Hey, folks! Heather here. Allow me to introduce you to Clint. He is a founding member of our group, served as our first Director, and is one of our team sensitives. Currently, he’s writing a book! I’ll let him tell you all about it, as well as a personal experience he had while working on said book.
I have been conducting research for my book called War Was Here, for over a year. This book is a photographic documentary of General Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign and the March to the Sea. I will be documenting the current conditions of the battlefields and other significant locations on the campaign’s route through Georgia.
Several weeks ago I was scouting a location where the Battle of New Hope Church was fought. This battle was fought along what is known as the Dallas Line. It was a line of Confederate troops that stretched from Dallas, Georgia, to Pickett’s Mill. There is a church there, two actually, as well as some trenches, and the cemetery. The churches and cemetery are on a low ridge and as you stand in the cemetery and face in a north-westerly direction, you will see the cemetery continues down a gentle slope to the tree line. This cemetery was here during the battle, but was much smaller, and the wooded area beyond the cemetery was open. Confederate troops were positioned in the cemetery and out of respect for it they refused to entrench themselves or even use the grave markers for cover.
The property at the tree line is posted and I do not recommend going in there without permission, but if you stand at the tree line you can look into the woods and see a fairly deep ravine. This low area and ravine, as well as several other ravines located further back and a little more north (between some neighborhoods), were nicknamed “Hell Hole” after the battle. The Union troops were unable to break the Confederate line and the Union troops took a beating. Many dead were scattered across the field of battle and the ravines were filling up fast with wounded and dying soldiers, as well as those just trying to get out of the line of fire. These soldiers were stuck there until nightfall, when those that were able, slipped back to the Union lines under the cover of darkness.
While standing at the tree line looking into the ravine, I was overcome with an overwhelming sense that I was not alone. I felt heavy, almost like I could not stand up on my own. I felt exhausted and my head got a little swimmy. The most memorable part was when my mouth went completely dry and I could barely get my tongue off the roof of my mouth. That’s when suddenly I began to taste that metallic, coppery taste of blood. I had been at the tree line less than a minute when it hit me. I can assure you that I surely did not stay a minute longer. I had not been prepared for that, but I will be when I go back on the anniversary of the battle to make images for my book.
If you are interested in my book please feel free to check out the links below. One is to my Kickstarter page to help with funding and the other is to my blog about the book and will have updates as I progress from location to location making the images.