Coweta sets usage rules for historic Civil War battlefield

With the long-awaited Brown’s Mill Battlefield Historic Site opening during the summer it was time for the Coweta County Commission to sign off on the policies that will pertain to the site. Commissioners approved the policy at the Nov. 21 meeting.

Coweta Event Services Director Tray Baggarly said that, now completed, usage policies need to be put in place so groups and organizations can utilize the facility for their events.
“These policies were designed to fall in line with existing county facility rules and regulations,” Baggarly said in an Oct. 30 letter.

Rules note that community events at the site on Millard Farmer Road are designated for heritage tourism and may be used for events that expand public awareness and visibility, enrich community education and appreciation of military history, military logistics, Coweta County history, Civil War history, natural history, music, theater, storytelling and genealogical research.

Events must be approved by Baggarly and comply with the county’s facility rental guidelines. Baggarly is also responsible for approving vendors for community events.

The policy prohibits hunting for relics, digging or trenching anywhere on the property that was the site of a battle between Union and Confederate troops on July 30, 1864.

The policy also prohibits the use of motorized recreational vehicles. Also prohibited are bicycling, skateboarding, roller skating, stand-on scooters, ATVs, consuming alcohol, walking pets, littering, hunting or smoking.

The battlefield site is dedicated to the Confederate and Union cavalrymen who fought and died on on July 30, 1864 and to the Confederate and Union medical staff who tended the wounded after the Battle of Brown’s Mill, according to the Brown’s Mill Battlefield Association.

It was on July 30, 1864 that the Battle of Brown’s Mill was fought. According to the Brown’s Mill Battlefield Association, the Civill War battle occurred during the Atlanta Campaign. Gen. Edward McCook’s Union cavalry, on a daring raid to sever communications and supply lines in south central Georgia, was defeated at the battlefield site by Confederate forces under the command of Gen. Joseph “Fightin’ Joe” Wheeler.

After a successful raid in Fayetteville, McCook was trying to return to the main army in Atlanta but was attacked by Wheeler’s cavalry four miles south of Newnan at Brown’s Mill. McCook wanted to surrender but instead let his officers lead their battalions out separately.

Though Wheeler lost 50 men in the ensuing battle, McCook’s forces were routed. McCook had 1,285 men captured, 100 killed or wounded and lost 1,200 horses, several ambulances and two pieces of artillery. With the victory, Wheeler freed approximately 300 Confederate prisoners.

The ramifications of the battle extended far beyond the rolling hills of the battlefield.

The defeat of Union forces in Coweta County forced Gen. William T. Sherman to abandon his efforts to use cavalry to cut Atlanta’s railroads and compelled him to begin the lengthy siege of Atlanta, according to the association.

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