specifically explained in his post-war amnesty application that he had sought just such an appointment in 1863 “in order to avoid conscription and active services in the army…”17 While not all the elite desired to miss the war, only the few with factory connections or a factory background would have possessed the proper credentials to obtain such exemptions. Nicholson had worked his way into the elite with his retail and factory investments in the 1850s. But he was not alone. For example, Enoch Steadman, who formerly operated a factory in Gwinnett County, served as a salt agent in Athens for the Confederate government. Steadman later was elected as a Redeemer state senator from Newton County during Reconstruction. Similarly, John Webb worked as a civilian employee of the Confederate Quartermaster Corps at the gunpowder plant in Augusta, after General Sherman destroyed his factory in Newton County.18 Class differentiation could be seen in other ways besides in avoiding conscription.
The scarcity of consumables elevated the importance of the cotton factories to all segments of the community. The priority of government contracts for supplying the Confederate war machine limited the supply of thread and cloth. With imported high-quality goods no longer available, even the upper crust of Southern society began to seek local textile productions. The family of Howell Cobb, now a general in Georgia’s defense forces, obtained thread and cloth from John White’s Georgia Factory at a time when inadequate supplies of raw materials forced White to cease sales to most private citizens. White only sold his wares to Mary Ann Cobb because of the General’s importance in the community. Upon making the sale, however, the factory owner instructed Mrs. Cobb, that “your friends must not think because he let you have it that he must furnish them also.”19 The elite shared somewhat in the deprivation suffered by more common folk.
Shortages of consumer goods drove up prices sharply, increasing the cost of living for all consumers, but affecting the poor and less- connected most severely. Toward the end of 1862, Athens experienced “thread riots” as the town’s poor clamored to be first in line during the single hour each week when the Athens Factory sold a limited amount of thread at reduced prices as a form of charity. The newspaper reported that so many people sought to purchase the scarce but necessary textile commodities “that many females fainted, and … the scene was occasionally enlivened by rough and tumble fights.”20 The shortages continued, and by mid-1863, the factories turned to an exchange economy, bartering manufactured goods for raw materials. Henceforth they supplied local consumers of all classes only after obtaining raw materials with which they would fulfill their government contracts. The factories’ agents advertised they would sell all goods after supplying our government contract and purchasing such articles as we are obliged to have, and can only be had by the exchange of our productions. We are now exchanging for wool, and so soon as we get our supply, we will then give our customers the full benefit of our productions.21
Thus those with access to an item necessary for production could gain advantage over everyone else. Here the upcountry sheep herder, or the merchant who purchased and transported the wool, would have priority for purchasing textiles from the local factories. Advertisements thereafter always explained what items the factory wanted in exchange for its yarn and cloth.22 The result, however, was that most citizens of northern Georgia came to resent the lack of access to goods manufactured in their vicinity.
In light of these shortages, community opinion generally perceived wartime industrial profits as excessive. In the early days of the war, newspaper editorials warned the Southern industrialists that profiteering would merit legal and popular retribution. Following the rapid inflation of textile prices, in March 1862, the Grand Jury of neighboring Greene County indicted the owners of the Curtright Factory and Scull Shoals Factory for “extortion,” which was the current term for profiteering.23
Despite the county prosecutor’s decision not to prosecute the cases, such anti-industrialist attitudes persisted throughout the textile region of Georgia. In October 1862, while discussing exemptions to conscription, an Athens editor expressed his contempt for industrial profiteers who might claim draft exemptions, calling them “blood- suckers” who would not avert the “hell-fire and brimstone,” of their ultimate accountability.24 Another writer, late in 1862, expressed his concern that Georgians were waging a “rich man’s war and poor man’s fight,” when he took local industrialists to task for failing to contribute to the war effort according to their means. This writer claimed
The … poor and indigent men of our country … are baring their bosoms to the enemy, while their destitute families are at home barely sustaining life, deprived of nearly every necessary, much less luxuries. [Yet] Here’s a man reputed to be worth $50,000, who has not yet, by taxation or otherwise given $500, the one-hundredth part of his means! While next to him is a poor man, worth hardly $500, who gives not only himself, but leaves his family behind upon the charities of a heartless world. … A day of fearful reckoning is coming, and woe to those men who are skinning and starving the wives and children of our brave volunteers! The accounts will be settled!25
Nor was this view simply a result of the concentration of factories in Athens. By the end of 1862, the Georgia legislature considered expropriating all the state’s factories to prevent profiteering.26 While much of this reaction merely extended the anti-corporate rhetoric specifically directed at manufacturing concerns during the mill building boom of the 1840s, Athens’ industrialists responded by waging a public relations battle to prove the depth of their patriotism despite the size of their hard-earned profits.
