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BATL 2013 – The 149th Anniversary of the Historic Battle of Atlanta

By Henry Bryant
BATL, the annual event that commemorates the Civil War Battle of Atlanta, returns this year from July 13th through July 21st with many of the crowd pleasers from years past and new offerings that visitors will love. “There is something for everyone” according to BATL organizer Stephanie Parker.
New on the schedule this year are four author programs, a new line up of storytellers and new stories, and dancing at the Gala at East Lake Golf Club. The week of activities builds with a full day of programs on Saturday, July 20.
On Tuesday, July 16th, a BATL Civil War to Civil Rights oral history program will feature two of the “Atlanta Nine” who will be interviewed by Cliff Kuhn, Author of Living Atlanta: an Oral History of the City, 1914-1948. Martha Holmes-Jackson and Rosalyn Walton-Lees were two of the first students to integrate public schools in Georgia. Murphy High School (now Crim High School) on the battlefield where the Battle of Atlanta began, was one of four Atlanta Public Schools chosen to display the city’s early and peaceful approach to integration in a turbulent time across the South. These Civil Rights heroes of 1962 will tell their story at First Iconium Baptist Church at 542 Moreland Ave. Mark Dunkelman who wrote Marching With Sherman will appear at the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum of Wednesday July 17th. Mr. Dunkelman will highlight the Atlanta nemesis’ travels through Georgia and the Carolinas. Atlantan Millie Coleman, author of Frances Virginia Tearoom Cookbook and dietary anthropologist, will host a cornbread tasting and talk with “Cornbread Through the Agesat the Dekalb History Center on Thursday July 18th.
BATL Grand Finale on Sunday July 21st will be a talk by author Pamela Hain, whose recent book is Murder in the State Capitol. The book details the death of Colonel Robert Alston whose home still stands on the battlefield in southeast Atlanta. The mystery, political intrigue, and conspiracies that surround this famous death still echo in Georgia’s history and the halls of the Capitol. All of the author programs begin at 7pm and are free.
The Family From (pronounced like Tom) will bring banjos and bass fiddles to entertain the very young with music, Appalachian Jack Tales, and a story about biscuits. Linda Martin will haunt the battlefield with ghost stories about the Battle of Atlanta and Christina Johns will bring poignant tales of the Grays and the Blues about what happened to families in the aftermath of 150 years ago. Brer Rabbit and Abe Lincoln are returning by popular demand. The Story Fest will be on Saturday, September 20 at the East Atlanta and Kirkwood Branch Libraries.
The BATL Gala will return to East Lake Golf Club this year with a new musical addition sponsored by Capital City Bank. Matt George and his Band with hits from Sam Cook and Motown plus a dance floor add up to a fun time of twisting, shagging, and rocking to the oldies. The Gala dinner dance will be on Friday, July 19th at 7pm with advance ticket sales only at 404-377-6148 or online.
The 5K Doublequick Race will again take to the battlefield as will three different battle tours (van, walking and bicycle) and three cemetery tours. Civil War and Civil Rights living history will also be ongoing on July 20th including a performance by the 8th Regiment Band. Wreaths will be laid at the two battlefield monuments. By next year, the 150th Anniversary of the Battle, BATL organizers hope to have raised enough money to restore the historic monuments and their city parks.
Many of the programs are free. Tickets and more information are available online at BATL Headquarters at 447 Flat Shoals Ave. Atlanta, GA. will be open only on July 20th.
The Georgia Humanities Council, the Neighborhood Foundation,  GPVTV, The East Atlanta Beer Fest, Historic Oakland Cemetery Foundation, The East Lake Family YMCA, The Friends of East Atlanta Library, Sylvester Cemetery Foundation, The City of Atlanta (District 5), The Dekalb History Center, The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum and The Atlanta Preservation Center are assisting the B*ATL Organizing Committee made up of representatives from the battlefield neighborhood associations. Major Sponsors include ScoutMob, Big Peach Running Company, Elise Ashpole, DDM, Midway Pub, Tomatillos, East Atlanta Community Assn., and UPS Store-Monroe Dr.
Contact: Henry Bryant 404-377-6148 or

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