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Hall Tales, episode 10: Hall County, the Civil War and Gen. James Longstreet
Longstreet Statue 3.jpg
A Statue of General James Longstreet is located at the site of his home 992 Longstreet Circle in Gainesville. - photo by Scott Rogers

What role did Hall County play in the Civil War? Did people in North Georgia even support secession? And how did the famed Confederate Gen. James Longstreet come to settle in Gainesville?

Host Johnny Vardeman and guest Richard Pilcher answer these questions and more in a wide-ranging talk recorded at the historic Piedmont Hotel, where Pilcher is the manager. The hotel, owned by Longstreet until his death in 1904, houses the Longstreet Society — a historical group dedicated to preserving the memory of the general and North Georgia’s role in the Civil War.

Longstreet took bold positions after the end of the Civil War that put him at odds with most of his compatriots in the South. The general also converted to Catholicism and joined the Republican Party — neither of which made him popular in the early years after the war.

You can find out more about the society on its Facebook page or by visiting the hotel at 827 Maple St. in Gainesville.

Hall Tales is a podcast series produced by The Times that explores the history of Hall County from recent events to those beyond living memory. Episodes publish twice a month through December, when the county will celebrate its 200th birthday.

If you’d like more information on the podcast, email

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