One tactic to engender a positive public opinion for one’s factory was to shift the blame for high prices to someone else. For the remainder of the war, the factories around Athens, often in concert with other factories in the state, tried to regulate the price of their output intended for private sale. In the same month that Greene County indicted its manufacturers, three Athens-area factories – the Georgia Factory, the Athens Factory, and the High Shoals Factory – jointly advertised a suggested retail schedule for the goods they manufactured. The three also advised the community they would not sell to “speculators” who failed to adopt their retail schedule. Additionally, they vowed to sell their goods to military families at wholesale. A week later Princeton Factory agent Moses McWhorter published his rates, which generally coincided with the other factories, and he asked the public to understand that the extreme shortage of raw materials had affected the pricing structure of the entire industry.27 Apparently, however, the manufacturers did not maintain those schedules and prices rose quickly. Thus by October 1862, thread retailed for $5.00 per bunch. As an act of philanthropy, for one week, the Athens Factory offered its yarn for sale at $3.00 per bunch, for one hour per day on a first-come first-serve basis. This “charity” resulted in the thread riots that the town’s elite considered either “ludicrous” or “sad.” In the same month, John White sold his thread to soldiers’ wives in adjoining counties for $2.50 per bunch, and the local press lionized him for providing such essentials to the needy. One newspaper notice of White’s philanthropy was written specifically “to place the good example before [Athens’] other two factories, that they seeing his good works, might follow in his footsteps. …” In January 1864, the Athens Factory sold cotton flannel, sufficient quantity for making two undershirts, to families or friends of members of all of Athens’ volunteer companies at the front, at the greatly reduced rate of one dollar per yard.28 By April 1864, the Athens Factory’s announcement that “all persons living in the town of Athens” could purchase one-half a bunch of yarn or seven and a half yards of cloth, indicates that mere resumption of sale of cotton goods to the general public could be considered charity, particularly since the sale excluded the rest of the countryside.
Direct charity proved yet another tactic for the textile industry to distance itself from accusations of profiteering. In the same month that indictments were raised against the Greene County manufacturers for profiteering, the factory companies of Athens began investing in charity. At various times, the factories donated material needed to make tents or uniforms to the volunteer military units recruited from the area.29 By May 1863, manufacturers sought a joint effort to convince the state’s citizenry of their philanthropic and patriotic aims. A convention of five of Georgia’s yarn manufacturers – the Georgia Factory, High Shoals Factory, Troup Factory, Gwinnett Factory, and Aguadon Factory (in Newton County) met in Atlanta and proposed donating one-eighth of their weekly production to the state’s Quartermaster for distribution to the destitute of every county in Georgia. A month later, the Athens Factory took action without waiting for compliance from the state, and presented one bunch of thread to each military family who received pay at Athens.30
Charity by the factories should be kept in perspective, however.
Investors in factories had always claimed their enterprises were civic entities, and were driven by community interest as much as by profits. Factories, they claimed, acted as agents for the generosity of the local elites in disbursing relief to the deserving poor. State officials expressed similar attitudes. The State Quartermaster, General Ira Foster, suggested the very existence of cotton factories in Southern towns constituted a resource that kept greater deprivation at bay when he commented, “that without the aid of factories, thread cannot be obtained, and the destitute poor cannot be clad…”31 By 1864, direct donation to the needy by the factories came to an end and their only charity remained the occasional sale of textiles to deserving townspeople. Instead, state government undertook to care for Georgia’s war weary under an act which directed cash payments to indigent families of soldiers. In Clarke County, local government officials paid such families between five and twenty dollars, depending on the number of dependents. But this charity had strings attached. At the same time the county distributed cash to the poor, it also took a census of military age males not yet attached to any unit, to determine which families deserved philanthropy and which shirked their patriotic duties.32
At the immediate conclusion of the war, many in Athens feared the economic consequences of reunification. To minimize holding Confederate currency, starting in March 1865 the officers of the Southern Mutual Insurance Company voted themselves a raise and specified that all claims be paid in Confederate money. A month later, when news of Lee’s surrender and Lincoln’s assassination reached Athens, the insurance company suspended business and ordered its agents neither to issue nor renew any policies, due to the “uncertain condition of the currency.” At the beginning of June, Southern Mutual’s directors officially declared its Confederate securities and cash a loss, and ordered “that business be generally resumed, upon the basis of the legal currency of the United States.” Despite the doubts regarding the currency, the Athens Factory continued its production and, in August 1865, offered “gold, yarn and cloth” in exchange for cotton. While the exchange value of each these four items undoubtedly differed, they appeared to be the only things considered worthy of exchange in lieu of availability of U.S. currency in immediate post-war Athens.33 So successful were members of the textile industry in surviving the dramatic transition from one currency to another that one observer in Athens paraphrased the beatitudes in writing,
Blessed is he who is a cotton holder or a factory stockholder. Want does not seem to tarry at their thresholds.34
Clearly factory goods and raw cotton were sources of value independent of the state of the currency, and thus gave industrialists an edge in determining the process of economic reconstruction in Georgia.
