The Coosa Room of the Rome-Floyd County Library was packed with Civil War enthusiasts Thursday night as they waited to hear history unfold.
Around 100 people were in attendance at the Civil War symposium, the first in a planned series of local events commemorating the war anniversary.
Chris Cannon, director of communications for the Greater Rome Convention & Visitors Bureau, said he was pleased by the number of people who turned up to hear Dan Roper of Rome, publisher and editor of Georgia Backroads magazine, speak to an eager crowd.
In a presentation about Rome’s role in the start of the war and secession, Roper said that while many Georgians did not want to secede from the Union, those who did were motivated by a sense of economic despair and political inequality.
“Southerners have always hated being told what to do and how to do it,” said Roper.
The symposium is one of five that will take place in 2011, the next one being on April 26. Barry Brown, director of the Georgia Civil War Commission will be the guest speaker. Cannon said the symposiums would continue through 2015, following the sesquicentennial of the Civil War.
“We really wanted to bring the Civil War to a local level,” Cannon said. “There was significant war activity here in Rome.”
Roper said it was a privilege as a Roman to research the war and then share that information with others interested in history.
“This is a fascinating topic. Understanding the truth of what happened is important,” Roper said.
CIVIL WAR SERIES COMING UP NEXT
Spirits of the Civil War: Myrtle Hill Cemetery
April 9, 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m.; Myrtle Hill Cemetery
Travel through the Civil War history of Georgia’s Rome by visiting residents of Myrtle Hill Cemetery wearing period dress and telling stories of their experience during the Civil War in Rome. Please note: this tour is a moderate to strenuous walk with steps and slopes involved. Cost: $8 adult, $5 children (12 and younger).
Civil War Symposium: Barry Brown
April 21, 2011, 6:30 p.m.; Rome-Floyd County Library
Barry Brown, author of “Crossroads of Conflict: A Guide to Civil War Sites in Georgia,” will speak about the Civil War in Georgia. Book signing will follow. Free
Spirits of the Civil War: Downtown Rome
May 7, 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m.; Rome-Floyd Visitor Center
Step aboard the Toonerville Trolley for a tour of the major Civil War sites throughout historic downtown Rome. A period-dressed guide will explain the significance of Rome’s many forts, industrial sites and civil war medical centers. Free, but tickets required. Call 706-295-5576 to reserve tickets.