Community leader and former Atlanta school board member Ina Evans found out some very interesting things about her family history as it related to the Civil War. And it wasn’t what she expected.
On Saturday, July 21st at The Battle of Atlanta Commemoration experience history up close and personal. Come and learn what happened in Atlanta’s battlefield neighborhoods. Events will include a 5K run, tours, living history experiences, soldiers on the frontlines, Honest Abe Lincoln and storytelling. Most events are free.
Come to the Civil War to Civil Rights Living History Experience where actors portray the lives of actual people from history. Hear the life story of Ina Evans’ grandfather Peter Vertrees and how he came to serve with the Confederate Army during the Civil War.
Lithonia resident Ina Evans came across boxes of documents about her family. As she explained, “I wasn’t even aware of this part of my family history.” “You can image my surprise after going through these papers and letters,” Mrs. Evan said. “My grandfather was never a slave, but a free man of color.”
Peter Vertree was born to a white mother and mulatto father on December 6, 1840 in Edmonson County Kentucky. He was raised in the home of white relatives just like their own child. Peter wasn’t aware he was black until he had taken a job and was kicked and cursed by his employer for a mistake he made.
Once the war started, just shy of his 21st birthday Peter became part of the 6th Kentucky Infantry of the Confederate States of America in October 1861. He witnessed battles at Shiloh, Vicksburg and even the Atlanta Campaign.
The East Atlanta Village is where you can hear the details of his life. Hear about life in Atlanta from the 1860s to the 1960s. The diary of Carrie Berry comes alive as you hear how the 10 year old describes hiding in a cellar while shells exploded overhead. Find out how black businessman Madison Reynolds left his mark on Atlanta at the turn of the century. These are only a few of the people you’ll see portrayed at the Civil War to Civil Rights Experience.
The Battle of Atlanta Commemoration fills two days and more than two square miles with fun and enlightening programs for the entire family-many free. Plan a day camp experience for kids groups. Kids can visit the frontlines, meet Abe Lincoln and learn about the Civil War in Atlanta. Healthy snack is included. The program is free, but there are limited slots. Call to schedule a time during the day.
BATL Headquarters will be at 477 Flat Shoals Avenue in East Atlanta Village for ticket, maps directions and information. July 22nd is the 148th Anniversary of the historic battle. Other programs run during the week from July 14th through the 21st include a Gala at East Lake Golf Club and acclaimed authors at various venues. Check even more on our website www.batlevent.org or call 404-377-6148.