Historic Cannonball House opens time capsules previously buried under Confederate monuments

Cannonball House officials and Macon-Bibb County officials opened two time capsules recovered after relocating two downtown Confederate monuments.
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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) –  Cannonball House officials and Macon-Bibb County officials opened two time capsules recovered after relocating two downtown Confederate monuments.

History leaped from two copper boxes Friday when two time capsules were opened that had previously been buried under two Confederate monuments in downtown Macon.

Crews recovered the capsules after moving Confederate monuments on Cotton Avenue and Poplar Street.

The monuments were relocated to Whittle Park at Rose Hill Cemetery, and the capsules were held inside the county vault until the county presented them to the Historic Cannonball House.

Earl Colvin, chairman of the board of directors for the Cannonball House, says the time capsules have found their perfect home.

“We’re able to go back 150 years and touch a piece of time that involved the lives of other people,” he said. “Today to see artifacts that were placed in there so long ago is really special. This just adds to the momentum of what we’ve already got going. These artifacts in themselves are very special in the fact that they came from a time period that represents the period that the house was built, so it’s important to us to remember all parts and aspects of our history.”

The Cotton Avenue capsule, which had not been opened since 1956, includes artifacts from the Civil War, including a photograph of a confederate soldier. There were also newspapers from the 1880s inside and even an original copy of “Gone with the Wind.”

“As you’re going through that and you’re touch all of these old things that you know that somebody in 1878 touched those things, it’s just almost chill bumps to the point of emotional,” Cannonball House Executive Director Cheryl Aultman said. “It was just wonderful to see all of that stuff.”

All artifacts unveiled from both time capsules will be displayed inside the Cannonball House’s Civil War Museum.

Addition items from the time capsules:

  • Muster rolls for 15 Middle Georgia Confederate regiments
  • Asketch of the 2nd Ga Battalion
  • Army maps taken from the body of Captain J. G. Roger, 12th Georgia regiment
  • Several coins and Confederate war bonds
  • Engraving of Confederate iron clad Virginia.
  • Yearbooks from the Colonel Thomas Hardeman UDC chapter from the 1950s and from the Sidney Lanier Chapter UDC from 1931-1954.
  • A Stone Mountain half dollar coin dated 1925.
  • A medallion featuring R. E. Lee on one side and Stratford Hall on the other, dated 1929, that was sold to raise funds to restore the historic Stratford home of the Lee family.
  • An original edition of “Gone With The Wind” by Margaret Mitchell.
  • Several city directories from the 1950s
  • 1955-56 Wesleyan College Catalog
  • 1955-56 Mercer University Bulletin
  • 1955 Macon Telephone Directory.
  • 1956 Al Sihah Mystic Messenger.
  • Two UDC magazines from 1956.
  • Sidney Lanier Chapter UDC reminisences By Mrs. Issac Winship.
  • A 1940 program from the dedication of Willingham Chapel at Mercer University.
  • 1933 Mercer at Penfield (1833-1871) Centennial Celebration program booklet.
  • Program dated January 1954 of the inauguration of George Boyce Connell, 16th President of Mercer University.
  • Letter from Henry H. Tucker, President of Mercer University to R. E. Lee conferring upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws, dated July 10,1866 and copy of letter from Lee in reply, dated 18 July 1866

There are a few more items that are too wet to open yet. The Cannonball House is  attempting to dehumidify them and are hopeful they can be saved. The large 1956 metal box had taken on moisture over the years, damaging many of the items enclosed.




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