Slave Dwelling: This building is representative of a slave dwelling at the Archibald Smith Plantation Home. Though the exact age of the structure is unknown, it is believed to be one of the oldest on the site. It is believed to have been used by slaves who cleared the land prior to the construction of the Plantation Home in 1845. In 1940, Archibald Smith's grandson, Arthur, made alterations to a number of structures on the plantation site. He may have removed a fireplace and chimney from this structure and replaced them with a glass paned window. Only house servants would have occupied cabins located this close to the main home. Field hands would have lived closer to the fields in which they worked.
Plan your visit of the Southern Trilogy Homes where you will experience the authentic American South. Tours are available year-round. We look forward to sharing our culture and heritage with you.
Roswell Mills and Old Mill Park
On the banks of Vickery's Creek, ruins of the Roswell Mills can be found. The largest mill building was constructed in 1853 and the area is now a city park. A few hundred feet down stream from that location, is the site of Roswell's first cotton mill which was built in 1839. These mills were burned by Union forces on July 7, 1864, with the help of some of the Roswell Mill employees. Only the 1853 mill was rebuilt after the war and used until destroyed by fire again in 1926. These mills were known as the Roswell Manufacturing Company. The mill seen today was built in 1882 as an addition to the complex. Today, the Roswell Mill houses offices and an events facility.
Lost Mill Workers of Roswell
Theophile Roche, a French citizen, had been employed by the cotton mills and later the woolen mill. In an attempt to save the mills, he flew a French flag in hopes of claiming neutrality. However, the letters "CSA" (Confederate States of America) were found on cloth being produced. For two days the mill was spared, but on July 7, after it was proven that the claim of being neutral was false, General Sherman ordered everyone connected with the mill to be charged with treason. The nearby cotton mill was also destroyed. Mill workers, mostly women and children since the men were fighting the war, were arrested, charged with treason and sent north to uncertain fates. One of the women involved in this tragedy was pregnant and working as a seamstress at the mill. She was sent north to Chicago and left to fend for herself. It would take five years before she and her daughter would return, on foot, to Roswell, only to find that her husband had remarried because he thought she was dead. A monument, dedicated to the 400 women and children, is located in the park on Sloan Street.
Roswell Town Square
"I repeat my orders that you arrest all people, male and female, connected with those factories, no matter what the clamor, and let them foot it, under guard, to Marietta, whence I will send them by cars to the North ... The poor women will make a howl."
The 400 Roswell mill workers (mostly women and children) who were charged with treason were held overnight, under guard, in the Town Square until they could be sent by wagons to Marietta and transported by train to the north. The Town Square is also the setting for President Theodore Roosevelt's visit to Roswell. The crowds gathered here and he also visited his mother's childhood home, Bulloch Hall where he was reminiscent of the stories she had told him as a child.
793 Mimosa Blvd.
Roswell, GA 30075
Exhibits of political, social, and historical interests document the history of the United States, Georgia, and Roswell. Featuring U.S. Presidents, Georgia Authors, Women in the White House, Transportation, World War II, Anne Frank Exhibit, and more. Normally open Mon. - Fri. 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Call to confirm hours and admission.
- Civil War/Roswell Mills and Mill Life Audio Tour
- Roswell Historic District Cemeteries Brochure [816KB pdf]
The Civil War
In May of 1864, three Union Armies under the leadership of General William T. Sherman began moving south from Chattanooga, TN, to capture Atlanta. His advance to Atlanta was delayed two weeks by fierce fighting at Kennesaw Mountain, culminating with a major battle on June 27.
On July 3, Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston retreated south from Kennesaw to pre-constructed trenches on the Chattahoochee River, known as the River Line. Sherman’s troops came into Marietta on July 3. He briefly established his headquarters at the Kennesaw House Hotel, before leaving to pursue Johnston to the River Line.
Sherman knew that a direct assault on these Confederate defenses would be too costly in human lives, so he sent 4,000 mounted men twelve miles up river to out-flank the Confederate army. This flanking column was under the command of Union General Kenner Garrard. His mission was to capture the covered bridge at Roswell, therefore gaining a crossing point to threaten the Confederate position down stream.
