Battle of Atlanta sesquicentennial events calendar

Learn more about the city’s role in the Civil War at these upcoming events

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Photograph courtesy of the Atlanta History Center

Photograph courtesy of the Atlanta History Center

Rare Artifacts
Showcased publicly for the first time, items amassed by a local collector will be on display at the Atlanta History Center. The collection includes flags, bayonets, firearms, Southern-made uniforms, and other objects. Confederate Odyssey: The George W. Wray Jr. Civil War Collection, July 18, 2014–March 15, 2015, atlantahistorycenter.com
Want to learn even more on the Wray collection?
In November, University of Georgia Press is releasing a book on Wray’s memorabilia that includes more than 900 photographs. ugapress.org

150th Anniversary Re-enactment
Most of the original Battle of Atlanta site is paved over, so a re-creation is being staged at Henry County’s historic Nash Farm. More than 3,000 re-enactors, including cavalry, will attend the three-day Atlanta Campaign event. September 19–21, atlantacampaign.com

From Civil War to Civil Rights
The Cyclorama’s ongoing series includes a Radcliffe Bailey art installation at the city’s new Marietta Street gallery. Art Against the Wall: The Battle of Atlanta at 150, July 11–October 5 atlanta­cyclorama.org

B*ATL Foundation
Lectures, plays, tours, music, a 5K, and living history demos are on B*ATL’s program— staged in places where the Battle of Atlanta was fought. Chair Henry Bryant says that since its inception B*ATL has tackled controversial issues. “These are very diverse, integrated neighborhoods,” he says. “We don’t ever want anyone to think this is a ‘South shall rise again’ type event.” July 12–20, batlevent.org

Hands-On History
“Blue & Gray Saturday” family programs complement an exhibition on Sandy Springs during the war. The Civil War in Sandy Springs, through April 1, 2015; Blue & Gray Saturdays, June 30, July 26, August 30; heritagesandysprings.org

Civilians in the Crossfire
Simply titled 1864, an exhibit explores the experience of civilians through personal artifacts, letters, and interactive displays. Through July 20, Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History, Kennesaw, southernmuseum.org

Fact-Checking Gone With the Wind
From today’s vantage point, the racial politics of GWTW deserve criticism. But the period details hold up. The movie’s secret weapon? Wilbur Kurtz, an Atlanta historical illustrator who consulted to Selznick Studios and worked with production designer William Cameron Menzies on hundreds of storyboards, including (above) the bazaar dance scene. “Kurtz was very focused on getting the physical city correct,” says Don Rooney, director of exhibitions for the Atlanta History Center, which has a new Kurtz exhibit. In some cases, Kurtz’s advice was brushed aside. “Hollywood won out on the portrayal of Tara,” notes Rooney. “The design was grander than that of the Tara in Mitchell’s book.” Kurtz also quibbled with some military aspects, such as dramatic explosions as Scarlett flees Atlanta. As Kurtz noted in his diary: “RE: exploding shells Mr. Howard [screenwriter Sidney Howard] blithely ignores the fact that six Federal army corps are eighteen miles away at Jonesboro, and the seventh—which in this case was the 20th Corps—was at the river, nine miles away . . . Ah! But we’re in the movies now.” Wilbur G. Kurtz: History in Gone with the Wind, July 2, 2014–April 4, 2015, atlantahistorycenter.com
Can’t get enough GWTW?
Read Margaret Mitchell’s firsthand take on her book becoming a movie in The Scarlett Letters, to be published in October. roman.com/taylortrade

This article originally appeared in our July 2014 issue.

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