Saturday November 8th is Newborn’s Old School Fall Festival. The festival will feature food, music, crafts, and the history of Newton. Since this year is the 150th anniversary of Sherman’s March to the Sea, Newborn will be featuring their special Civil War history. They even had Sherman stay in town with them!
Sherman stayed in the home of John W. Pitts. Pitts was brother-in-law of the first settler of Newborn, Rufus Broome. Pitts was a lawyer and prominent writer. He grew up in Connecticut, which made him a Union sympathizer. This is why Sherman picked to stay with him during his March to the Sea. In his diary, Sherman called Pitts a “strange cock.”
Even though Sherman stayed with Pitts, Sherman’s men still killed all of Pitt’s livestock and burned his cotton gin. Sherman apologized to Pitts and offered to pay for the damage.
The house Sherman stayed in is called the Relious Pitts house. It is a two-story home built close to the sidewalk. In Newborn: Characters, Places and Tales, it is said that people would give the sidewalk by the house a wideberth because “Uncle Relius” would spit tobacco over the porch rail and onto the sidewalk. If he didn’t see you coming it could end up on you!
Uncle Relius is John’s younger son. He also had a son named Noel Marcellus Pitts. Sadly, Noel was the only Civil War casualty from Newborn.
If you want to celebrate some Newborn Civil War history, come visit the Old School Fall Festival! You will have a grand time eating, crafting, and listening to some blues music!