I knew from the first several words of “The quickening of time” (Viewpoints, Nov. 27) that the pen of John G. Kelley Jr. was once again at work. Such is the easy cadence of his prose.
Among the several posts in the Thanksgiving edition, only John’s testament to family rose to the level of true gratitude. In the face of the ravages of time and its unrelenting toll we all pay to travel through this life, John G. finds reason to peer through dimming light and be grateful to those who made his days bright.
Thanks, John. I hope you had the best Thanksgiving celebration ever.
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-- Bob Carnot
I’ve just finished reading John G. Kelley Jr.’s Nov. 27 item in Viewpoints. I have greatly enjoyed his submissions over these many years.
His latest is among his very best. It’s my understanding that he is a lawyer. He should have been an author.
-- John T. White
Too many present-day historians base their interpretations of history on an all-knowing attitude because they have the privilege of knowing all the pertinent facts of history after the fact and too often neglect the minutia of the many possible turning points in that history, such as Sherman’s March to the Sea.
The fact is, Macon was attacked twice by Sherman’s forces, and twice the artillery fire from Fort Hawkins’ high hilltop repelled the invading forces, thus preventing any potential destruction.
The point is that if Sherman’s right wing could have feinted deeper into Macon, it would have caused even more confusion and hardship for the Confederacy. The reasons are many but would include the fact that we had just captured in July a major general in Sherman’s army and took him to the Union officer prison -- Camp Oglethorpe. Macon was home of the Confederate Laboratory and a significant armory. We were a center for transporting, financing and supplying the Confederate breadbasket. We were the home of the hated Howell Cobb, and it is true not many homes were destroyed on the March to the Sea.
However, when Sherman learned that a plantation near Milledgeville belonged to Cobb, he had it razed. Such could have been Macon’s fate if not for the brave Georgia militia and the successful artillery fire from Fort Hawkins in July and November of 1864.
There has been much written about the American Civil War, and in Dick Iobst’s “Civil War Macon” there are thousands of sentences and facts about what happened here 150 years ago. Yet there are only three sentences about what happened in November when Sherman’s right wing did breach our earthen defenses and would have done a whole lot more damage if the cannons at Fort Hawkins had not repelled them back across Walnut Creek. Fort Hawkins did indeed help spare Macon the torch a second time.
It’s minutia that should not be neglected, but remembered and honored. Please come visit the new log cabin visitors center at Fort Hawkins, and learn even more forgotten and misunderstood history that took place right here in Middle Georgia. Nothing nefarious, just fun and enlightening facts.
-- Marty Willett
Fort Hawkins Commission press officer and project coordinator
Deceiving the public?
Surprise, surprise. The first year of the new consolidated government and our elected officials are crying foul. They ran for office knowing that a budget reduction was mandated under the consolidation proposal voters approved. They promised to carry out that mandate. Now that they have been elected, they claim they cannot make the cuts needed to comply with that mandate.
Why am I not surprised? Look at who was elected: the same elected officials who ran the former city of Macon into the red and the same county officials who were in office when this merger began. And Robert Reichert can’t find enough places to spend all of the money he thinks voters are going to give him with proposed new ad valorem tax. He’s suggesting a new ballpark, and the budget has not met the mandated reductions the public voted for.
The City Council and county commissioners should have been aware of the budget needs of a consolidated government when they were pushing for consolidation. Either they were asleep at the wheel and not doing their jobs, or they intended to deceive the public after consolidation. I vote for the latter.
To those members who are new to the party this year, may God bless you. You were misled by the powers that be from the previous administrations.
-- Joseph R. Gibbs Jr.