Waterside Estates History
Waterside Estates History
Waterside a place like no other.
Thank you for visiting our "little piece of heaven". We know you will enjoy the beauty that surrounds you but we would also like you to enjoy a little journey back in time. These beautiful old mountains have witnessed and become a part of the rich heritage of our nation. Turn your mind back to…
June 18, 1862
The Congressional Medal of Honor
On April 12, 1862 a group of 20 Union spies led by civilian James Andrews stole a train as it sat idling outside the Lacey restaurant in Big Shanty, Ga. Their objective was to tear up the track, burn bridges and bring as much disruption to the Confederate railway system as possible. Conductor Fuller and his crew were inside eating breakfast when they heard the General pulling away. The race was on. Eventually the General would be recaptured at Ringgold Gap just south of Chattanooga. Within two weeks all the spies had been arrested.
In the Spring of 1862, The Congressional Medal of Honor was created. On March 25, 1863, Secretary of War Stanton presented the first six medals to members of James Andrew’s raiders. Since that time almost 4,000 medals have been awarded. Only one medal has been awarded to a women and 19 individuals have received two medals. We can say with pride that our Waterside mountains witnessed the first acts of heroism to be formally recognized by our great nation.
May 19, 1864
Fresh off his encounter with a portion of Sherman’s 110,000 men at Resaca, General Joseph E. Johnson brought his 54,000 Confederates to these mountains you are about to enter. They were tired and weary but the battle for Atlanta had just begun. It would last all summer until in late August when Sherman burned the pride of the South so thoroughly that it was "gone with the wind". Think about the camp fires, the tents, and the cannon that sat among the trees but most importantly think the men whose blood would soon soak the ground in this epic battle for our freedom. The land of Waterside provided a respite from the battles of life just as it does today.
October 5, 1864
The Little Big Horn
Just south and west of Waterside lies Allatoona Pass. This 300 foot deep railway bed was cut into our mountain to facilitate early railroad traffic. In fact on October 5, 1864 a one day battle took place to see who would control this important point. When the smoke and dust had cleared and over 1600 men lay dead, wounded or missing, the Union forces held. This battle had little importance to the outcome of the Civil War but it would be a prelude to the next great chapter in our history --- The settlement of the American West. Throughout the Civil War single shot muskets and carbines were used by both the North and South. Late in the War, the advantage of a multi-shot rifle would come into focus at Allatoona Pass. Here over 200 men of the 7th Illinois were equipped with "The Henry". In this four-hour battle over 31,000 shots were fired by these rifles. The success of the Union holding Allatoona Pass is directly related to the Henry Repeating Rifle. A man named Custer would learn the advantage of the Repeating Rifle but in a very different way. His troops at the Little Big Horn were for the most part were equipped with single shot Spencer Carbines. Many of the Native Americans, on the other hand, were equipped with repeating rifles such as The Henry. The Henry Rifle was purchased by Winchester Arms. It later became known as The Winchester 73---the gun that won the West. It’s interesting that our little Waterside stretched it’s influence all the way to the Little Big Horn in Montana.
May 21, 1927
The Spirit of St. Louis
Charles A. Lindbergh has just flown across the Atlantic Ocean for the first time and landed at Le Bourget Field in Paris. In a little over 33 hours, Mr. Lindbergh and the "Spirit of St. Louis" had made aviation history. The modern era of air travel had begun. But what does that have to do with Waterside? Well for that we have to go back to the early 1920s. Mr. Lindbergh needs a plane to start his illustrious career. He finds a WWI surplus bi-wing Curtis Genny just outside Atlanta. He buys the little plane and takes off headed back to his Mid-western home. But which way is North. As you drive through Waterside you will see a street named Arrow Mountain Drive. On that mountain is a large concrete arrow pointing north. It was placed there to give early aviators a visual indicator of which way was north. Did the arrow at Waterside get Lindbergh started in the right direction. We will never know but its fun to think about. By the way, I just saw an old bi-winged plane fly over my house!
Giant concrete arrow
Apparently this 70 foot long concreate arrow was an old Airmail beacon a long time ago. In the 1920's the US Postal service began shipping mail via air and built these beacons to light the way at night as well as for markers during the day. They are built approximately 10 miles apart and the towers were generally 50 feet tall. The beacon light ran off of a generator at the feather end of the arrow. They were typically painted bright yellow for use during the day to point the way. Research also told me that in the 40's the government decommissioned them and they chopped off all of the towers to use as scrap metal for WWII. So all that would be left is the concrete arrow which we have in waterside here. Although the yellow paint has worn off.
Waterside is a place of uncompromising beauty but, maybe even more important, of unparalled spirit with regards to our heritage.
- A narrative from the Waterside Homeowners Association