Newborn Tour of Homes – Sherman Came Through, You Should, Too!
Blog Courtesy of Linda Williams-Woodworth
Did you know Sherman came through Newborn on his famous March to the Sea?
Mrs. Dolly Lunt Burge, of Burge Plantation on what was then the Shady Dale-Eatonton Road, wrote in her famous diary entry in November of 1864, that her “yards are full (Yankees) to my smokehouse, my dairy, pantry, kitchen, cellar, like famished wolves they came, breaking locks and whatever is in their way.” And “Sherman (himself) with a greater portion of his army passed my house all day… not only in front of my house, but they came up behind; tore down my garden palings, made a road through my backyard and field… if I live to the age of Methuselah, may God spare me from ever seeing [such a day] again.”
This and other parts of the history of Burge Plantation are depicted in the Burge Plantation Story House, featured on the Newborn Tour of Homes coming up on October 19, 2013! If you’ve been down Highway 142 and noticed where two antebellum-looking homes sit opposite each other between the intersection of Hwy 11 and downtown Newborn, you’ve just seen Dolly’s home – but did you know it now rests on the opposite side of the road from Burge Plantation? It was moved there by a Mr. Bolton, and another home was built on the old site in the 1920’s at Burge! This original Burge Bolton home, lovingly maintained with its grounds by the current owner, is also on the Tour, a rare treat as it is almost never open to the public.
During the Civil War Newborn’s John W. Pitts was a Union sympathizer (having been educated in Connecticut) who entertained Major General William T. Sherman at his home as he passed through further down what is now Hwy 142 (you know, at the blinking light!). In spite of his hospitality, Sherman’s men reportedly killed all of John W. Pitts’ stock and burned his cotton gin prior to leaving town. Sherman is said to have apologized profusely and offered to pay for the damages.
General Sherman wrote of this occasion in his diary and described Pitts as a “strange cock.” So, even back in the 1800’s Newborn has been a “Town With Characters.” I think a man who goes around burning down beautiful old gracious homes might just qualify as a character, too! Sherman Came Through, You Should Too! Visit www.newborntourofhomes.org for more information.