Last chance to sign up for the upcoming workshop on Metal Detecting for Archaeologists to be held at Ebenezer, Georgia, visit this website and hurry, hurry, hurry:
Archive for the ‘Cultural Resources Management Plan’ Category
To learn more about the upcoming workshop on Metal Detecting for Archaeologists, visit this website:
Savannah Needs Archaeology!
June 19, 2016
Article from Savannah Morning News, June 18, 2016:
Petition urges protection of Savannah’s buried past
‘Archaeological ordinance’ would require builders to consider historic remnants
Within a city block-sized hole immediately north of downtown’s Drayton Tower apartment complex, excavators have been moving earth deep below the surface to make way for a new hotel. The project is just one of multiple developments underway or pending in Savannah’s Historic District, now that construction activity has picked up after the 2008 recession.
The renewed building activity has recently revived a decades-long effort to protect the city’s underground historic resources.
Archaeologist Phillip Ashlock said seeing the Drayton Street hotel development was a motivating factor behind an online petition he recently posted, which urges the city to adopt an archaeological ordinance.
The large hole in the Historic District, just west of Colonial Park Cemetery, was another reminder that Savannah has no archaeological requirements in place for city or private projects, Ashlock said.
The goal of the petition is to garner support for building requirements that would help prevent the loss of historic resources, Ashlock said, in addition to persuading the city to hire an archeologist who would coordinate preservation efforts. His aim is not to stop development, Ashlock said, but to make sure there is a review process for developers to follow to preserve and document historic sites.
“The past doesn’t belong to anybody,” he said. “We’re stewards of what came before us, and it’s our responsibility to take care of it.”
As of Friday afternoon, Ashlock’s petition on Change.org was more than halfway toward meeting his goal of 1,000 signatures.
The petition is raising awareness about the issue as the Chatham County-Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission creates an incentive for developers to voluntarily conduct archaeological studies.
Under the policy, developers that agree to perform studies for large-scale projects would be permitted to build an additional story beyond the area’s height limits. Four percent of the project’s cost, with a cap of $500,000, would have to go toward archaeology, outreach and education.
The incentive approach is a change in direction after an attempt about four years ago to develop an archaeology ordinance failed to move forward, said Ellen Harris, MPC director of urban planning and historic preservation. Options considered at the time varied from only requiring archaeological assessments for public projects to also mandating that private developers conduct evaluations, with potential incentives to offset additional costs.
The reasoning behind the ordinance was explained in a planning commission memo that said large segments of the underrepresented community — such as slaves, women and immigrants — could be more thoroughly understood through archaeology. Also, 95 percent of the area’s past is considered prehistoric and archaeology remains the only effective means of studying the 13,000-year-old heritage, the memo stated.
Archaeology helps tell the story of the people who built the buildings, Harris said.
“That story isn’t told in the structure anymore,” she said.
That abandoned 2012 endeavor followed a previous failed attempt in the late 1980s. At that time, the planning commission approved an ordinance that would have established an archaeological review policy for city projects, in addition to prohibiting the removal of artifacts from city-owned lands.
The ordinance was never approved by the mayor and aldermen, however.
“We just haven’t had a champion at the city council level for it,” Harris said.
With a new council in place, the issue could be brought back for consideration.
Savannah Alderman Bill Durrence, who represents the downtown Historic District, said last week that he was surprised to learn the city does not have an archaeology ordinance in place. The lack of a policy was something he would look into, Durrence said.
“That’s kind of odd, considering our history,” he said.
Most people in Savannah have no idea the city does not have an archaeological ordinance, either for city or private projects, said Rita Elliott, education coordinator and research associate with the Lamar Institute archaeological nonprofit. Elliott said she has been supporting the effort to “get the ball rolling” for implementing protections for 30 years, but that the lack of community awareness to the issue has played a part in the planning commission’s failed attempts to get regulations enacted.
“I think they need public support,” she said.
The false perception that archaeology and development can’t coexist is another barrier to an ordinance, said Laura Seifert an archaeology professor at Armstrong State University. Archaeology would just be another component of the historic review process, Seifert said, and the cost and time it takes could be built in if developers know their responsibilities at the start.
“If there is good planning, it shouldn’t be a problem,” she said.
Certain projects that receive state or federal funding are required to conduct archaeological studies. That requirement was why Chatham Area Transit had to have a site evaluation performed in 2012 when it was building a transit center on Oglethorpe Avenue west of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
The archaeologists for that project evaluated two brick wells found on the site, which were believed to date back to the 18th century. The excavation work uncovered artifacts from the 1700s, as well as ceramic shards dating back an estimated 1,500 years, said the project’s archaeologist, Angus Sawyer. More artifacts would likely have been discovered if it wasn’t for the damage caused to the site by the construction of a bus station there in the early 1960s, Sawyer said. Now more than 50 years later, Sawyer said, that damage continues throughout the city.
“There is a story under Savannah that is being lost piecemeal,” he said.
Digging versus archaeology
Historic artifacts are discovered regularly during construction projects. Recently, workers dug up about 50,000 19th century bricks hand-crafted by slaves, known as Savannah Greys, during the construction of a hotel on the south side of River Street at MLK.
A stoneware jug dating back to the early 19th century was also recently discovered during the construction of a ferry shelter on River Street north of City Hall.
The handle was broken off by machinery during the project, but the rest of the jug is intact and in the city’s possession after Luciana Spracher, Savannah’s library and archives director, heard about the discovery and rushed down to claim the artifact.
“I’m not sure what would have happened if I hadn’t found out about it,” Spracher said.
However, Ashlock said the discovery of an artifact is not the same as determining the historic object’s story.
“Context is very important,” he said. “Digging is different than archaeology.”
Savannah would not be the first city to adopt protections for its buried past. Other governments that have adopted archaeological ordinances include St. Augustine, Beaufort County, and Hilton Head.
Alexandria, Va. has one of the best models, Harris said.
That city’s archaeological protection code requires the evaluation of a project on a case-by-case basis. The developer is only required to hire an archaeological consultant to conduct research after it is determined there is potential for archaeological resources to be impacted.
Local architect Patrick Shay said requiring some sort of historic investigation makes sense, but that an archaeological ordinance would have to be carefully crafted so it doesn’t make it impossible for development projects to move forward.
“It can get in the way of people using their property the way they want to,” Shay said. “It depends on how it’s worded, but it’s got merit.”
Shay’s firm designed the Rockbridge Capital hotel now being built along River Street, where the Savannah Grey bricks were found. An ordinance requiring work be halted in the middle of a project when such discoveries are made could be problematic for the developer, Shay said.
“If the rules are too strict, it can make it unlikely it is reported, frankly,” he said.
Jim Schrim, senior vice-president of real estate for Rockbridge, said during the project’s recent groundbreaking that the historic bricks would be cleaned and reused at the hotel.
Shay’s firm also designed the cultural arts center the city plans to build directly west of the downtown Civic Center. The arts center site at Montgomery Street and Oglethorpe Avenue is where a three-story private residence known as the Wetter House previously stood from about the mid-19th century to 1950. Noted for the ornamental iron railings that ran along the balconies circling the first and second floors, the house was torn down to make way for a used-car dealership and auto repairs.
