Or you can reach him by fax or regular mail at...
FAX the Governor at 404-657-7332
September 24, 1999
Exciting news in this update! Renown Civil War historian Albert Castel has written Governor Barnes a very forceful letter in support of the Resaca Battlefield Park in the Camp Creek Valley. In 1992, Mr. Castel wrote what remains a definitive work on the Atlanta Campaign entitled “Decision in the West.” Although, I personally disagree with several of Mr. Castel’s conclusions in that important work, his detailed analysis of the campaign and the breadth of research of the historical resources available on the campaign is unsurpassed by anyone. The footnotes and bibliography alone are required reading for any serious student of the campaign. His endorsement of the preservationist efforts directly communicated to Governor Barnes is well-timed and should be made widely known. Also, I have completed my “reader’s digest” version of Jim Langford’s previously published diary on negotiations with Scott Fletcher. Readers will find it representative of Langford’s lengthy diary and insightful into the negotiations with Mr. Fletcher. To read the latest updates, simply click here.
September 3, 1999
I have begun to add important excerpts from a lengthy diary kept by then-DNR representative Jim Langford on negotiations with Scott Fletcher. The diary was originally published in complete form in the May 5, 1999 issue of The Calhoun Times. I will continue to work on this page over the next few days until a true "reader's digest" version of the diary is finished. It provides important insights into the context in which the present controversy evolved. To read the excerpts, simply click here.
Photos and highlights from the very successful Atlanta Campaign Reunion/Rally held at the Georgia State Capitol have been added. Also added is an excellent retort by O.J. Keller to the Don Wesley-Brown piece. Mr. Keller's response appeared in the August 14 AJC.
There are no new developments to report on negotiations concerning the Fletcher property. It appears that recent efforts to minimize the importance of that section of the battlefield by those opposed to the State's acquisition were successfully deflected by preservationists. Attempts to revise history to the point where the attacks of Judah's and Cox's Divisions (among other Union elements) upon the still entact Confederate earthworks were "mere skirmishes" have been soundly and authoritatively dismissed. Word from State officials is that such attempts at ahistorical whitewashing will have NO effect upon either the DNR or Governor Barnes in the continuing efforts to establish the State Battlefield Park at Resaca.
To read the Keller article and review highlights from the Reunion/Rally, simply click here.
Please don't forget the Atlanta Campaign Reunion/Rally to be held at the State Capitol on Saturday, August 21, 1999 at 10 a.m. Several speakers are lined up whose ancestors fought in the campaign. Prominent campaign historian Bill Scaife will speak as well. It is important that we have a good turn out as this rally takes place only a few days before the DNR holds their monthly meeting. Reports are that a major decision may be reached at this meeting regarding the preservation of the battlefield purchased by Scott Fletcher.
I have included an article that appeared July 31 in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution by Don Wesley-Brown. The article is deserving of a special, detailed response and I decided to make an effort myself. That response is also added to this site.
To read both the article and the response, simply click here.
Several things to report in this update. First of all, three members of the Friends of Resaca board (Jule Medders, Glenda Allen, and Doug Marvel) met with Georgia DNR Commissioner Lonice Barrett on Thursday, July 15. The meeting took place in the commissioner's office in Atlanta. It was a good meeting, giving the commissioner a chance to learn face to face what the position of the group is regarding the Fletcher property and the proposed State battlefield park. The board members took the opportunity to present to Commissioner Barrett with petitions signed by over 1,200 individuals from 23 States asking Governor Roy Barnes to take whatever legal measures are necessary (including condemnation of the property by eminent domain) in order to protect and preserve the battlefield. The meeting was covered by the Morris News Agency, the Associated Press, and the Dalton Daily-Citizen.
The petitions presented are only a portion of the total received by the governor's office. Many others were mailed directly to Governor Barnes. While Commissioner Barrett was evasive in response to many of the board member's questions, he was quite cordial in his reception of the petitions and seemed geniunely interested in learning what he could from the board members themselves. He reiterated that no decision has yet been reached in this affair.
In other developments, two new items have been added to the information page. First, historian Bill Scaife sent the webmaster a copy of a letter he sent to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution correcting some errors in a recent article appearing there concerning the Resaca battlefield. Secondly, the Georgia Civil War Commission has announced an Atlanta Campaign Rally/Reunion to be held at the State Capitol Building in late-August. You can find both items on our information page, just click on the link at the bottom of this page.
The Friends of Resaca is scheduled to present petitions supporting the establishment of the Resaca Battlefield Park signed by more than 1,100 individuals from all over the country to Georgia DNR Commissioner Lonice Barrett on July 15 at 1 p.m. at the Sloppy Floyd Towers in Atlanta. This site will be updated with details when that presentation occurs. Also, a rally is planned for late August at the State Capitol featuring descendents of soldiers from both the North and the South who fought in the Atlanta Campaign and highlighting all preservation efforts currently underway to protect and preserve the historically important sites pertaining to the Campaign. More information on that as it becomes available. An article that appeared in the July 4th issue of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution regarding the current situation is available by clicking the link at the bottom of this page.