Michael Gagnon was reared in Hall County, Georgia and earned a bachelor’s degree in international politics from Georgetown University, and a master’s degree and a doctorate in American history from Emory University. An economic historian, he is currently teaching at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ, and continues his research on Athens as an early center for in Wayne, NJ, and continues his research on Athens as an early center for Southern industrialization.
1 Southern Watchman, February 31, 1862, p. 3, “Wanted”; Southern Banner, January 7, 1863, p. 1, “Wanted”; and March 30, 1864, p. 3, “Dogwood Poles Wanted.”
2 Melton, Maurice, Major Military Industries of the Confederate Government (Atlanta: Emory University dissertation, 1978), especially Chapter 3, 131-294.
3 Coleman, Kenneth, Confederate Athens (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1967), 97-99. Athens Banner, December 24, 1962, “Athens begins vital role in Confederacy,” (clipping by R. N. Fickett III, located in University of Georgia, Hargrett Library of Rare Books and Manuscripts, Vertical Files, “Athens Civil War Centennial Commission” folder); and Athens Banner-Herald & Daily News, January 5, 1969, p. 8-D, “How Athens Went to War,” (Bob Tritt, Jr., clipping located in Hargrett Library Vertical Files, “Athens: Confederate Armory” folder.) Brockman, Charles J., Jr., “The Confederate Armory of Cook & Brother,” Gun Digest (14th ed) 1960, 74 – 75; Brockman, Charles J., Jr. “A Rebel Secret Weapon,” The American Rifleman, August, 1956. Brockman, Charles J. , Jr., (ed.) “Obituary of Major F. W. C. Cook,” Georgia Historical Quarterly 37 (December, 1953), 351-354. Brockman, Charles J., Jr., “The Confederate Armory of Cook & Brother,” Papers of the Athens Historical Society, Volume 2 (Athens, GA: Athens Historical Society, 1979), 85. For inventory of the armory, see Clarke County Court House, Athens, Georgia, Office of the Superior Court Clerk, Mortgage Book “R”, 198-218 . For deeds, see Clarke County Court House, Athens, Georgia, Office of the Superior Court Clerk, Real Estate Office, Deed Book “W”, p. 387, deed of Athens Manufacturing Company to Cook & Brother, dated December 3, 1862; Deed Book “X”, p. 244-247 for deed of Hodgson & Brother to Ferdinand W. C. Cook, dated August 14, 1862; for deed of Athens Manufacturing Company to Cook & Brother, dated December 3, 1862; for deed of F. W. Lucas to Cook & Brother, dated January 2, 1863; and for deed of Stevens Thomas to Cook & Brother, dated October 3, 1863. Original of Deed of Hodgson & Brother to Ferdinand W. C. Cook can also be found in University of Georgia, Hargrett Library of Rare Books and Manuscripts, Chicopee Manufacturing Company, Box 11, “Papers 1862” folder. Southern Mutual Insurance Company, Athens, Georgia, Board of Directors Minute Book, Volume 1, entries for November 21, 1862, and March 26, 1863. National Archives, “Letters Received by the Confederate Secretary of War 1861-1865,” microfilm series m437, roll 85, frames 438-509. Southern Banner, March 27, 1863, p. 3, “Athens Guns”; March 30, 1864, p. 3, “Confederate States Armory”; and January 18, 1864, p. 4, “Notice to all Concerned.”
4 Southern Banner, March 26, 1862, p. 3, “Princeton Factory.” The war production of the cotton factories of Georgia can be found in the National Archives, Record Group 109, entry 180, “Firms that Did Business with the Confederate Government” (commonly known as the “Citizen Files”), microfilm series m346, roll 27 for the Athens Factory, roll 823 for Princeton Factory, and roll 344 for Georgia Factory. When looking for a specific factory it helps to know all the possible variations of the company’s name as well as the names of its superintendent or agent. A letter dated January 22, 1862, addressed to Maj. J. K. Ferguson in Richmond, VA, found in the Athens Factory documents on roll 27 explains that the Athens Factory was then producing goods for the “Georgia companies” on the coast, meaning the state defense forces guarding the coast against seaborne invasion. I organized and tallied pay vouchers to determine the gross receipts of manufactured goods sold to the Confederate government.