The city decided not to conduct any further archaeological studies for the arts center project, since a previous survey was performed about 16 years ago when the site was being considered for the CAT transit center, according to city officials. While a full-scale excavation was not performed, an examination of a limited area on the site failed to locate any significant features and further study was not recommended, according to the survey report.
While it won’t be the same as archaeology, Shay said there are plans to investigate the site when the former parking lot’s concrete surface is torn up for the project.
With construction set to begin this summer, the arts center is among the millions of dollars worth of projects expected to soon break ground. In addition, developer Richard Kessler has announced plans to begin construction next month of an estimated $250 million hotel project along West River Street.
Without an ordinance in place, the revitalized building activity can mean the death of archaeological sites, Elliott said.
“When the source is destroyed, you don’t have that history anymore,” she said.
CSS Georgia Teacher’s Workshop 2016
April 29, 2016
From STEM to Stern: CSS Georgia Shipwreck
Dive into Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) as well as English Language Arts, and History/Social Studies in this exciting Teachers’ Institute focusing on the Civil War ironclad shipwreck sunk in 1864 in the Savannah River adjacent to Savannah and recovered in 2015 by underwater archaeologists. Use elements from the wreck, its history, and underwater archaeology to engage your students in learning state performance standards as well as Next Generation Science Standards. As a workshop attendee you will participate in a variety of hands-on activities that you can replicate in your classroom, have the opportunity to question underwater archaeologists following presentations, collect sonar data with underwater archaeologists in a boat over the wreck site, gather and interpret data, create your own lesson plans, and obtain resource materials for your classroom. The workshop is recommended for 4th-12th grade teachers and is open to a total of 20 teachers from Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty counties, Georgia and Jasper and Beaufort counties, South Carolina. The workshop will be held May 31-June 3, 2016, with the final presentation and luncheon day on Friday, July 29, 2016. Participants will earn 4 PLUs and receive a $400 stipend. Except for the field trip, the workshop will be held at Georgia Tech Savannah, 210 Technology Circle, Savannah, Georgia 31407. The workshop is funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Savannah District as part of the public outreach for its CSS Georgia recovery related to the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project. The workshop is hosted by Georgia Tech, Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing (CEISMC) in partnership with the USACE. Space is limited. To register please go to: pe.gatech.edu/teacher-institute. For questions contact: Rita Elliott at email@example.com
Pardon my potty mouth but…
March 13, 2016
YOU SAY YOU WANT A REVOLUTION: 18th Century Conflict Archaeology in the Savannah River Watershed of Georgia and South Carolina.–with apologies to J.L.
October 12, 2015
When: Tue., Oct. 13, 6:30 p.m.
This lecture, part of a series by the Coastal Heritage Society about the American Revolution, will examine the Battle of Savannah from an archaeological perspective.
The Savannah History Museum
303 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Savannah-Downtown
AND from DoSavannah:
Dan and Rita Elliott from the LAMAR Institute will present “You Say You Want a Revolution: 18th Century Conflict Archaeology in the Savannah River Watershed of Georgia and South Carolina,” which explores the Battle of Savannah from an archaeological perspective, along with other Revolutionary War battles in the area and the archaeology, and how they are all inter-related. The lecture takes place in the theater at 7 p.m., with refreshments served at 6:30 p.m. Free and open to all. Learn more at http://www.chsgeorgia.org.
Tuesday October 13, 2015 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Savannah History Museum Auditorium (303 MLK Jr. Blvd.)
And From heyevent.com:
Revolutionary Perspectives 2015: DANIEL ELLIOTT & RITA ELLIOTT
On October 13th, DANIEL ELLIOTT & RITA ELLIOTT from the LAMAR Institute will explore the Battle of Savannah from an archaeological perspective! Lectures begin at Savannah History Museum at 7:00pm with a preceeding reception starting at 6:30pm.
YOU SAY YOU WANT A REVOLUTION: 18th Century Conflict Archaeology in the Savannah River Watershed of Georgia and South Carolina.
DANIEL ELLIOTT, M.A., R.P.A., has 38 years of experience in historical archaeology. He has served as president of the LAMAR Institute since 2000. Mr. Elliott is an expert on the archaeology and history of the Savannah River watershed having working throughout the region since 1979. His expertise in battlefield archaeology has developed since the late 1980s and he has explored battlefields and fortifications in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Puerto Rico, Saipan, South Carolina, the Virgin Islands, and Virginia. He has directed archaeological research projects on the Revolutionary War sites of Carr’s Fort, Fort Morris, Kettle Creek, New Ebenezer, and Sunbury, Georgia, and provided expertise on the study of the Battle of Brier Creek. He is currently finalizing a battlefield survey report on the Battle of Purysburg and Black Swamp, South Carolina, through a National Park Service American Battlefield Protection Program grant. Mr. Elliott also directed multiple historical research projects throughout Ireland, Scotland, and England, as well as in archives and repositories throughout the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean.
RITA FOLSE ELLIOTT, M.A., R.P.A. is the Education Coordinator and a Research Associate with The LAMAR Institute. She earned an M.A. in Maritime History and Underwater Research from East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina. She is an archaeologist, exhibit designer, and former museum curator. She has 30 years of archaeological experience in 13 states, the Caribbean, three U.S. territories, and several countries. Ms. Elliott led crews in the archaeological discovery of the 1779 Savannah Battlefield. She authored over 80 monographs and articles, and served as a guest editor and reviewer. She has sat on committees for museum and archaeology organizations at the state, regional, and national level and is former Vice Chair of the Georgia National Register Review Board. Ms. Elliott was named an Honoree by the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation/Georgia Commission on Women, and received the Joseph Caldwell Award for Georgia Archaeology, the Georgia Governor’s Award in the Humanities, and a life-time achievement award in archaeology education from the Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution.
This project is supported by the Georgia Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities and through appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly.
[Rita and I hope that you can make it to the lecture. We will post our presentation online at thelamarinstitute.org at a future date. Most of the archaeological work described in our lecture was funded by the National Park Service, American Battlefield Protection Program and Preserve America Program and the usual disclaimers apply. Thanks also our other supporters to Cypress Cultural Consultants, LLC, the City of Sylvania, the U.S. and Georgia Departments of Transportation, Coastal Heritage Society, Kettle Creek Battlefield Association, Plum Creek Foundation, The LAMAR Institute, Southeastern Archeological Services, Bruker Corporation and many private individuals for making it all possible.]
SAVANNAH, Ga. – The long-buried life of the Confederate ironclad CSS Georgia is being resurrected and will be discussed in a free lecture given by two of the lead archaeologists preserving the ship’s artifacts. Speakers will bring recently recovered artifacts to the free event June 2 at 7 p.m., at the auditorium of the Savannah History Museum, 303 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., in Savannah, Georgia.
Underwater archaeologist Stephen James, M.A., with Panamerican Consultants is a principal investigator on the project. He and underwater archaeologist Gordon Watts, Ph.D., of Tidewater Atlantic Research, co-principal investigator, will share the discoveries about the CSS Georgia in a free public presentation. Topics will include the unique ship’s construction, its funding, and life aboard the civil war gunboat. Attendees will also learn how divers are documenting and recovering the vessel, the laboratory work involved, and what happens next in this complex project.
