Kingston Then and Now

Kingston Then and Now is designed to be a self-guided tour to the more than 20 significant historic sites in and near Kingston, GA.

This website and the accompanying text will help you to find the sites where the events occurred. Our book, "Kingston Then and Now" which is more than 150 pages in length has greater details about each person and event. The focus is on the events which occurred during the Civil War and their lasting impact on the town of Kingston and its people.

Several first hand accounts of the War in Kingston are available:
  • Country Life in Georgia In The Days Of My Youth by Rebecca Latimer Felton. Her husband served as pastor of the Methodist Church in Kingston

  • In and Out of the Lines by Frances Thomas Howard. Her father's place was at Spring Bank.

  • Daring and Suffering is the story of the Great Locomotive Chase as told by one of the raiders, William Pittinger

  • Post War, a number of other significant authors and pastors called Kingston home:
  • Clement Evans. Lt. General in the War, afterwards pastor of Kingston Methodist Church, author of Military History of Georgia, Cyclopedia of Georgia with Allen D. Candler and was the author/editor of the 13 volume set, Confederate Military History.

  • Rev. Charles Wallace Howard. Captain in the GA 63rd Infantry Regiment. Owner of Spring Bank. Authored a number of books on agriculture after the war. More than a dozen titles are listed in Worldcat.

  • Charles Henry Smith (AKA Bill Arp) served as a Major in the Georgia 8th Infantry Regiment. After the war he lived in Rome for awhile, then on a farm between Kingston and Cartersville. In his later years he moved to Cartersville.

  • Hidden in the upper west corner of Bartow County lies the town of Kingston – really now just a sleepy hamlet, but there once was a day when Kingston played an important part in our nation’s history.

    Kingston wasn’t then, nor is it now just about the events that occurred there. It’s about the people who made history happen. This is their story. If you get a chance to visit in person, take the time to visit with the folks who now call Kingston home. It was their family who made this history, and it is their family stories that preserve it.

  • Settled in the 1830’s while the area was Cherokee Indian territory.
  • In 1849 the Memphis Branch Railroad was opened connecting Savannah and Charleston with the Mississippi and Chattanooga to the North.
  • Major supplier for Confederate gunpowder with the saltpeter mined nearby.
  • Home to Georgia’s most significant cave, the Kingston Saltpeter cave.
  • The Great Locomotive Chase was sidetracked and impeded at Kingston on April 12, 1862.
  • Confederate hospital center that included a "Wayside Home" for rehabilitation which served more than 10,000 men.
  • During the Atlanta Campaign, Confederate and Federal armies marched through Kingston.
  • Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman spent May 19-23, 1864, in Kingston planning his attack on Atlanta.
  • The beginning of Sherman’s March to the Sea.
  • Served as a supply base for the Federal army.
  • Kingston was the birthplace of Memorial Day.
  • The final surrender of Confederate troops east of the Mississippi.
  • Michelle Obama’s great great great grandmother lived in Kingston and is buried there.

  • For Additional Research