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Cobb County to Participate in Battlefield Preservation Project

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covered bridge
December 3, 2019

The area around Cobb County’s historic Covered Bridge will soon be the site of an archeological investigation to uncover evidence of a significant Civil War battle.

The LAMAR Institute will be conducting the archeological and historical investigation to locate and delineate the boundaries of the 1864 American Civil War Ruff’s Mill Battlefield, located in the Concord Covered Bridge Historic District.

The National Park Service awarded the LAMAR Institute a more than $95,000 grant in August for the Ruff’s Mill Battlefield Project. The focus of the grant will help provide local details within a broader national context that will empower the community in its education and preservation efforts.

The Battle of Ruff’s Mill, which took place near Smyrna, represents an important linchpin battle resulting in the fall of Atlanta.

“We are excited to work with Cobb County residents, employees and organizations to use historical archaeology to locate and uncover the very important story of the Ruff's Mill Battlefield, as well as the stories of the men, women, and children, both African-American and white, who affected the battle and were impacted by it,” said the LAMAR Institute’s Rita Elliott.

District 4 Commissioner Lisa Cupid was recently briefed on the investigation and joins supporters of the project that includes multiple landowners within the project area, the Cobb Parks Department, the Friends of the Concord Covered Bridge Historic District, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the Georgia Battlefields Association, and the Smyrna Museum. Continuing efforts will be made to involve the Cobb County Historic Preservation Commission, Cobb Landmarks, Cobb County Land Trust, and the River Line Historic Area as well as area school districts, private schools, and homeschoolers, all of which have relevant connections to the project’s historical, cultural, environmental, and educational aspects. Other entities that will be invited to participate in the project include representatives from the Silver Comet walking trail and the Atlanta Beltline.

“While Cobb County residents appreciate and preserve their history, they cannot preserve something until it becomes tangible and locatable,” Cupid said. “This project fulfills the need to locate and identify the battlefield and its related resources, and share the information about its significance with the community so that residents and policymakers can address the battlefield’s preservation and interpretation for the public.”

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) specialists will overlay historical maps, aerial photographs, and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) images to determine potential tracts and areas within tracts to conduct fieldwork. Skilled battlefield archeologists will conduct controlled metal detector surveys across tracts in the project area. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey will be used in select areas to assist in the locating of subsurface remains of earthworks such as trenches, rifle pits, and artillery impact craters. Archeologists also will conduct a survey of collectors and metal detectorists to gather information on where various battle artifacts have been discovered.

The LAMAR Institute was incorporated in the state of Georgia as a non-profit organization for the purpose of conducting archaeological research in the southeastern United States and educating the public about archaeology.

Press Contact Info

Jessica Glicker | Cobb Communications | [email protected]