The Savannah History Museum will be open at no charge from 6-7 p.m. and light refreshments will be served in the auditorium lobby before the lecture. The lecture is sponsored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District and is free of charge and open to the public. The lecture and museum entry is hosted by Coastal Heritage Society.
This lecture was previously announced for an earlier date. The date of the lecture has changed.
• Deepening the Savannah River channel for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project would damage the vessel; therefore, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is overseeing archaeological excavation of the CSS Georgia to comply with the National Historic Preservation Act.
• Divers have been excavating the 150-year-old wreck since January and are preparing in June to recover cannons and large portions of casemates.
• This lecture marks the first of eight public outreach efforts focused on the CSS Georgia.
Follow the project and discover additional outreach opportunities at http://1.usa.gov/1G6S2Hn
Archaeologists want to recover lost story of Purrysburg’s Revolutionary War history – Veterans – Stripes
January 10, 2015
Article by Zach Murdock, 1-9-2015. same article also published in “The State”, “Beaufort Gazette” and “News Packet”.
Purysburg Battlefield Survey
January 8, 2015
The LAMAR Institute
For release Wednesday, January 8, 2015
Public invited to archaeology presentation about ongoing search for sites of Revolutionary War Battles of Purysburg & Black Swamp, South Carolina
LAMAR Institute archaeologists will offer information about this project to the public and invite participants to share information as well. The presentation will include information gathered from historical documents during a recent research trip to Washington, D.C., New York, and Boston. The presentation will examine how archaeologists are conducting the survey on the colonial town of Purysburg, South Carolina in search of key elements of the Revolutionary War battle there in 1779. Researchers will apply systematic battlefield archaeology techniques to discover elements of the town and its battlefield. Archaeologists are focused on the American Patriot headquarters at Purysburg and Black Swamp and the soldiers garrisoned there.
A second presentation at this time by the South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust will detail that organization’s work to identify historic earthworks, roads, and other landscapes in Jasper and Charleston counties. The presentations will be at the Bluffton Branch Library (843) 255-6490, 120 Palmetto Way, Bluffton, South Carolina, 29910 on January 17, 2015, from 1:30-2:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public.
• This is a two-year project with various phases of research, field work, lab work, and report writing.
• Purysburg, South Carolina became an important location in the American Revolution following the 1778 British shift to the southern theater of the war in Georgia and South Carolina.
• Following the British taking of Savannah, Georgia in 1778, American Major General Benjamin Lincoln established his headquarters at Purysburg to regroup Patriot forces and hold the Savannah River as the front line.
• The Patriots established its secondary headquarters at Black Swamp, north of Purysburg.
• For the next several months, thousands of Patriot troops in the area held a stand-off with thousands of their British counterparts located across the Savannah River at New Ebenezer, Georgia.
• Prior to the British attempt to take Charleston, South Carolina, British Major General Augustin Prevost’s troops engaged the Patriots in a brief battle at Purysburg.
• Patriot troops commanded by General Moultrie retreated to Charleston to fortify that town in advance of Prevost’s expected attack there.
• The 32-year-old LAMAR Institute is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with the mission to promote archaeological research and public education in the southeastern United States.
• The LAMAR Institute and its associates have been awarded and/or involved in eight NPS American Battlefield Protection Program grants since 2001.
For more information or to schedule an interview with archaeologists, please contact Dan Elliott at firstname.lastname@example.org or (706) 341.7796. For more information about The LAMAR Institute visit http://www.thelamarinstitute.org
This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior. The Bluffton Branch Library is not a sponsor of this program.
Harvest Lecture – December – Archaeology at the Davenport House
November 21, 2014
Davenport House Museum- a Property of Historic Savannah Foundation
DATE: Monday, December 8 at 6:30 p.m.
PROGRAM: Panel discussion – Archaeology at the Davenport House: Findings and the Big Picture
PANELISTS: Daniel Elliott, Rita Elliott, Justin Gunther and more
ADMISSION: Free to the public but reservations are requested. 912.236.8097
LOCATION: Kennedy Pharmacy, 323 E. Broughton Street (Corner of Broughton and Habersham Streets), Savannah, GA
Have You Seen This Battlefield?
October 19, 2014
News from Kettle Creek
October 8, 2014
Kettle Creek Battlefield to develop conceptual plan
(Flash! From The News-Reporter, October 9, 2014)
The Kettle Creek Battlefield Association, Inc. (KCBA) recently signed an agreement for development of a conceptual plan for a Kettle Creek Battlefield Park. The plan would be developed by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, University of Georgia (CVIOG), and was signed by Walker Chewning, president of KCBA and Jere Morehead, president of the university.
[dan says, “Great! The more the merrier.”]
AND this story from October 2nd:
Harley makes donation to help preserve Kettle Creek Battlefield
Hiking trails are being blazed for visitors to explore entire Kettle Creek battle site
On his fourth trip to the Kettle Creek Battlefield site, Walter Cook, PhD, spent a recent morning on the Summit Trail. In earlier visits, he refined positions of the War Hill Loop Trail which Allen Burton, Joe Harris, and Richard McAvoy’s county crew had cleared.
Cook, retired from the UGA Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, has located and designed more than 80 hiking and interpretive trails in Georgia and South Carolina. “It is what I like to do in retirement,” he said. He used a machete to hack his way through blackberry thickets and other undergrowth on earlier visits under 100-degree conditions.
“The trail must follow the shoulder of the ridge and never allow more than a ten degree incline,” he said. He charges no fee and brings his own lunch so as “not to waste time.”
The two highest priority trails, identified by the Kettle Creek Battlefield Park Master Plan, are now open and identified for hiking, having only a few rough spots. The War Hill Loop Trail is less than half a mile and the Summit Trail is somewhat longer. The Loop Trail provides a view of Kettle Creek, all sides of War Hill, and allows a review of battle events and topography. It is rich in natural history. Public school lesson plan developers Katy Meeks and Al Dawkins toured the trail.
With adequate clearing to the west, the Summit Trail will offer a panoramic view of both Settlement Hill and War Hill. Thus, it is an easy visitor experience of the troop movement from the Hammett Settlement and battle sequences as the engagement moved southward to what is now New Salem Church Road.
The battlefield development project involves a partnership between the Kettle Creek Battlefield Association, Inc. and Wilkes County. It envisions economic development based on the rich history of Wilkes County and the city of Washington. It is supported by funding from Federal, state, and local sources as well as that of many private organizations and individuals who value the lessons of history.
Archaeology Exhibit Opens at Magnolia Springs/Camp Lawton Site in Jenkins County, Georgia USA
October 7, 2014
PRESS ITEM, October 7, 2014
MILLEN, Ga. (AP) — Civil War artifacts from a former prison are set to go on display at Magnolia Springs State Park near Millen.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources says a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Magnolia Springs History Center is set for Tuesday. The agency says Camp Lawton was built to relieve overcrowding at Andersonville Prison.
Archaeologists and students from Georgia Southern University have been excavating the site since 2009. They’ve found items such as a pipe, coins, a ring, buttons, buckles and stockade wall posts. Some of them will be displayed in the new museum and some will stay at the university.
