The event begins at Brumby Hall, 500 Powder Springs Street, just south of the historic Marietta Square, next to the Hilton Atlanta/Marietta Hotel & Conference Center. Volunteers, some in period costume, will walk to Atherton Square (the large courtyard area behind the Marietta Square between the Marietta History Museum and the Welcome Center).
A program will follow the walk at Atherton Square with lecturer and historian Mike Shaffer, a former professor at Kennesaw State University along with re-enactor, historian and author Brad Quinlan. Connie Sutherland, Director of Gone With the Wind Museum and Tourism Projects Coordinator for City of Marietta, will read a letter written by a child whose mother was part of the walk.
Women, children and some men who worked at Sweetwater and Roswell Mills were arrested in July 1864 for treason at Sherman’s orders. The mills were producing materials that made Confederate uniforms. When Sherman found out the mills were operational, he ordered the workers arrested and mills closed and burned.
“These women were arrested simply by doing their jobs and trying to keep food on the table,” Sutherland said.
The women were taken by foot and ordered to march from Roswell and Lithia Springs area to the Georgia Military Institute, where the Hilton Atlanta/Marietta Hotel & Conference Center now stands. From there they were brought to Atherton Square in Marietta and put on trains for deportation north.
“Many (of the women) were never heard of again and never able to return to their homes or see their families again,” Sutherland said.
“It’s very special because it’s walking in those footsteps, but certainly nothing like what those women went through. While we can never really walk in their shoes or know what they went through, it gives you a feeling that at least you’re doing something to remember them,” Sutherland said.
“These women also lost lives, their families, their children, their homes — just completely ripped from their environment,” Sutherland said.
To learn more visit mariettacivilwar.com.