It’s hard to actually see what Georgia was like before the Civil War. Most of the old antebellum homes and public buildings were destroyed as Union troops, led by General William Tecumseh Sherman, marched from Atlanta to Savannah in 1864. By the end of the campaign, the South’s ability to wage war was effectively nil, and signs of the Old South had mostly disappeared.
Only one swath of land — the 100 miles between Athens and Macon — remained relatively untouched. For reasons personal, political and pragmatic, Sherman bypassed this area, and as a result it offers a glimpse of what life had been like.
A drive along “Georgia’s Antebellum Trail,” lets people explore homes that depict a variety of architectural styles, visit an old tavern (complete with costumed guide), tour the Governor’s Mansion in Milledgeville and wander through a partially restored town and 1850’s cotton plantation.
An added bonus: Those who tire of history can always go antiquing!
above: Madison, GA, built 1820
below: Macon, GA, built 1855-1859