Magnolia Springs State Park is five miles north of Millen. In addition to the museum, visitors can tour original Confederate earthworks, as well as the springs and boardwalk.
[Elliott notes: I look forward to seeing the museum exhibit. The LAMAR Institute was happy to be part of these discoveries!]
Abby Does Austin SAA 2014
April 24, 2014
Guess Who Won a 2014 Award from the Society for American Archaeology for Excellence in Public Education? Hmmmmmm???? Abby the Archaeobus!!!!! YIPPEE!!! Abby Rocks! (I have known her since she was a baby….parked in our driveway refusing to crank)
Don’t believe me? Here it is in the SAA’s own words:
“Abby the ArchaeoBus is a mobile archaeological classroom that has reached thousands of educators, students, and families since it was created in 2009 by the Society for Georgia Archaeology (SGA) and its volunteers. It is a creative and innovative means to foster public understanding of archaeology and appreciation for site stewardship. It provides flexible, informal programs for large public events and formal classroom resources emphasizing standards-based analytical skills.”
“In 2013, New South Associates staff and Georgia State Anthropology graduate students, guided by the SGA, served as ArchaeoBus educator—targeting schools, libraries, museums, and events in metropolitan Atlanta and reaching 6,000 youngsters, many in economically challenged school districts. As a “magic school bus” full of archaeology fun and knowledge; a collaborative partnership among the avocational, academic, business, and CRM communities; an opportunity for public archaeology training of college students; and in the educational experience it provides to visitors, it deserves the SAA’s Excellence in Public Archaeology award.”
I would add a few names to the list of cudos, such as Tom Gresham, James Eiseman, John Robertson, Ellen Provenzano (Mrs. P), Betsy Shirk, Catherine Long, Carolyn Rock, Lain Graham, the generous folks at Best Buy, Georgia Transmission Company and the Georgia National Fair, and, not least but most, Rita Folse Elliott (her foster mother). Way to go guys!
I left out numerous others, but hey, this is my blog!
Caledonia is a Rock Star!! Brier Creek! Brier Creek! Caledonia! Caledonia!
Efforts underway to preserve Revolutionary War battlefield
By Rob Pavey
Friday, April 11, 2014 7:59 PM
SYLVANIA, Ga. — More than two centuries after a daring British surprise attack routed American forces at Brier Creek, new efforts are underway to preserve one of Georgia’s least explored Revolutionary War sites.
“This battlefield has all the components very rarely seen in preservation,” said archaeologist Dan Battle, who has spent the past year assessing the Screven County historic site to determine what secrets it might still hold.
The Battle of Brier Creek unfolded March 3, 1779, when a British force of 1,500 men led by Col. Marc Prevost circled back on Gen. John Ashe’s encamped Patriot army, which included about 1,700 soldiers.
The late afternoon attack was a complete surprise. About 150 Americansdied, while hundreds of others were captured. The fleeing survivors left behind their arms, food and supplies.
The British victory was so decisive scholars believe it prolonged the American Revolution by a year, changing the course of U.S. history.
Today, much of the site lies within the 15,100-acre Tuckahoe Wildlife Management Area owned by the state of Georgia and managed for hunting and fishing – but not specifically for historic preservation. Portions of the battlefield and related camps sprawl onto private tracts. Although the area is marked by a bronze historical commission marker erected in 1956, little has been done in terms of formal archaeology.
Battle’s company, Cypress Cultural Consultants, began evaluating the area last year with funding from a Transportation Enhancement Act matching grant obtained by the city of Sylvania.
Objectives of the cursory assessment include pinpointing certain battle features – and possibly graves of the soldiers who died there.
Although a final report isn’t due until later this year, the results are encouraging.
Using technology known as LiDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, three-dimensional maps were used to identify the defensive line hastily arranged by the Patriot forces. Further studies helped locate other key areas, which are remarkably intact.
“The American camp is still in good shape – not pilfered,” Battle said. “We’ve also come across a site where the Patriots were manufacturing musket balls, which is unique in its own right.”
Teams extracted about 600 items that were carefully preserved and recorded and will undergo curation and analysis at University of Georgia. “There are things from the camp, from the American lines – and we even know where the exchange of gunfire occurred,” he said.
As historic battle sites go, Brier Creek’s remoteness is part of its charm – and also its curse.
“The only thing that happened out there was the battle – then it got left alone,” he said. “It’s one of the best preserved sites in the country.”
Its secluded setting, however, makes it vulnerable to tampering by relic looters, and possible degradation through land management programs, such as timber harvesting.
Lee Taylor, regional game management supervisor for Georgia’s Wildlife Resources Division, said state officials are doing all they can to protect the resources at Tuckahoe, but will need a final report with hard data and recommendations.
“We are anticipating getting the final report from the surveyors by the end of the year, so Wildlife Resources Division and the Historical Preservation Division can develop a comprehensive management plan for the WMA,” Taylor said. “To date we have received no information from the survey.”
In the meantime, DNR keeps the area patrolled and under the watch of its officers, who will arrest anyone caught digging or looting. The area is also posted to warn against using metal detectors.
Maintenance at Tuckahoe, including road scraping, is conducted carefully and will not include any excavations deeper than past activities, Taylor said.
Any proposed logging activity will be screened by the Historic Preservation Division’s Archaeology Section, he said. Currently, however, “no timber operations have been proposed for Tuckahoe WMA.”
The ultimate objective, he said, will be to preserve the area’s cultural resources while also making sure Tuckahoe remains available to the public for hunting and fishing – the purposes for which most of the site was purchased in 1989, using license fee revenues from Georgia’s anglers and hunters.
“The Georgia DNR will continue to rigorously protect intact portions of the site and ensure the entire battlefield is managed appropriately,” Taylor said.
One of the biggest mysteries of the Battle of Brier Creek involves where the American soldiers killed in battle were buried, and by whom.
Based on details from comparable battles of the Revolutionary War, the dead were likely moved into piles, near where they fell, and are probably in mass graves, Battle said.
As far as who buried them, one piece of the puzzle turned up in an unlikely place: the archival records of the Dallas (Texas) Historical Society.
It was there that references were found that the British Army’s 71st Highlanders ordered Loyalists from nearby South Carolina to bury the casualties, starting the day after the battle. Other clues emerged from maps and regimental records identified in the New York Public Library.
Efforts to locate graves have included the use of “cadaver dogs” specially trained to detect the scent of human remains, even if those remains are centuries old. The surveys yielded positive hits, but further studies would be needed to confirm what lies beneath the surface soil.
Battle believes the presence of Patriot casualties should earn the site more attention in the future.
“Over 150 U.S. soldiers and militia are buried on the battlefield, not found or ever celebrated by America,” he said, adding that George Washington is believed to have visited the area during his Southern tour and said prayers for the killed Americans.
“The forces at Brier Creek were a multinational force that included soldiers from almost every state of the 13,” he said. “Many of Georgia’s Continentals were actually recruited from Pennsylvania and Virginia.”
Preliminary findings will likely recommend more detailed explorations in the future, but such projects are expensive – and tend to move slowly.