Well, negotiations are dragging on. Even though the State Department of Natural Resources own resolution stated that talks with Mr. Fletcher concerning his property should conclude by June 1, the DNR has decided that, since Fletcher made an offer (the same, basic unacceptable offer he has made before - large amounts of public funds spent for about 200 acres of the 1200 acre site) by the deadline, negotiations should continue. But, there is little real progress to report.
In the meantime, certain State officials leaked to Fletcher that, of the nearly 600 letters the governor actually received on this matter, only 2 were supportive of Fletcher. All the rest favored the property becoming a State Battlefield Park. Fletcher is using this information to launch his own letter writing campaign. He is soliciting his friends and business associates, even his employees, to write the governor in opposition to the Battlefield Park planned for the property.
Though it is obvious what is transpiring, these efforts, coupled with the behind-the-scenes political maneuvering going on, could impact the governor's decision. Governor Barnes has stated that he wants to see this situation resolved through negotiations without invoking eminent domain.
The Friends of Resaca have petitions from more than 1,000 people from all over the country to present to the governor. This past Friday, the governor's office contacted a member of the Friends board to inform the group that the governor has decided not to accept the petitions in a personal presentation. His office directed that the petitions be presented to DNR Commissioner Lonice Barrett. The Board will contact Commissioner Barrett's Office tomorrow and attempt to schedule a presentation to him as soon as possible.
Two interesting pieces of information have been added to the site. One is a touching and deeply personal letter from William Stark of Fairview Park, Ohio to Governor Barnes. The other is a recent article that appeared in The Calhoun Times regarding the fact a vast amount of evidence points to the fact that all War Between the States battlefield sites are vast unmarked graveyards, with untold dead bodies hastily buried all over them. Please click on the link at the bottom of this page to read these insightful and timely documents.
The deadline for good faith negotiations between Mr. Fletcher and the State of Georgia has come and gone without success. Mr. Fletcher tried several bargaining maneuvers and essentially made offers to sell fractions of the property that were well beyond the fair market value of the property. (It is unconstitutional for the State to acquire property at amounts that exceed its appraised value.) The Georgia Department of Natural Resources Board is meeting THIS WEEK on this issue. They will make a recommendation to the Governor at that time.
It is once again IMPERATIVE that the Governor's office hear from you! Reports are that Mr. Fletcher has enlisted the support of some local political powers to portray this issue a purely of local concern. That it has NO State or National significance. The Governor is being pressured hard by these efforts. Furthermore, the Friends of Resaca is being portrayed as an organization created merely "to take" Mr. Fletcher's property from him. This, even though the Friends of Resaca was formed in 1994 and officially chartered in May 1996, long before Mr. Fletcher had any interest in the threatened battlefield property.
Now is the time for you to show Governor Barnes that this IS a State-wide and National issue. PLEASE WRITE THE GOVERNOR ON THIS ISSUE NOW, EVEN IF YOU HAVE ALREADY DONE SO IN THE PAST. If you have previously emailed the Governor, please take time now to FAX HIM or WRITE a letter to him. We now know that, due to the volume of earlier emails, many were deleted by the Governor's office and never read. Here's the address...
FAX the Governor at 404-657-7332
Please note that the Governor is especially partial to letters from school children. If possible have children send a letter of concern for the preservation and protection of the Resaca battlefield. Thanks!
I called the Governor's Office today to inquire about emailing our concerns. The Governor's email service in currently unavailable. It cannot be accessed from the web. I was told this is a temporary situation, however. I will notify everyone when the email outlet is available again.
I've updated the information page with several important items. First and foremost, I have placed a copy of the original offer by the State for the battlefield property out for your review. Please click on the link at the bottom of this page to find it.
Next, I added the first official statement issued by the Friends of Resaca Battlefield, Inc. on this controversy. Also added is an excellent editorial that appeared in The Marietta Daily Journal a few weeks ago.
We got over 1,000 signatures added to petitions last weekend at the annual Battle of Resaca reenactment. More are on the way as we gave many people copies to take home with them. The word is that there is a constant stream of favorable correspondence in support of the Battlefield Park getting to the Governor's Office. WE MUST KEEP IT UP!
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources Board met for TWO FULL DAYS on the Resaca Battlefield Park situation as it relates to the Scott Fletcher property last week. Unofficial reports have it that the State has begun a final effort to secure the historic property from Mr. Fletcher. This effort will be allowed to go forth for the next few weeks. If some sort of arrangement is not agreed to by Mr. Fletcher in that time, Governor Barnes will probably intervene.
It is important that the letter writing campaign in favor of the Battlefield Park continue during this time. Persistent pressure by the general public is VITAL to the success of this endeavor.
Thank you for your support in the past. Let us resolve to begin anew and preserve this historic site for the public interest and for future generations!
More information will be released as it becomes available.
Click here to learn more about the Battle of Resaca – II