Then And Now In Stone Mountain, Georgia

It’s an unusual form of Civil War remembrance, but the idea of a sculpture in the shape of a “Sherman’s necktie” opens up a number of avenues of interpretation.  It raises issues related to the physical destruction and displacement of civilians that Sherman’s men wrought.  The twisted rail also functions as a metaphor for change and the coming of emancipation in the heart of Georgia.  Of course, any discussion of emancipation also needs to deal with some of the hardships that freed slaves faced as they followed the army to the coast.  I think it’s an incredibly simple and yet creative piece.  Unfortunately, I was unable to locate any of the addresses that marked the sculpture’s unveiling.

What do you think?

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12 comments… add one
  • George D. N. Coletti, DMD Sep 2, 2011 @ 9:43

    Please excuse my typing. My spelling is much better than my typing and I did not proof the comment before submitting it late last evening, You are welcome to correct the typo’s if you like.


    • Kevin Levin Sep 2, 2011 @ 10:15

      Not a problem. Keep in mind that it’s a blog. I make mistakes all the time.

  • George Coeltti, DMD Sep 1, 2011 @ 18:27

    I am the Chairman of the Stone Mountain Sesqcicentennial Committee that is responsible for the Sherman’s Necktie Sculpture.

    The Sculpture is located in the center of town and ajoins the railroad track that was destroyed when Sherman came through. The “Necktie” name is the name given by his men as they neated and bent the rails.

    Dekalb County, Georgia, the County where Stone Mtn is located voted against secession.

    During the ceremony of the unveiling, the First National Flag was lowered and the thirty-five Star United States Flags was raised as the spectators joined in singing “God Bless America.

    Stone Mountain did not want to get involved in the war and this is one way the citizens can recognize the value of the war and the betterment of mankind.

    There wasa plenty of suffering on both sides and on all races and creeds during this conflict.
    No race or creed can deny involvement on either side.


    • Kevin Levin Sep 2, 2011 @ 1:33

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and congratulations on what I consider to be a thought-provoking monument.

  • Lyle Smith Aug 17, 2011 @ 8:30

    I think this is a wonderful example of building monuments that supplement existing ones. Hi-five to the people of Stone Mountain, Georgia.

    • Kevin Levin Aug 17, 2011 @ 9:18

      I think it is a very effective and thought-provoking sculpture.

      • Jeanne Aug 19, 2011 @ 7:30

        This is very interesting to me, I don’t really have a comment as far commemorative value of the Sherman’s bowtie other than as an object it seems to be an abstract sculpture and perhaps that is the intention of the group.

        However, it might interest you to know that we are including a replica Sherman’s bowtie as part of our renovated museum exhibitions and we chose that object specifically because of the railroad theme. Even though we’re in western Virginia, we deemed it a good representation of our regional Civil War history because the railroad and interruption of rail lines was so important for both armies.

        • Kevin Levin Aug 20, 2011 @ 2:10

          Thanks for the comment, Jeanne, and best of luck with the exhibit.

  • Ray O'Hara Aug 16, 2011 @ 18:35

    Stone Mt is pretty cool and even without the sculture it would be a major tourist attraction.
    A good viewing place is from Kennesaw Mt as for north of Atlanta as Stone Mt is south of it.
    It positively shines.

    as for Sherman’s neckltie, think instead of the old Biblical saw, “Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind”. When Sherman said “War is Hell, you cannot refine it” that is what he meant.
    the Secessionists chose war and war is what they got and war is as Sherman said , Hell.

    I have no sympathy for the people of Atlanta or in the zone of the March or any Southerner displaced by the War. the CSA started the shooting anything after that is on them.

    • Kevin Levin Aug 16, 2011 @ 18:39

      Thanks for the comment, Ray, but I am primarily interested in this as a form of remembrance rather than just another excuse to lay blame on one side or the other for starting the war.

      • Ray O'Hara Aug 16, 2011 @ 20:36

        this form of rememberance is designed to avoid the questions of why.
        What do Sherman’s neckties symbolize other than retribution”?

        “It raises issues related to the physical destruction and displacement of civilians that Sherman’s men wrought” Sherman’s Army didn’t “March to the Sea” on a whim or a for a lark. but to punish the South, to demonstrate also that the CSA govt couldn’t protect them,

        the most important feature of the March to the Sea was that in the middle of a war, an army was able to maraud through the heartland of a “country” unmolested. The only “battle” was a Georgia home guard militia unit that got hammered when it tried to intervene. It is wrong and irresponsible to remember what happened but not to explore why.

        • Kevin Levin Aug 17, 2011 @ 1:38

          I don’t see how you can form such a judgment without knowing more about what took place during this ceremony or behind the scenes.

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