The Hencart Road Review
Spring-Summer 2009
Volume 1 Issue 4
Published by Thompson's Books of SE Georgia
Tony Thompson Editor
Well, I always said this was going to be a “periodical” and as you can see, publication has certainly been “periodical”. Suffice to say, We ain’t dead yet!”  Quite the contrary, we’ve been so busy around here we’ve hardly had time to do much in the way of writing. However, some other folks have been doing some very impressive work which makes this overdue issue even more called for. Let's do some “crowing” about recent works to preserve the history of the Altamaha River basin and South Georgia area.
With warm regards,
Tony Thompson  
Stories from The Tattnall Journal 1905-1950 by John Rabun Jr.
Many of you are familiar with John Rabun Jr. for his previous work A History of Tattnall County 1801-1865. At the behest of others longing for a history of the county, John revised and reprinted a research paper from his college days which is still very much in demand. John’s love of history led him to transcribe and publish Stories from the Tattnall Journal 1905-1950 in the latter part of 2008. Some of the articles come from his earlier research while others are gleaned from more recent transcriptions. Several of the articles come from issues which will soon be lost forever due to age and a lack of formal preservation. The book features a collection of copied articles from the years mentioned and covers a wide range of topics ranging from historical to social while many provoke a good laugh as well. At the time of this newsletter the book was already into a second printing; ample proof of the warm reception given to this work by local history enthusiasts. Of particular interest to many are the articles related to the politics surrounding the creation of Toombs County from part of Tattnall. The book also contains numerous biographies of individuals related to the Folsom and Rhoden families (publishers of the Tattnall Journal over the years). The book is available locally at the Tattnall Journal office in Reidsville or from Thompson’s Books. Makes a perfect gift! It is (paperback) 8.5 x 11 printed by Tattnall Journal Printing including a glossy photo cover and has 268 pages including a thorough index. $29.95

New Book Tales of the Altamaha Published
The Altamaha Heritage Center is proud to announce the publication of T. Ross Sharpe’s Tales of the Altamaha. The book is based on the published essays of T. Ross Sharpe about the Altamaha River area. It’s been a labor of love for retired Georgia Southern professors Roger G. Branch and Fred W. Brogdon who edited the essays and arranged them into the 230 page 8.5 x 11 hardback book. The book has twenty chapters and features Sharpe’s observations about the people, places and culture of the river area and its history. The book is both humorous and serious, entertaining and educational, a pure delight to read. This editor began reading a copy today (21 May 09) and can enthusiastically say, “This is good stuff!” The book is handsome with an attractive dust cover, has many wonderful sketches and drawings and just as pleasing to the eye as it is to the mind. First edition copies are going fast. $39.95

Altamaha Play Holds 5th Performance-Website for Tickets
The folk life play “Tales from the Altamaha” held its fifth production this year and was again warmly received by visitors far and wide. The play now features a website to help you with tickets. Please visit the website and plan your visit for next year’s production at  This editor would like to add that he has heard only a few complaints about the play over the years which is not surprising when one considers that there are those who find fault with even a well-prepared banana pudding. One complained her seat was too hard, another couldn’t hear as well as she liked and one I gave some credence said the play tilted too far left and overboard when it invited Harriet Tubman's underground railroad story to the river play (and departed from T. Ross’s actual essays). All that said and aired, it still behooves us to continue to support the play and spread the word about it because, like the river itself, it is our shared treasure. Where else can you take your children and grandchildren to see our local history recalled? It’s not on the Disney or History Channel.

Tattnall Map Available Now
The 1909 Hudgins Company map of Tattnall County is now available in an improved format from the Friends of Old Shiloh organization. Contact Martha Cain at to secure a copy. This is the same map that I once sold in limited supply. The map shows homeplaces by head of household, cemeteries, schools etc. The Friends have updated the map with more legible print and found a more economical method of producing copies to offer the map at an affordable price. Also, proceeds from the map sales go to assist with preservation of the Old Shiloh Cemetery in Tattnall County.

