Historic holiday menus created at the former Army post at Fort Oglethorpe from 1925-1940 are now available freely online in the Digital Library of Georgia

The Digital Library of Georgia (DLG) has partnered with the 6th Cavalry Museum to digitize its collection of historic holiday menus created at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia from 1925-1940, thanks to a digitization grant awarded by the DLG. 

The collection is available at https://dlg.usg.edu/collection/scm_scthm.

Holiday menus combine economic, cultural, and social histories of holidays as well as food and cooking history. Some of these menus also include rosters of US military personnel, as well as guests and family members. In some cases, the menus include a “year in review” section, providing key insights that aren’t offered elsewhere in materials held by the 6th Cavalry Museum.

These materials have proved to be particularly helpful to genealogists who have made use of them as a source of historical information, thanks in part to rosters recorded inside of the menus.

Food historians will be able to consult these resources for a history of food or a study of ritualized meals, and menu highlights provide critical information about military life and help provide a better understanding of the loss, change, and growth that took place during the 1920s and 1930s. 

Camilla Canty, a family historian doing research on her family, notes:

“My father joined the 6th Cavalry for officer’s training in 1940 at Fort Oglethorpe and eventually attained the rank of Major by the end of World War Two. Fort Oglethorpe held special memories for my parents because they met there when my father was in training and my mother worked for Col. James Troutt in the Office of the Surgeon.”

Selected Images

1933 Troop A Thanksgiving Menu
Thanksgiving dinner menu for troop A of the 6th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. 
https://dlg.usg.edu/record/scm_scthm_1933-11-30-troop-a
1935 Troop B Christmas Menu, page 4
Christmas dinner menu for troop B of the 6th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. This page identifies members of the troop. 
https://dlg.usg.edu/record/scm_scthm_1935-12-25-troop-b

About the 6th Cavalry Museum

The 6th Cavalry Museum preserves the rich military history of the Fighting Sixth Cavalry, the former Army Post at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia (1902 – 1946), and the Third Women’s Army Corps Training Center. Located on the Post’s original parade ground, the area is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, surrounded by officer’s homes and other Post buildings. The 6th Cavalry Museum was founded in 1981 by members of the 6th U.S. Cavalry Veterans Association and continues the mission of Sharing History for All. 

About the Digital Library of Georgia

Based at the University of Georgia Libraries, the Digital Library of Georgia is a GALILEO initiative that collaborates with Georgia’s libraries, archives, museums, and other institutions of education and culture to provide access to key information resources on Georgia history, culture, and life. This primary mission is accomplished through the ongoing development, maintenance, and preservation of digital collections and online digital library resources. DLG also serves as Georgia’s service hub for the Digital Public Library of America and as the home of the Georgia Newspaper Project, the state’s historic newspaper microfilming project. 

Visit the DLG at dlg.usg.edu. 

Twitter: @DigLibGA 

Facebook: facebook.com/DigitalLibraryofGeorgia/

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Materials belonging to historic Saint Paul’s Church, Augusta, Georgia’s oldest congregation, now freely available online

The Digital Library of Georgia has just released a collection of archival documents belonging to Saint Paul’s Church, the oldest church and institution in the city of Augusta and one of the oldest in Georgia. 

The collection, the St. Paul’s Church of Augusta Collection, is available at https://dlg.usg.edu/collection/spcag_spcagc.

Susan Yarborough, chair of the St. Paul’s Church history committee, outlines the church’s presence in Augusta: 

“Founded in 1750, St. Paul’s has a triple life as an active congregation, as a physical space encompassing buildings and a graveyard, and as a historic parish of the Episcopal Church. The oldest identified grave in its graveyard dates to 1783. Past parishioners of Saint Paul’s church include a signer of the U. S. Constitution, five governors of Georgia, six Confederate generals, the namesakes of several Georgia counties, two founding faculty of the Medical College of Georgia, several Augusta mayors, and an owner and an editor of The Augusta Chronicle newspaper.” 

Significant among the church’s materials are:

  • the church’s Vestry minutes for the years 1855-1923 encompass the 73-year period including the Civil War and Reconstruction, World War I, and the church’s destruction by fire in March 1916. The minutes record names of ministers and Vestry members, costs for the building and upkeep of the church and its furnishings, salaries of ministers, organists and sextons, pew rents, donations to charitable institutions, insurance policies, arrangements for special church services, eulogies to people important to the parish, and the efforts to rebuild the church after the fire.
  • With alphabetical indexes, three parish registers spanning the years 1820-1937, including records of marriages, baptisms, confirmations, communications, and burials, with a churchyard map, texts of grave markers, and statistics concerning the rites performed. The parish register from 1820-1868 records marriages, baptisms, confirmations, and burials for roughly 220 enslaved persons, beginning in 1823 and ending in 1865. The enslaved persons denoted in these records were largely house servants, often mixed race, who lived on close terms with their owners. In some cases, the actual houses in which these enslaved persons served their owners still exist, and the addresses are listed in extant city directories of the time. 

Yarborough adds: “The marriage records of these enslaved persons indicate names of the groom, bride, slave owners, minister, and date and location of the ceremony. These enslaved persons’ baptismal records indicate names of infant, mother, father (occasional), slave owner, minister, and baptismal sponsors (mother, slave owner or proxy, or other enslaved persons). Of particular note are multiple births recorded to enslaved mothers.”

Yarborough concludes that  “Information from such entries combined with Richmond County and surrounding counties’ slave inventories, appraisement, and sale records 1785-1865, probate records, and newspaper accounts of slave sales and freedom seekers can assist in tracing pre-Emancipation lines of kinship.”

There are many more materials, including marriage registers, historical extracts, print histories, articles, clippings, booklets, calling cards, and correspondence that account for the church’s early history, church conventions, centennial celebrations, and burials.   

Erick D. Montgomery, the executive director of Historic Augusta, Incorporated, who has regularly touched upon these materials in his work, notes:

“Having these historical materials available through digitization online will make valuable records available to anyone interested in the history of Georgia, Augusta, religion, societal trends, enslaved and free African Americans, genealogical connections, and countless other topics unforeseen.”

Featured images:

A page spread showing the grave marker of Commodore Oliver Bowen (ca. 1740–1800), a naval commander in the American Revolution, buried in Saint Paul’s Church’s graveyard. The image appears between pages 4 and 5 of The Story of St. Paul’s Church, Augusta – Georgia, A.D. 1750-1906, by the Rev. Chauncey Camp Williams, who was Rector of Saint Paul’s from 1877-1906. https://dlg.usg.edu/record/spcag_spcagc_spc10 

Page 122 from the Parish Register of Saint Paul’s Church for 1864, showing the baptismal records for Rose “(colored),” a daughter born to Cyrus and Mary, both persons enslaved by Mrs. Elizabeth Bowen, who is serving as baptismal sponsor. Two rows below is the baptismal record for Elisa Jane Beard “(colored),” daughter of Thomas P. and Carolina Beard, who were free persons of color. In 1868, Thomas P. Beard would become the first African American from Augusta, Georgia, to be elected to the Georgia House of Representatives. https://dlg.usg.edu/record/spcag_spcagc_spc14 

About Saint Paul’s Church  

Saint Paul’s Church is a community of people committed to serving and worshiping Jesus Christ in their current location for over 250 years.  With their roots deeply embedded in the city of Augusta and the surrounding area, they “seek and serve Christ in all persons.”  They are also rooted in their Anglican (Church of England) heritage and are an integral part of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia. Visit their web site at www.saintpauls.org/

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