Monday, July 19, 2010

Washington, Georgia - Historic Antebellum City

Founded as a frontier fort before the American Revolution, the charming small city of Washington, Georgia, is a jewel of antebellum architecture and history.

Home to over 100 antebellum homes and structures, Washington was the economic, social and political center of a large plantation district during the years leading up to the Civil War. It was the home of U.S. Senator Robert Toombs, who went on to become the first Secretary of State of the Confederacy and a Confederate general, as well as Porter Alexander, who gained fame as the commander of artillery in the Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee.

As the war drew to a close in 1865, Washington became the focal point of great drama. Varina Howell Davis, the First Lady of the Confederacy, arrived there and spent several nights at Holly Court, a beautiful antebellum home that is now a bed & breakfast end. Richmond had fallen and the Davis family and other elite members of Confederate society were fleeing south to Florida in hopes of finding a way to escape the Federal soldiers on their trail.

President Jefferson Davis held his final conference with other key Southern leaders in Washington before beginning a final attempt at flight that ended with his capture at Irwinville, Georgia, a few days later.

The city also figures prominently in the mystery of the missing Confederate treasury. Vast quantities of gold and silver spirited away from Richmond at the end of the war were last seen in Washington and there are many legends of buried treasure in the area.

The city today is a remarkable place with a charming downtown and oak-shaded streets lined by historic homes and churches. To learn more, please visit

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