“That’s why one of the most needed things at the site is a management plan,” said Dan Elliott, president of The Lamar Institute, a non-profit group that works with universities and state and federal agencies to conduct archaeological research.
The findings so far indicate the battlefield was impacted by farming – in particular plowing – in the past, but is still relatively intact.
“In the bigger picture, things aren’t too bad,” Elliott said. “Plowing disturbs things, but even if some of the site was farmed over the centuries, it doesn’t move things too far.”
Many artifacts discovered by the teams were left “in situ,” or in place, without being disturbed. Items were removed only from the shallow surface layer of disturbed soil, or “plow zone,” he said, and deeper items that were identified and left alone were mapped for future reference.
Although the lead musket balls and decaying metal fragments buried in the sandy soil have little monetary value, they have a tremendous value in their ability to tell a compelling story if properly extracted, Battle said.
“It’s really rare to be able to put things you find in the ground into a particular day and year,” he said. “Usually, you’re lucky if you can even get the right century. We have a chance, right here in this battlefield, to study that.”
Archaeology Job in British Columbia
April 8, 2014
Great job opportunity as a Senior Archaeologist with Golder Associates, Inc. in Burnaby, B.C. If I were a younger man… Details at:
Kettle Creek battle site expands with 60-acre purchase
January 22, 2014
Great News from Wilkes County!
Archaeology is Happening in Georgia!
January 20, 2014
Below are links to several recent newspaper articles about archaeology projects in coastal Georgia where LAMAR Institute researchers have been active. Both of these projects, the Brier Creek Battlefield Survey and the Isaiah Davenport House Museum excavations, are ongoing. The Brier Creek project is directed by Cypress Cultural Consultants, LLC with archaeologist Daniel Battle serving as the project’s field director and Daphne Owens as Principal Investigator. The LAMAR Institute has assisted at Brier Creek with skilled labor, loan of equipment. The Davenport project is a LAMAR Institute project with Rita Elliott serving as its PI. Both projects are telling us great things about the past and we look forward to bringing more of these discoveries to the public eye.
BRIER CREEK BATTLEFIELD STORIES
Archaeologists zero in on Revolutionary War battle site in Screven County, Ga.–article by Rob Pavey, Augusta Chronicle, January 19, 2014:
History in Screven County can be Revolutionary- article by Enoch Autry, January 17, 2014, Sylvania Telephone:
ISAIAH DAVENPORT HOUSE MUSEUM ARCHAEOLOGY STORIES
Archaeology at the Davenport House, Professional excavation happens Saturday in the courtyard– article by Jessica Leigh Lebos, January 15, 2014, Connect Savannah:
Gators in Brier Creek
January 2, 2014
End of the year report on our Revolutionary War research in Georgia! The big gators were out on New Years Eve (2013) at Brier Creek. The LAMAR archaeologists are busy finding our Revolutionary War history in the ground. A recent Associated Press news story highlighted our archival research on the Revolutionary War in Georgia, which appeared in many news outlets. We are busy writing grant proposals for other revolutionary War battlefields in the Carolinas. Next week my colleague P.T. and I are giving a paper in Quebec at the Society for Historical Archaeology meeting on our 100+ horseshoes from the Carr’s Fort battlefield landscape in Wilkes County, Georgia. Busy times here in south Georgia. We look forward to writing up some of these stories for the public in 2014. Happy New Year!
Trip uncovers records of Revolution-era Georgia – WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports
January 2, 2014
AP ARTICLE BY RUSS BYNUM ON LAMAR INSTITUTE PROJECT.
Kettle Creek battlefield group gets support from state SAR
October 30, 2013
Abercorn Archaeology Site 9CH1205 -click below for flyer
March 9, 2013
Rita Elliott is giving free tours at this interesting archaeological site near Savannah, Georgia.
Chieftains Museum Redacted
March 7, 2013
And Hey, Why not check out this cheezy abstract? Written by the jerks that produced this redacted report:
“ABSTRACT: Chieftains Museum/ Major Ridge Home, Historic Preservation Report, Historic Structure Report and Cultural Landscape Report
For the purposes of developing this combined Historic Structure and Cultural Landscape Report, the National Park Service, in conjunction with Chieftains Museum, determined additional historical research was needed to find information relevant understanding and interpreting to the building and landscape history. NPS and Chieftains agreed that historical research should be undertaken at the thorough level as defined in NPS’ Cultural Resource Management Guideline (1995:18). In the Spring of 2004, Chieftains Museum entered into contract with Southern Research Historic Preservation Consultants, Inc. to undertake the historical research for this project. Based on a research plan approved by Chieftains Museum and NPS, Southern Research prepared successive drafts of a document presenting the results of their research effort. Southern Research consulted many sources and the results are presented in an edited form in the second and third sections of this report. In general, the results of the research were less than what was hoped for and additional research would likely further benefit the overall understanding and interpretation of the history and current state of the Chieftains property.”
So, it was good enough to lift it wholesale and stick it in sections 2 and 3 of this report, I’ll take that as a positive review!–the lead ghost writer for Chapters 2 and 3.
James Wettstaed Says:
December 21, 2012
As you may be aware, the H2 Channel (History 2) is running a program tonight on the Mayans in Georgia claim that appeared last year. If you hear things about these claims please feel free to direct inquiries to the Forest Service or to our web site where we specifically address these: http://www.fs.usda.gov/conf
. We are trying to aggressively counter these claims so please feel free to share this information widely. An important part of this message is that the Muscogee Creek categorically deny all claims or affiliation. You can see a video on the web site where there claims are addressed by the Forest Service, Muscogee Creek Nation, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. I want to get this message out to the archaeological community.
James R. Wettstaed
Forest Archaeologist/Tribal Liaison
Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests
1755 Cleveland Highway, Gainesville, GA 30501
office phone 770-297-3026
cell phone 706-296-2141
HAPPY END OF THE WORLD EVERYBODY!!
War of 1812 Marker Dedication at Fort Hawkins
June 15, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Amazing American History Revealed At Fort Hawkins
Two hundred years ago, on June 18, the United States declared war on Great Britain for many of the same grievances that led to the American Revolution and the founding of our country. This June 18, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. some amazing and nearly forgotten American history will be literally revealed at historic Fort Hawkins off Emery Highway in Macon, GA. The Fort Hawkins Commission and the Major Philip Cook Chapter of the United States Daughters of the War of 1812 will dedicate a new “War of 1812 Bicentennial Celebration” historic marker that reveals the major importance of Fort Hawkins during our “Second War of Independence” as both Georgia Militia Headquarters and
U.S. Army Headquarters for the Southeastern United States. That double significance will be explained and attested during the marker’s unveiling and dedication ceremony which will include uniformed American soldiers from our past and present, members of Major Cook’s family, he was the the Fort Hawkins Commandant during the War of 1812, an official Proclamation from Macon Mayor Robert A.B. Reichert, and a keynote address by renowned archaeologist and President of The LAMAR Institute, Mr. Dan Elliott. After the marker dedication the public is invited to tour the three story Blockhouse Replica and archaeological dig site with no admission charged for the tours or ceremony. All of Middle Georgia will be proud and amazed at the important role that Fort Hawkins played in this brief but pivotal moment in American history. For more information 478-742-3003/www.forthawkins.com
AND FROM THE JULY 8, 2012 EDITION OF THE MACON TELEGRAPH, WE READ:
“Fort Hawkins Significance Revealed”
By MARTY WILLETT — Special to The Telegraph
Two hundred years ago on June 18, 1812, our young nation declared war on the world’s greatest military power, Great Britain, in order to preserve our newly found freedom from that same oppressive foe.
