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In Their Own Words

January 20, 1861

Journal Entry on Secession

From Rockbridge, Ga., planter Thomas Maguire recorded in his journal on the secession of Georgia from the Union:

“Sunday - it is thought Georgia is out of the Union as James heard cannon fire last evening towards Atlanta, hope it is so, John is going to Lithonia this morning to know … sundown … John has returned from Lithonia, bringing the news that Georgia pulled out of the Union Saturday the 19th at 2 o’clock, by a vote of 208 to 89. Majority for secession, 119. The cannons were heard on Saturday night in honor of the occasion. There are now five states out of the Union. No more fighting in South Carolina heard from and I hope there will not be.”

Source: Franklin M. Garrett, Atlanta and Environs: A Chronicle of Its People and Events (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1969 reprint of original 1954 volume), Vol. I, p. 495.