Fifth graders at Sandhills Farm Life School
helped commemorate the burning of Atlanta
near the end of the Civil War with the annual
reading of "Mystery at the Loyd Homeplace."
When the city was burned in November of 1864,
refugees from the city gathered on the hilltop
where the Loyd homeplace still stands to see
their beloved city go up in flames.
This picture from "Gone With the Wind"
depicts the heart-wrenching event.
With great attention to detail, the railroad
cars are accurately designated as "W& A,"
for Western & Atlantic. That railroad had
it's zero milepost on Loyd Street, one of
Atlanta's seven original streets, and named for
my great-great-great grandfather James Loyd.
One bit of trivia movie-goers didn't know: the
flames in GWTW were from the burning from
an old set from the original King Kong movie.
These fifth graders are primed to listen,
learn, and become Junior Historians.
This portrait of my great grandparents,
Joseph Alford Loyd and Mary Louvinnie
Echols Loyd, is a family heirloom. This year
I brought my great grandfather's walking cane,
made of sturdy but rare "wormy" chestnut.
Of course my faithful companion
Chipper was dressed in appropriate
period uniform, and was as popular as ever.
The remaining fifth grade classes will
experience the book in mid-December,
wrapping up our celebration of the
sesquicentennial of the Battles of Peachtree
Creek and Atlanta. I dedicated this year's
reading to my father, who was born 50 years
after those battles and would have been 100
years old this year. What a year it has been!