This past June 18, the Fort Hawkins Commission and the Maj. Philip Cook Chapter of the United States Daughters of 1812 dedicated a new historic marker at our early American frontier fort and factory. This marker proclaims that Fort Hawkins was arguably the most significant site in the South during our “Second War of Independence” being both U.S. Army Headquarters for the entire Southeastern theater and Georgia Militia Headquarters.
This historic marker dedication was attended by more than 100 visitors, who wished to bear testimony to the unveiling of this amazing history in Middle Georgia.
They included many distinguished historians, archaeologists, community leaders and descendants of original fort family members, such as the family of Maj. Philip Cook, the original commander of both the U.S. Army garrison and Georgia Militia stationed at Fort Hawkins during the war.
The true military nature of the marker’s dedication was well represented by our own 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and a special appearance by a War of 1812 colonel in his full splendid period regalia. Col. Steve Abolt, commander, 7th U.S. Infantry Living History Association.
“Cottonbalers” provided powerful words of praise for the spirit of the American people both 200 years ago and today.
Lt. Col. Matthew Smith, 48th Brigade deputy commander, reminded all of the continued dedication of our own Middle Georgia Brigade with their distinguished efforts around the world and in our own backyard. Their proud roots can be easily be traced to the citizen soldier and U.S. Army regular troops that helped “preserve us a nation” at Fort Hawkins during the War of 1812. The 48th Brigade Color Guard under the command of Sfc. Stanley Walker provided the needed and polished military bearing the dedication deserved.
The real military importance of Fort Hawkins was detailed precisely and profoundly by featured speaker Dan Elliott, president of the LAMAR Institute and Fort Hawkins lead archaeologist, who has dubbed our fort “The Pentagon of the South.”
As the 15-star spangled banner flew over the fort once again, as it did 200 years ago, we were reminded that our own Fort Hawkins was of equal importance as the famed Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Md.
During Elliott’s introduction, one of the mighty aircraft from Robins Air Force Base flew over and the crowd was reminded that “Every Day In Middle Georgia is Armed Forces Appreciation Day” and it began at Fort Hawkins 200 years ago with its valuable contributions to the national defense and the local economy.
Fort Hawkins not only became Macon’s birthplace, but also played a significant role in saving the nation and developing the southeastern United States during this turning point in American history. Ironically, Macon would help birth Robins AFB out of the tiny town of Wellston. Our military tradition is as awesome as our famous cultural heritage of architecture, education, music, religion, etc.
This proud military history stretches back to the fort’s namesake, Col. Benjamin Hawkins, who served on Gen. George Washington’s Revolutionary War staff. It stretches to the modern world with local heroes such as Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Rodney Davis and Lanier Poet and NASA astronaut Capt. Sonny Carter.
As the nation begins its Bicentennial Celebration of the War of 1812, Middle Georgia should be proud of our own contribution to this long and steady military tradition that began at Fort Hawkins in 1806.
The Fort Hawkins Commission has plans to preserve and promote its amazing early American history and the public is encouraged to visit the fort’s website: http://www.forthawkins.com and the historic fort site on Emery Highway, now open every weekend with no admission charge and on all patriotic holidays such as our recent 10th annual Fourth of July celebration.
As archaeologist Elliott stated at the War of 1812 Bicentennial celebration marker dedication, “Fort Hawkins is truly an important historical and archaeological gem. It honors the building blocks of freedom and liberty that our ancestors struggled to create and serves as a vivid and noble reminder of the blood shed for human liberty in the War of 1812.”
Marty Willett is the Fort Hawkins Commission Press Officer & Project Coordinator.
The History Underneath
May 8, 2012
The LAMAR Institute is proud to sponsor the May 12th event in Savannah!
May 08, 2012
The History Underneath
City explores need for an archaeological ordinance
By Jessica Leigh Lebos
If you own a building downtown and you want to paint it fuschia, there’s an app for that.
Same if you want to demolish it, add a sign to the front or attach a flagpole: You’d have to file an application for approval through the Metropolitan Planning Commission.
It’s because of the city’s rigorous rules concerning the renovation of its old architecture that Savannah remains one of the largest and most glorious landmark historic districts in the country. But you may be surprised that there are no such stipulations for the archaeological sites buried beneath those historic homes and offices.
There was no obligation to examine the old shipyards layered in the banks of the Savannah River as Hutchinson Island was developed, nor was there any archaeological methodology applied to the massive dugout of the underground parking garage near Ellis Square. Those are only two recent examples—there’s no telling how many other sites have been lost throughout the decades.
Fragile remains of Colonial–era homesteads, indigenous campgrounds, slave housing and other historic sites have “literally been bulldozed over” as Savannah has been developed, but the good news is that there is plenty left to explore.
Ellen Harris, the MPC’s cultural resource and planning manager, wants to investigate the possibility of incorporating archaeology into its own zoning ordinance, if not into the complex Unified Zoning Ordinance the commission has been drafting for years.
“The historic preservation of buildings tells only one part of the story,” explained Harris. “The under–represented people, Native Americans, slaves, soldiers—their stories are buried underneath those buildings.”
Digging in old records, Harris found that the MPC had received unilateral support for a code written in the late 1980s that would have required government projects to perform archaeological research before breaking ground, but the initiative fizzled with personnel changes. She hopes to revive the mandate for city and county projects and provide significant tax incentives for private entities.
Acknowledging that an ordinance applied citywide needs current community input before it can be written, Harris has organized a free introductory educational session open to the public. “Perspectives in Archaeology: Digging for the Truth, A Panel Discussion,” will be held at Trinity Methodist Church on Telfair Square this Saturday, May 12 at 2 p.m. A reception will follow.
While research shows that archaeological preservation has economic benefits for cities such as boosted tourism and reduced blight, it can be a scary topic for developers, for whom the discovery of a historic homestead or cemetery can mean the shutdown of a worksite. Harris encourages them to join the conversation.
“This is about dispelling myths and educating the community,” she said. “We’re just beginning to look at what it would take to include archaeology in the code and find out what other cities have done it.”
The nearby city of Beaufort, S.C. has laws mandating archaeological study before any development, and Florida has a statewide network of local archaeology ordinances. But Harris counts Alexandria, VA as the model for archaeological preservation. The city adopted an ordinance in 1989 that protects sites within the city’s center while acknowledging the needs of developers.
Dr. Pamela Cressey, the archaeology guru who helped author the Alexandria ordinance and continues to head the city’s museum devoted to locally–excavated artifacts, will visit Savannah to sit on the upcoming panel.
While Dr. Cressey promises to provide insight into the process that resulted in Alexandria’s ordinance, she counsels that Savannah must develop its own model.
“Every community has its unique characteristics and individual perspectives that will inform what comes out of it,” mused Dr. Cressey over the phone last week. “My goal is to talk about what’s possible.”
