Civil War Letter to Confederate Colonel Hutchins 1861
Letter to Nathan L. Hutchins, Jr. dated July 12, 1861, just months before Hutchins entered the 16th Georgia Regiment. Written from the City of Cumming, Georgia. The author writes “May you conquer our enemies and return with Victory. May the God of Battle protect you and keep you safe.”
Cumming is the county seat of Forsyth County Georgia, and is located forty miles north of Atlanta. The town was founded in 1833, a year after the creation of Forsyth County. The land for the town, two forty-acre lots that were part of an 1832 Cherokee land lottery, was purchased by local officials in 1833 and 1834. They then divided the town land into smaller lots and sold them off over the next several years, reserving one lot for the county courthouse.In January 1834 the post office was established, and in December the state legislature incorporated Cumming and officially made it the Forsyth county seat. The town was named for William Cumming, a Georgia native who made his reputation while serving as a colonel in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812 (1812-15).Cumming benefited from the Georgia gold rush of the 1830s and 1840s as numerous businesses sprung up in town to meet the needs of prospectors. The discovery of gold in California in 1849 lured many local miners away from north Georgia, hurting the town’s economy. The laying of railroads in the 1830s and 1840s stole traffic from the Federal Road, which ran close to Cumming, and resulted in the town’s further economic decline. Union general William T. Sherman’s army bypassed Cumming during the Civil War (1861-65), and after Reconstruction the town changed little, remaining a small, rural community until the 1980s. Local highlights from the period include two fires at the county courthouse, which first burned down in 1900, was rebuilt in 1905, and burned again in 1973.
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