Union Troops arrived in Roswell from Marietta on July 5th.
July 6, the Union army destroyed the Roswell Manufacturing Company. The sheeting from the Roswell Cotton Mill was taken to Marietta to be used in the field hospitals that were being set up under Union control.
July 10th the Roswell mill workers were sent by wagon to Marietta. There they were placed at the Georgia Military Academy. On the 15th of July, they were marched to the train station and sent by train to the north.
From July 13 – 17, A Union army crossed at Roswell. Roswell was occupied by approximately 31,000 troops during July of 1864.
On July 22, the Union army engaged with the Confederate army in the Battle of Atlanta.
The fighting at the Shallow ford on July 9, 1864 involved the Spencer repeating rifle by Union forces. This was the first time in U.S. history a rifle was used successfully under water during armed conflict.
A special thanks to historian Michael Hitt for the above information!
Great Oaks (1842)
Located on Mimosa Boulevard
This historic home was originally the residence of Rev. & Mrs. Nathaniel Pratt. Local clay was used for the bricks, which were hand-molded by slave labor. The Pratts remained in the house during the Civil War, even though General John A. Logan headquartered there and his troops encamped on the lawns. Rev. Pratt wrote: "My front and back yard were full of horses and tents and quartermasters stores up to my very door." (This site is now an events facility)
Roswell Presbyterian Church
Located on Mimosa Boulevard
Completed in 1840, the church was used as a hospital for Union soldiers from July 8, 1864 until shortly after July 17. A cabinet still carries the imprint of a checker board carved there by convalescing soldiers.
Mimosa Hall (1842)
Located on Bulloch Avenue
Originally build in 1842 the structure was of wood but burned during its house-warming. It was rebuilt of brick covered with stucco and scored to resemble stone. During the Civil War the home was used as a hospital. (private residence).
Chattahoochee River Crossing
Located on Atlanta Street near Azalea and Riverside
The original covered bridge was built in 1857 by the Roswell Manufacturing Company to aid in shipping to the railroad hub in Atlanta. The bridge was actually burned by Confederate troops to prevent the Union cavalry from gaining a crossing of the Chattahoochee River. When General Sherman was notified that the bridge had been destroyed he responded: "The bridge at Roswell is important and you may destroy all Georgia to make it strong." In only 3 days, Union forces rebuilt the bridge that measured 14 ft. high and 710 ft. long. Sherman had his troops burn this bridge on August 7,1864 after they crossed, to prevent the Confederate forces from using it. In 1869 the bridge was rebuilt and used until the current bridge replaced it in 1925.
Heritage Center at Roswell Visitors Bureau
617 Atlanta Street - Roswell, GA 30075
770-640-3253 or 800-776-7935
The Heritage Center at Roswell Visitors Bureau houses exhibits showcasing the history of the Roswell Mills and Mill Life. Part of the Roswell Visitors Center, the exhibits are open to the public; free of charge.
Lost Mill Workers of Roswell Monument
Sloan Street Park, 75 Sloan Street
Roswell Historical Society/
City of Roswell Research Library and Archives
950 Forest Street
Roswell, GA 30075
Second floor of the Roswell Cultural Arts Center.
Open Mon. & Thurs., 1-4:30 pm.
Civil War/Roswell Mill Village Audio Tour
Hear the stories of early Roswell, Roswell Mills, Civil War and the 400 women and children mill workers who were charged with treason and sent north to uncertain fates. Download the free audio tour or stop by the Visitors Center at 617 Atlanta Street to check one out.
Self-Guided Walking Tour through our Historic District.
Roswell Ghost Tours
Grand Greek revival mansions and humble mill worker's apartments are some of the haunted sites you'll see on this mile of easy walking. Tours depart from the bandstand in Roswell Square (across from the Roswell Visitor's Center). Call for tour times. Reservations are required. Private group tours available. $10 for children 12 and under, $15 for adults.
Michael Hitt’s Historical Tours
Customized historical tours with local author Michael Hitt.