Growing up in Dawson County, Ben Fouts remembers stories of his two grandfathers. One fought for the Confederacy and another in the Union Army.
"The one that fought for the Union army left northern Dawson County and walked to Tennessee to join the Union army up there," Fouts said. "Then he walked back after the war."
Fouts' grandfather was one of more than 5,000 Georgians, black and white, who fought for the United States against the Confederacy during the Civil War.
According to historians, North Georgia was a focal point of Union sentiment and resistance to Confederate recruitment and taxation policies.
Fouts was on hand Sept. 28 to see the unveiling of a historical marker that pays tribute to the First Georgia Volunteer Infantry Battalion, a U.S. Army unit raised in North Georgia during the Civil War after federal troops entered the state in 1864.
A collaborative by the Georgia Historical Society and the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the historical marker project is part of the national sesquicentennial commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
Dawson County Commissioner Gary Pichon said the marker project tells a part of local history many have not heard before.
"I think this marker tries to explain some of that and brings a more balanced approach to our history and people," he said.
The Dawson County commission approved the placement of the Civil War marker in July at the request of the local historical society. The marker was placed on the town square, beside the county's historic courthouse.
"So I'm glad it's here and glad it's in our county and I'm glad it's another piece of history that manifests for the people of this state," Pichon said.