5 For change in premium due to running the Athens Factory and the Princeton Factory at night, see Southern Mutual Directors Minutes, September 27, 1861. Athens was not the only locale gearing up for war production, of course. For premium change for factories in Columbus operating at night during the Civil War, see Southern Mutual Directors Minutes, August 16, 1861.
6 Chicopee Manufacturing Company, Athens Factory Minutes (henceforth known as Chicopee Minute Books), Vol. 2, September 29, 1860; May 3, 1862; October 4, 1862; February 19, 1863; June 6, 1863; October 3, 1863; January 11, 1864; October 1, 1864; February 4, 1865; June 10, 1865; and October 2, 1865.
7 Southern Watchman, January 28, 1863, p. 3, “Increase of Stock”; July 15, 1863, p. 3, “List of Stockholders.”
8 Duke University, Perkins Library Special Collections, John J. Dearing (Covington GA) Papers, 1864-1899, Letter of A. P. Dearing to John J. Dearing, dated April 12, 1864.
9 Chicopee Minute Books, Vol. 2, June 4, 1863. Southern Watchman, June 3, 1863, p. 2, “Cotton Mill Stock”; January 20, 1864, p. 3, “George Memno.” Linton, Lucy, “Random Recollections or Leaves from the Linton Branch of the Hull Family Tree by the Last Leaf,” in Papers of the Athens Historical Society, Vol. 1 (1964), 55.
10 Southern Banner, March 16, 1864, p. 3, “Notice.”
11 Chicopee Minute Books, Vol. 2, June 10, 1865.
12 DeCredico, Mary, Patriotism for Profit: Georgia’s Urban Entrepreneurs and the Confederate War Effort (Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 1990). For discussions of purchases or exchanges of Confederate bonds, see Southern Mutual Directors Minutes, June 21, 1861; August 23, 1861; and December 6, 1861. Southern Mutual did not appear to consider these bonds standard investments (which would have only required action by the Treasurer, without going to the whole board), but was instead a patriotic duty, and a doubtful investment. See also, National Archives, Record Group 365, “Confederate Treasury Department, Field Offices” – Entry 135, Athens, Georgia, Incomplete Name Index to (Box 14) Entry 136 – Athens Bonds issued. Practically every industrialist in northern Georgia shows up on one of the lists in this index. Henry Hull, Jr. was the agent responsible for sales of bonds in Athens. Unfortunately, the National Archives misplaced the actual bond receipts (which was Box 14, Entry 136), so I was unable to determine the dollar amount invested.
13 University of Georgia, Hargrett Library of Rare Books and Manuscripts, Ms 1103, Pleasant Stovall Letter, “Athens August 21, 1862 … Now as to their [Confederate bonds] being ultimately paid, there is little doubt, if our independence is acknowledged or established – if not, they will be as good as any other property, as all Southern property will be confiscated. …”
14 Chicopee Minute Books, Vol. 2, February 4, 1865. Historical Review of the National Bank of Athens from its founding to its Semi-Centennial Anniversary (Athens, 1916), 9, 16-17. There is no indication that the Princeton Factory followed this strategy, and it tended to suffer after the war with absentee owners who left it insufficiently capitalized to operate efficiently. All the principals of the three factories invested in Confederate bonds; they just wanted a safe investment in case their patriotism failed to pay a return.
15 Southern Watchman, January 7, 1862, p. 3, “Wanted”; and December 31, 1862, p. 3, “Wanted.” Southern Banner, March 30, 1864, p. 3, “Dogwood Poles Wanted”.
16 Southern Banner, October 15, 1862, p. 2, “The Military Exemption Act”; and October 12, 1864, p. 3, “Wanted.” Coleman, Confederate Athens, 99 and 169. Stegeman, John F. These Men She Gave; Civil War Diary of Athens, Georgia (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1964), p. 108. Hull, Augustus Longstreet, Annals of Athens, Georgia 1801 – 1901 (Athens: Banner Job Office, 1906) noted the efforts of Moses Meyers to avoid the draft and that the factories hired more operatives than necessary.
17 National Archives, Petitions for Presidential Amnesty, microfilm m1003, roll 21, frames 1223-1231, but particularly p. 2 of John Nicholson’s August 14, 1865, sworn statement. Admittedly one should not necessarily take Nicholson’s statement at face value, since he was applying for amnesty on two counts: possessing wealth in excess of $20,000, and acting as a government official. Nicholson clearly sought to maximize his options and minimize his losses by taking the oath of allegiance to the U.S. government, almost as soon as an official existed in Athens to swear him in, and by presenting his situation in a manner most likely to succeed in gaining him amnesty.
