Kennesaw, GA, April 4, 2011 – In collaboration with the Old Guard of the Gate City Guard of Atlanta, Inc., the Kennesaw Museum Foundation and State Bank & Trust Company, the Southern Museum will unveil a new exhibit to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. This exhibit will open to the public on Saturday, May 28, 2011.
Last week, Kennesaw Museum Foundation Director Paul Chastain accepted a check for $5,000 from Old Guard Battalion Commandant, Col. Byers Coleman, to fund development of a display of the Old Guard of the Gate City Guard artifacts at the Southern Museum. Chastain expressed his enthusiasm about the upcoming exhibit, “I really appreciate the Old Guard sharing their history with us. This exhibit has special significance for our city and we’re honored to be the first to share it with the public.”
The check presentation was also attended by Old Guard officers Lt. Col. James Johnson, Lt. Col. Ken Howell, Col. John Green and Maj. David Floyd, as well as Southern Museum Executive Director Dr. Richard Banz, Kennesaw City Manager Steve Kennedy and Museum Curator Mike Bearrow. Maj. David Floyd expressed gratitude on behalf of the Old Guard, “We are very excited to have a place to display the historical artifacts that we have in our possession.”
The Gate City Guard was established on January 8, 1857 in Atlanta, which, at the time, was commonly called “The Gate City.” Atlanta Mayor William Ezzard formed the quasi-military group in order to manage ruffians who were terrorizing the streets of The Gate City. Though they were originally called upon for civil matters, many of the members were the first volunteer for the War Between the States and became Company F of the 1st Georgia Battalion to fight for the Confederacy.
In the new Southern Museum exhibit, the history of the Old Guard of the Gate City Guard will be depicted through the donations of the members since the mid-1800s. These artifacts, including medals, swords, pikes, a masthead lantern and a LeMat revolver will be the focal point of the exhibit. The artifacts will be on display from May 28 through October 16, 2011 in the Cobb Energy Gallery.
“The Old Guard has a rich and fascinating history that spans more than a century,” commented Banz, “and we are pleased to honor its contribution to Georgia history.”
About The Southern Museum
A Smithsonian Institution affiliate, the Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History (www.southernmuseum.org) features collections of rare Civil War weapons, uniforms, and other personal items; an exciting exhibit about the Great Locomotive Chase, including the General locomotive; and a full-scale replica of a locomotive factory that helped rebuild the South after the war. The Jolley Education Center features a variety of hands-on exhibits to inspire a love of learning in children.
The Southern Museum is located 20 miles north of Atlanta, off I-75 at exit 273. Admission is $7.50 for adults, $6.50 for seniors, $5.50 for children ages 4-12, and free for children three and under. For more information, visit our website at www.southernmuseum.org or call us at 770.427.2117.