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1782 Continental troops under Col. James Jackson prepared to take control of Savannah as British troops and loyalists began the final evacuation of the city.
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
1864 After retreating southward across the Chattahoochee River, Confederate forces burned the Western & Atlantic Railroad bridge spanning the river.
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
1875 Former lawyer, Georgia Supreme Court justice, states rights advocate, secession proponent, and Confederate general Henry L. Benning died in Columbus, Georgia. [Many sources incorrectly cite the day of Benning's death as July 8.]
Born in Columbia County in 1814, his parents moved to Harris County in 1832. Three years later, he moved to Columbus, which was his home until his death. After the outbreak of World War I, the U.S. Army created a new military post in Columbus. Army officials named the facility Camp Benning in honor of Gen. Benning's bravery during the Civil War.
In 1922, Camp Benning was re-designated as Fort Benning.
1913 William H. Mincey, the insurance agent who had earlier sworn out an affidavit saying he had heard a drunken Jim Conley admit to murdering a girl the afternoon of April 26, now said he could not positively identify Conley as the man with whom he spoke that day. In the affidavit Mincey had said he approached a black man about buying a life insurance policy, but the man had threatened him by saying "I've already killed a girl this afternoon." Click here for a detailed accounting of the case.
1926 Atlanta's Bobby Jones won the U.S. Open golf tournament.
1985 After a consumer revolt over the replacement of the traditional Coke with a sweeter New Coke earlier in year, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Company announced that the original drink would once again be available under a new name – Coca-Cola Classic – so that customers had a choice between the original and new versions of the soft drink.
1993 Three years and nine days from the opening ceremony of the 1996 Summer Olympics, ACOG held ground-breaking ceremonies in Atlanta formally launching construction of the Centennial Olympic Stadium.
The 84,000-seat stadium was built just south of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, which was used during the Olympics for baseball competition. After the Olympics, the old stadium was demolished, with the space used for parking. Centennial Olympic Stadium was reconfigured for use by the Atlanta Braves and renamed Turner Field.
2002 Former DeKalb County Sheriff Sidney Dorsey was convicted for the murder of Derwin Brown, who had defeated Dorsey in an election the previous August.
2009 The Atlanta Braves traded outfielder Jeff Francoeur to the New York Mets for outfielder Ryan Church. Francouer was an Atlanta-born player, who had starred at Parkview High School before being drafted by the Braves. He was first called up to the major league team in 2005, and made an immediate impact, hitting a home run in his first game. His first two years with the Braves were productive in that he had over 100 RBIs each season, and displayed a very strong throwing arm from right field. But in his last two seasons with the Braves his hitting and fielding declined significantly, while his strikeouts increased. Attempts to change his hitting stance, and even a return trip to the minor leagues, had little effect on his performance. On this day he was traded to the division rival Mets for Church, who had also fell out of favor in New York, but who had some very productive seasons earlier in his career. In 2009, Church played 44 games with the Braves but had a lackluster season, leading the Braves not to re-sign him for the 2010 season. Church then was picked up by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
Source: E. Merton Coulter (ed.), The Journal of William Stephens, 1741-1743 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1959), pp 106-107.
1838 Evan Jones, a Baptist missionary to the Cherokees, wrote in his journal on this day:
Source: William G. McLoughlin, "The Reverend Evan Jones and the Cherokee Trail of Tears, 1838-1829, 73 The Georgia Historical Quarterly (Fall 1989), pp. 569-570.
1863 From Columbus, Ga., John Banks – who had seven sons fighting on behalf of the Confederate cause – recorded in his journal news of the loss of Vicksburg, as well as an incorrect rumor that Lee had won the Battle of Gettysburg:
Source: John Banks, Autobiography of John Banks, 1797 - 1870 (Austell, Ga.: privately printed by Elberta Leonard, 1936), p. 28-29.
1864 In a letter to his wife, newly promoted Lt. Col. Fredrick Winkler of the 26th Wisconsin told of a brief respite in march on Atlanta where Union and Confederate soldiers on opposite banks of the Chattahoochee River had a chance to not only talk but do a bit of trading:
1864 Aware that Johnston's forces had crossed the Chattahoochee River in their continuing retreat before Sherman's advancing army, Atlanta merchant Samuel P. Richards recorded in his diary:
Source: Franklin M. Garrett, Atlanta and Environs: A Chronicle of Its People and Events (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1954), p. 600.
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