It can be challenging to convince people of the value of archaeology, she admits, “because it’s hidden. But down in the ground can be a wealth of materials that can tell us a lot about who lived there.”
Dr. Cressey will be joined on the panel by local architect Neil Dawson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife archaeologist Richard Kanaski and Georgia Southern anthropology professor Dr. Sue Moore. Local historian and filmmaker Michael Jordan will moderate.
Jordan calls the panel “more than just an opportunity for scholars to lecture about what they do. It’s a chance for Savannahians who care about history to start a conversation about what’s worked in other places and what could work here.”
Jordan was present when Lamar Institute archaeologist Rita Elliot excavated the Spring Hill Redoubt, the site of the bloody 1779 Revolutionary War battle now commemorated as Coastal Heritage Society’s Battlefield Park. There Elliot found gun parts and markings for the original fortification wall—factors that add layers to the history of the soldiers who died there. She has also found ditches, flints and other Revolutionary War debris in Madison Square, “steps away from where hundreds of people walk every day.”
Elliot, who will be in attendance at Saturday’s panel, looks forward to a time when Savannah’s buried sites will be as valued as its buildings.
“Archaeology goes in tandem with the preservation of standing structures,” she posits. “That’s how we find the whole story. There is tremendous potential here to expand the horizons of what we know about Savannah’s history.”
Adds Jordan, “Obviously, it will never be feasible to leave every archaeological discovery in Savannah completely undisturbed. That’s not realistic.”
However, even minor construction projects and home renovations “could peel back priceless pages of Savannah’s historic fabric” if policies are in place to preserve archaeological finds.
“That’s why it’s so important for us, as a community, to address the issues of how we preserve the past that’s buried just beneath the surface.”
Perspectives in Archaeology: Digging for the Truth
When: Saturday, May 12, 2 p.m.
Where: Trinity Methodist Church, 127 Barnard St.
Cost: Free and open to the public
The History Underneath
May 8, 2012
The LAMAR Institute is proud to be a co-sponsor of the upcoming discussion on Archaeology in Savannah on May 12, 2012 (2PM) at Trinity Methodist Church on Telfair Square. Interested folks may wish to attend.
The pictured Rita Elliot looks a lot like a Rita Elliott that I know.
Way down yonder neath the Chattahoochee
April 26, 2012
Historical and Natural Resources in Georgia—NOT!
January 18, 2012
CLICK HERE TO READ GOVERNOR DEAL’s DEAL
Write, Call, Email, Telegraph, or Otherwise Contact Your Guy on This Vital Topic
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has introduced a proposed budget that will slash Historic Preservation in Georgia to mortally wounded levels. Here is my email: “I am emailing you to renew your awareness of my interest in historic preservation in Georgia and to urge your support to maintain funding levels for the Historic Preservation Division (HPD) in the upcoming budget. I have 35 years experience in historic preservation in Georgia and I have witnessed operations at the state government at greatly reduced funding levels compared to that currently enjoyed. It was not a pretty sight! The current staff at HPD has done a commendable job in advancing historic preservation issues in Georgia over the past decade, in spite of the drastic budget cuts of the past couple of years. To even further cut their budget, as Governor Deal recommends, would be a death sentence for this important part of our state government. The guidance from the HPD office is the catalyst that keeps many construction projects flowing. If their funding levels are reduced, then the permitting process for upcoming development projects will be slowed considerably. Or, projects will proceed on their own terms and face the potential violation of state and federal permitting regulations. Historic Preservation need not be a negative force in Georgia government but this is the potential if historic preservationists are shut out of the discussion. Many organizations, such as the LAMAR Institute, the Coosawattee Foundation and the Archaeological Conservancy, operate in Georgia outsite of direct government funding, but these organizations are too meager to handle the needs of the entire state. A modest budget for HPD will go a long way in maintaining responsible stewardship of our past. I hope we can count on you to be a voice in favor of recognizing and honoring Georgia’s architectual, archaeological and historical past.”
AND below is a repost from Tom Crawford’s blog that displays the sad state of affairs in Georgia:
The makeover of the DNR board is completed
By Tom Crawford | Published: January 27, 2012
The state Board of Natural Resources completed a historic changeover this week as it said goodbye to an environmental advocate and installed in one of its top positions a lobbyist whose firm’s clients include a utility that is one of Georgia’s largest sources of air pollution.
Board members voted formally on Tuesday to elect Philip Watt, a non-practicing physician from Thomasville, as their new chairman. They also elected Rob Leebern, a lobbyist with Troutman Sanders Strategies, as the new vice chairman.
Watt replaces Earl Barrs, the board chairman in 2011 who was removed from the panel when Gov. Nathan Deal decided not to reappoint him. Warren Budd, last year’s vice chairman who normally would have rotated to the chairmanship, was also ousted from the panel when Deal refused to reappoint him to another term as well.
Budd was booted from the board after he spoke out against two initiatives that are important to Deal.
Budd expressed skepticism about Deal’s proposals to build more reservoirs in North Georgia and he also criticized the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) for imposing a miniscule fine of only $1 million on a textile company that discharged chemicals into the Ogeechee River, causing the largest fish kill in Georgia’s history (the company could have been subject to fines of more than $90 million).
“I was told to hush up on both of them,” Budd said. “I was warned and I didn’t do it, and that is why I’m off.”
When reporters contacted the governor’s office about Budd’s removal from the board, Deal’s spokesman issued this reply: “If anyone on any board considers himself indispensable, this is what educators call a ‘teachable moment.’ It takes an eyebrow-raising amount of self-regard for someone to suggest publicly that, out of 10 million Georgians, only he or she brings a diverse viewpoint to a board.”
He added that the governor wanted to appoint board members “who are excited team players ready to carry out his agenda for our state.”
The removal of Budd from the Board of Natural Resources is a watershed moment, if you’ll pardon the expression, for the board that oversees and sets policy for both the Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Division.
Budd was one of the few remaining board members who could realistically be considered a conservationist dedicated to protecting the state’s environment and natural resources.
Deal has made it clear that environmental protection is not the primary mission of either DNR or EPD anymore. Both agencies are now expected to advance the cause of economic development and job creation, even though state government already has a Department of Economic Development headed by Commissioner Chris Cummiskey.
The change in mission is vividly illustrated by the installation of Rob Leebern as the new vice chairman in place of Budd.
Budd is considered to be an environmentally sensitive conservationist. Ogeechee Riverkeeper Diana Wedincamp described him as a “friend of the rivers.”
Leebern is a skilled political operative who’s been working inside the Washington beltway for years, first as chief of staff for Sen. Saxby Chambliss and a top fundraiser for George W. Bush, and more recently with the Washington office of Troutman Sanders.
One of Troutman Sanders’ biggest clients over the years has been Georgia Power, which operates two coal-fired power generation facilities in Georgia, Plant Scherer and Plant Bowen, that are ranked by the EPA as America’s largest sources of greenhouse gases.
Whenever Georgia Power goes to the Public Service Commission to secure a rate increase or fight off demands for a risk-sharing mechanism to minimize cost overruns on their nuclear plants, Troutman Sanders partner Kevin Greene is the man who argues their case.
