Nash Farm project and more

Submitted by TRC (770-270-1192)

Over the last three months, TRC has become very busy with a number of large archaeological projects across the Southeast. Here in Georgia, we’ve conducted archaeological investigations in Cobb, Coweta, Forsyth, Fulton, Gordon, Hall, Henry, Lowndes, and Whitfield counties. The most exciting project we’ve been working on is for a planned Civil War battlefield park in Henry County. Due in large part to the efforts of local historian, Mark Pollard, and like-minded preservationists, the county was persuaded to condemn a 200-acre parcel that was proposed for development as a subdivision. Now the county is in the process of developing the site as a park that will interpret the history of two Civil War engagements that took place on site in 1864.

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Bullet recovered from Nash Farm battlefield.

Mark Pollard has been collecting artifacts from the property for many years, keeping very good records of his findings. Taken together with his historical research, the archaeological information Mr. Pollard had assembled gave us a great head start on our investigation of the property when the county asked us to get involved in the project. Essentially, TRC is investigating the archaeological potential of the resources within the park tract, providing recommendations for future research avenues and stewardship, and packaging historical and archaeological information in a format to facilitate the development of interpretive signage and materials at the park.

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Partial iron kettle lid with handle.

The archaeological investigations, headed up by Dr. Jim D’Angelo, were made difficult by the waist-high hay across the site, which encumbered our metal detection efforts. Nonetheless, we did find a handful of interesting artifacts (see pictures), and were able to find evidence of the various encampment and battle areas located within the tract. Of course, on a site that has been a working farm ever since the war, and has also been picked over by relic collectors, we were not expecting to find dense, in situ artifact concentrations. But archaeologists are not motivated primarily by an interest in mining a site for artifacts; recording the context of finds, and evaluating the integrity of site deposits is of equal importance. In the case of the Nash Farm project, TRC was able to make an assessment that will help the county as it develops and maintains the park in years to come. As for filling the display cases in the farmhouse museum on site, they will probably want to solicit donations from collectors who’ve been busy on site for far longer than us! For more information about the park and its history, please visit Henry County’s Nash Farm Battlefield web site.