18 For Webb, see Newton County Historical Society, History of Newton County Georgia (Covington, GA: Newton County Historical Society, 1988), 225-226, and 949. Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration, Baker Library, R. G. Dun and Company Collection (henceforth R. G. Dun), Georgia, Volume 25, pp. 30 and 60. Southern Mutual Directors Minutes, Volume 1, entries for December 29, 1859, and December 21, 1860.
For Steadman, see R. G. Dun, Georgia, Volume 16, p. 116. History of Newton County, 420. Southern Mutual Directors Minutes, Volume 1, entries for January 16, 1863, December 25, 1863, and June 24, 1864. Duke University, Perkins Library Special Collections, Enoch Steadman Papers, 1862-1870, 1862 Receipts for sale of salt, and letter of Bradford Ridley to Steadman, dated November 17, 1865.
19 Coleman, Kenneth, Athens, 1861-1865: As Seen through Letters in the University of Georgia Libraries, University of Georgia Miscellanea Publications, No. 8 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1969), 45, Lamar Cobb to Howell Cobb, Athens, dated May 27, 1862; 47, John S. Linton to Mary Ann Cobb, dated June 20, 1862; and 53-54, Mary Ann Cobb to Howell Cobb, dated April 27, 1863.
20 Southern Banner, October 22, 1862, p. 3, “Athens Factory.”
21 Southern Watchman, June 24, 1863, p. 3, “Notice.”
22 Southern Watchman, August 12, 1863, p. 3, “Cotton for Yarn.” Southern Banner, September 23, 1863, p. 3, “Notice!”; March 30, 1864, p. 3, “Confederate States Armory,” and “Dogwood Poles Wanted.”; January 18, 1865, p. 3, “Factory Notice.”
23 Bryant, Jonathan M., A County Where Plenty Should Abound: Race, Law, and Markets in Greene County, Georgia, 1850 – 1885. (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Dissertation, 1992), p. 100.
24 Southern Banner, October 15, 1862, p. 2, “The Exemption Act.”
25 Southern Watchman, November 19, 1862, p. 3, “Commendable Liberality.”
26 Southern Watchman, December 10, 1862, p. 2, “Exemplary Conduct.”
27 Southern Banner, March 19, 1862, p. 3, “Reduction in Prices,” and “Cotton Manufacturers”; and March 26, 1862, p. 3, “Princeton Factory.” Southern Watchman, March 26, 1862, p. 2, “Spun Truck,” p. 3, “Princeton Factory.” and p. 3, “Cotton Manufactory.”
28 Southern Banner, October 22, 1862, p. 3, “Athens Factory” and p. 3, “Liberal”; January 13, 1864, p. 3, “Notice”; and May 11, 1864, p. 4, “Notice.” Southern Watchman, November 19, 1862, p. 3, “Commendable Liberality.”
29 Southern Watchman, March 26, 1862, p. 2, untitled resolution of thanks from Johnson Guards; Southern Banner, October 22, 1862, p. 3, “Athens Factory”;
30 Southern Banner, February 25, 1863, p. 3, “Liberal Donation”; May 20, 1863, p.3, “Cotton Spinner’s Convention”; July 15, 1863, p. 3, “Donation to Soldiers’ Families”
31 Southern Banner, May 20, 1863, p. 3, “Cotton Spinner’s Convention.”
32 Clarke County Court House, Athens, Georgia, Probate Court Office, Inferior Court Minutes 1864-1872 (also available on microfilm at the Georgia Department of Archives and History (GDAH) in Atlanta) contains extensive lists of indigent families applying for aid in Clarke County. The January 5, 1864, entry lists the district level county officials responsible for compiling the lists of indigent in need of relief, and the actual lists begin in March 1864.
For military census, see Coleman, Confederate Athens, p. 168, which cites Clarke County Military Census, Jan.-Feb. 1864, in Militia Enrollment List, under Act of December 14, 1863, in GDAH.
33 Southern Banner, January 18, 1865, p. 3, “Factory Notice”; and August 2, 1865, p. 1, “Gold, Yarns and Cloth.” Southern Mutual Directors Minutes, March 17, March 31, April 28, June 2, and June 6, 1865.
34 Gamble, Robert S., “Athens: The Study of a Georgia Town during Reconstruction 1865-1872” (Athens: University of Georgia thesis, 1967), p. 50, citing the University of Georgia, Hargrett Library of Rare Books and Manuscripts, Baber-Blackshear Collection, letter of Fannie Atkinson to Marion Blackshear, dated September 2, 1866.