“It is outrageous to make a lobbyist for the biggest polluter in Georgia and the biggest user of water an officer of the DNR board,” said Mark Woodall of the Sierra Club of Georgia. “I’ve been going to these meetings for 25 years and this is by far the worst board, in terms of balancing the public and private interests of the state of Georgia, that I’ve ever seen.”
The changeover on the DNR board has been happening gradually since Sonny Perdue took office as governor in 2003.
When Perdue was first sworn in as the state’s chief executive, there were three prominent environmental advocates on the DNR board: former lieutenant governor Pierre Howard, Columbus attorney Jim Butler and Sally Bethea, director of the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. All three of those people were removed from the board during the course of Perdue’s administration.
Howard was the first to go. In 2003, the Republicans who assumed control of the Georgia Senate refused to confirm nearly 180 people who had been appointed to state boards and commissions by former governor Roy Barnes, a Democrat, during his last year in office (2002). Howard was among that mass of people removed from state boards.
Perdue tried to replace Butler on the DNR board in 2003 before Butler’s term had expired. Butler promptly sued the governor in Fulton County Superior Court, where a judge ordered Butler’s reinstatement to the board. When Butler’s term expired two years later, Perdue then was legally allowed to appoint a replacement.
Perdue did reappoint Bethea to the DNR board, but she was removed from the panel in the same manner as Howard when the Republican majority in the Georgia Senate declined to confirm her reappointment.
Perdue also appointed Budd, a Newnan insurance agent, to the DNR board in 2005.
“He knew where I stood,” Budd said of Perdue. “He allowed a diversity of people on there. He appointed people that were pro-conservation. Gov. Barnes did that, too.”
Budd is a lifelong Republican who invokes Teddy Roosevelt as the kind of Republican who believed in conservation. He says his interest in environmental issues was sparked as a young man when his father, Methodist minister Candler Budd, gave him copies of the Rachel Carson books Silent Spring and The Sea Around Us.
“That’s true conservatism,” Budd said. “Conservatism is conserving what’s good.”
There was another indication this week of just how deeply involved lobbyists are going to be in setting environmental policy for the state over the next few years.
One of the most talked-about social events of the week among capitol observers was a dinner sponsored by several lobbyists Wednesday night for members of the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee.
The dinner took place at the Parish restaurant in Atlanta’s Inman Park neighborhood and the event was staked out by several environmental activists, as well as by an Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter and a photographer. At one point, we’re told, an environmentalist attempted to give Rep. Lynn Smith (R-Newnan), the committee chair, a list of Georgia’s “Dirty Dozen” polluted waterways.
According to an email invitation sent to committee members, the event’s sponsors included Georgia Power, the Georgia Association of Manufacturers, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Joe Tanner and Associates, the Georgia Conservancy, the Georgia Chemistry Council, the Georgia Agribusiness Council, the Georgia Forestry Association, the Georgia Poultry Federation, AGL Resources, the Georgia Mining Association, and the Georgia Paper and Forest Producers Association.
On the same day that the elegant dinner was held for the legislators, the new vice chairman of the DNR board, Leebern, proposed that Georgia’s top environmental regulator be given a $20,000 bump in his annual salary.
Leebern made a motion for the DNR board to increase the salary of EPD Director Jud Turner — a former lobbyist — to $175,000 a year. His motion passed by a unanimous vote of the board.
© 2012 by The Georgia Report
Abby Arrives At Fort Hawkins
October 24, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Abby Arrives At Fort Hawkins
Abby the Archaeobus arrived at Fort Hawkins today for a special week at the 200 year old fort. Abby is Georgia’s Mobile Archaeological Classroom sponsored by the Society for Georgia Archaeology and arrives after a successful visit to the Georgia National Fair and the SGA Fall Conference. However, this is Abby’s very first visit to an archaeological dig and her visit provides an even more educational opportunity while the fort’s archaeological dig being done by The LAMAR Institute is in progress. Abby makes learning about archaeology fun with colorful and interactive exhibits that all relate to the ongoing archaeological research being done for the Fort Hawkins Commission at the historic site, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Abby invites everyone to come visit during this next week at Fort Hawkins for a unique educational experience – archaeology as real living history! The fort site will be open each day from October 24 to October 31 until 4:00 p.m. with no admission charge. During the week days while the dig team continues its research, the public is invited to come view their work and now visit Abby too! The Commission has had the historic site open each weekend since March and during this month visitors have enjoyed touring the dig site and now visit Abby too! On the final day of the dig, Monday, October 31, there will be a Press Conference at 3:00 p.m. at Fort Hawkins to share some of the amazing dig discoveries and to view the actual excavations, and of course to visit Abby too! At 5:00 p.m. on October 31 the first Fort Hawkins Halloween Hauntings will begin and the biggest treat at this free, fun, family event will be, of course, to visit Abby! Abby keeps a blog about her adventures across the state on the SGA website, so let’s make her feel at home here in the Heart of Georgia and come visit during this rare and special appearance! Please call for group visits or more information 478-742-3003 and visit http://www.forthawkins.com
Marty Willett, Fort Hawkins Commission Press Officer & Project Coordinator
1022 Walnut Street
Macon, GA 31201
Responses from the Media:
WRWR-TV, Warner Robins:
Good article in the Savannah Morning News by Chuck Mobley on Pin Point Museum at:
Savannah’s Revolutionary War Discoveries | WSAV TV
February 2, 2011
An earlier Civil War battle in Savannah, 1779
January 14, 2011
On October 9, 1779 American and British armies clashed on the west side of Savannah, Georgia. The armies and their allies, including Haitian, Irish, Scottish, German, African-American, Polish, and Danish officers and private soldiers, engaged in a deadly conflict that proved to be one of the costliest for the Americans in the American Revolution. The war in the South was pretty much a civil war, as neighbors split between Patriots and Loyalists. Savannah contains the forensic evidence of this battle, as unearthed by archaeologists. Come hear this story on February 1, 2011 in Savannah. The LAMAR Institute is proud to be one of the sponsors of this important work.
Archaeology Press Release January 14 2011by Savannah Under Fire on Friday, January 14, 2011 at 5:35pm
What ever happened to all that Revolutionary War archaeology being done in Savannah? What did archaeologists discover? How can people who live, work, and play in Savannah and Chatham County become involved with archaeological sites? Can preserving sites help the area’s economy and quality of life? Come to an archaeology presentation and public meeting Feb. 1, 2011 to find out and to offer suggestions. Coastal Heritage Society will reveal Revolutionary War discoveries in Savannah stemming from the two “Savannah Under Fire” projects conducted from 2007-2011. The projects uncovered startling discoveries, including trenches, fortifications, and battle debris. The research also showed that residents and tourists are interested in these sites. Archaeologists will describe the findings and explore ways to generate economic income and increase the quality of life of area residents. Following the presentation the public will be invited to offer comments and suggestions about such resources. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to provide input. The meeting is sponsored by the Coastal Heritage Society, through a grant from the National Park Service, American Battlefield Protection Program. It is free and open to the public. Time: 6-7 p.m. Location: Savannah History Museum auditorium, 303 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Savannah, Georgia (same building as the Visitors’ Center on MLK). Date: Feb. 1, 2011. Thanks!!