New book examines a Civil War unit from Athens, Georgia

AJC file photo

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AJC file photo

The latest work by William S. Smedlund examines the history of the Troup Artillery from Athens during the Civil War.

The book, “Sons of Tom Cobb, Troup Artillery, Athens, Georgia,” is divided into several parts, but it’s certainly much more than a roster of this unit. The first 172 pages discusses the unit’s organization and activities. Well researched and written, it helps readers understand what this unit, and many similar ones, went through. Included are letters, maps and photographs of major figures. The unit participated in many major battles, including Gettysburg, and was present at the surrender at Appomattox. This section is one of the best narratives about a unit from Georgia during the Civil War.

The second portion of the book contains various appendices. One is an alphabetical listing, with short biographical paragraphs about all unit members, each with source documentation references. Another one lists casualties, both from disease and from battle. One appendix gives the history of the unit flag. The last appendix includes illustrations of relics that remain from the unit. A lengthy list of end-note citations, then a bibliography and finally an all-name index finish out the book.

The author was assisted by editors Robert Dennis England, Ph.D., and Gary L. Doster. The book was published with a grant from the R.J. Taylor Jr. Foundation and distributed to more than 40 genealogy library collections. Copies are available from William S. Smedlund, P.O. Box 675, Marble, N.C., 28905. The first edition with dust jacket is $48 plus $5 postage. A second edition, without dust jacket, is $45 plus $5 postage.

Foundation underwrites printing of newspaper abstracts

The R.J. Taylor Jr. Foundation is unique to Georgia and one of our great treasures. It underwrites the publication costs for genealogy books, many of which are great source books for historians as well. Elizabeth Evans Kilbourne has been carrying on the newspapers abstract work begun by her late father, Tad Evans of Savannah. Her latest work is “Coffee County, Georgia, Newspaper Clippings, Volume VI, 1910.” The book contains interesting information about all aspects of this South Georgia county’s activities during this year, abstracted chronologically. It is very interesting reading. To order, go to her website,, where she lists more than 100 books on Georgia newspapers. For the Taylor Foundation, see

Your own timeline

It’s been suggested that we should write our own timelines so relatives will better understand our lives. Try it out.

Contact Kenneth H. Thomas Jr., P. O. Box 901, Decatur, GA 30031 or