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Georgia Historical Society to Dedicate Civil War 150 Marker for Georgia Unionist
SAVANNAH, Ga., September 21, 2012 – The Georgia Historical Society will unveil a new historical marker at Blue Ridge Downtown Park, in Blue Ridge, Ga. entitled William Clayton Fain: Georgia Unionist on Thu. Oct. 11, 2012, at 1:30 p.m.
William Fain was born in Morganton, GA, in 1825, and refused to sign the Ordinance of Secession that attempted to take Georgia out of the United States in 1861.
“By pushing beyond the myths that have grown up over the past 150 years, historians are beginning to better understand how Southerners responded to secession and how complex loyalty was during the Civil War,” said GHS President and CEO, Dr. W. Todd Gross. “Not everyone embraced separation from the United States. In fact thousands of Southerners opposed the Confederacy. They are a reminder that South and Confederate are not synonymous terms.”
Speaker of the House, David Ralston, himself a descendant of Georgia Unionists, will make the keynote address.
In partnership with the Georgia Department of Economic Development and Georgia Battlefields, this event is part of a statewide commemoration of the Civil War’s 150th anniversary. The program is conducted across the state to unveil new and recently-replaced historical markers that explore the stories of Georgia’s Civil War history as lived and experienced by its people during those tumultuous and transformative years.
The Georgia Historical Society has administered Georgia’s statewide marker program since 1998, erecting over 180 historical markers across Georgia on a wide variety of subjects.
William Clayton Fain: Georgia Unionist
One of the leading Unionists in the state during the Civil War, William Clayton Fain was born in Georgia in 1825. A Fannin County lawyer and state representative, he served in the 1861 Secession Convention, where he opposed Georgia leaving the United States and refused to sign the Ordinance of Secession. During the Civil War, Fain was an outspoken supporter of the United States and an anti-Confederate leader among the sizeable number of Unionists in Fannin and adjoining counties. In 1864, the U.S. Army authorized him to raise recruits, which he conducted into Federal lines. Fain was captured and killed by Confederates near Ducktown, Tennessee, on April 6, 1864. He was one of many Southerners who opposed the Confederacy, including 400,000 – primarily from the Upper South – who enlisted in the U.S. armed forces.