Why The Hencart Road?
Several readers have asked me to explain what the term “Hencart Road” means and where it came from. I’ll do my best to answer quickly and accurately. Various references are found in surveys, maps, news articles, etc. from the 1800’s to present day referring to the road that ran (and still runs) inland from Hawkinsville (and further inland to Macon later) through various towns and settlements, not the least of which was Glennville and on to Richmond Hill (Way’s Station) and Savannah at the coast. A number of notable Georgia historians have offered similar conclusions about the name of the road. In Ken Krakow’s index of Georgia place names, Dot Simmon’s History of Evans County and the recently published Tales from the Altamaha by Branch and Brogdon, the story is always the same: Tradition holds that the name “Hencart” came from farmers using the road to carry chickens to market in “carts”. However, the same sources also conclude that the original name may have been “Handcart Road” which was later “corrupted” to “Hencart Road”. This reminds me of the question about the difference between a branch and a creek or of how to pronounce “Pecan”. Is it “pee-can” or “pah-cahn”? But I digress. If it was “Handcart” to start with, who came up with that? We might learn something from the folks down in the Zephyrhills/Dade City area of Florida. They’ve got a “Handcart Road” albeit a much shorter one and of course, so do the folks over in China, lots of them over there. Florida and China can have their Handcart Roads. If our ancestors did indeed corrupt it to Hencart, that’s fine by me and I’m going with that.

Catalogue of Available Titles - Ph. 912-682-685-3347  912-682-5501

1. A Soldier’s Story of his Regiment by Pvt. G.W. Nichols, written in 1898, reprinted in 2002. Rare Regimental history of the 61st Georgia Infantry CSA, written by a private, not a general. This regiment served under Stonewall Jackson, John B. Gordon, A.R. Lawton  & Clement Evans. Has company rosters, individual details. Companies formed from Tattnall, Bulloch, Brooks, Montgomery, Quitman, Bibb, and Wilkes Counties. Among the top collectible books about the War Between the States and the South. You’ll see it listed in the famous collection called “In Tall Cotton”. Hardback 294 pages                                                               $44.95     

2. The Gallant Little 7th: A history of the 7th Georgia Cavalry Regiment By John W. Latty, 2004  This is the author’s second book and it is fabulously done.  Professionally researched, edited and hardbound, it is a handsome book that reads like a classic. If you have ancestors from Bryan County or nearby counties, it is highly probable that some of them served in this regiment. Complete with muster rolls and index to help you find your ancestor.                                                                                                        250 pgs. hardback                      $29.95

3. The Family of  Bridger and Rachel Barry Jones of Bulloch County Georgia and Some Affiliated Families  by Ted E. Lewis  1999 Gateway Press, hardback  6x9 , 270 pgs & 46 pg. maiden & married name cross index . Loaded with photos. Well done, excellent book.  $44.95                                                                                                                                          

4. Memorial Service of Pvt. John Thompson, 4th Georgia Cavalry. Video footage, edited, digitally enhanced of reunion and memorial service in Odum, Ga. 2002. Includes introduction, history, candid shots, reenactors in period dress and uniforms, credits, music, speeches and cannon firings. If you want to see what a Confederate Memorial Service looks like, or if you are planning one for your ancestor, you’ll appreciate this one. 65 minutes.            DVD $29.95

5. South Georgia Rebels by Alton J. Murray  1976 True wartime experiences of the 26th Reg. Ga. Volunteer Infantry of the Lawton-Gordon-Evans Brigade. Excellent companion book to A Soldier’s Story of His Regiment as both regiments were in the same brigade and many modern wiregrass descendants had ancestors in both regiments. Includes maps, rosters, bios, profiles. Formidable research by dedicated author.   330 pages 6x9 hardback                        $49.95                                                                                                                                              

6.   Kinfolks Across the River- History of the Thompson families who settled along the Ogeechee, Canoochee, Ohoopee and Altamaha Rivers. by Gordon A. (Tony) Thompson  2002. Helpful to researchers of many Tattnall families. Maps, timelines, CSA history.  249 pgs.                                                                                                                                $39.95

7. Tattnall County Inferior Court Records 1805-1832  transcribed by Gordon A.(Tony) Thompson 2003. This book  has information on nearly all the early Tattnall pioneers, especially for the years before the first extant census(1820).  A wealth of genealogical and historical data for Tattnall researchers.   Glossary and index.            194 pgs. 8.5 x 11 paperback   $24.95                                                                                                                                  

8. The Tattnall County, Ga. Superior Court Records 1805-1832 by Gordon A. Thompson A very useful companion to Tattnall Inferior Court Records 1805-1832. Essential for serious researchers of early 1800 Tattnall and genealogy of that area.  Indexed,  contains a wealth of genealogical and historical data. Printed by Gateway via R.J. Taylor Foundation. 400 pages hardback 6x9.                                                                                                  $49.95                                                                                                                                                

9.  Bellville, Georgia-The 1st 100 years by Pharris Johnson  Comprehensive history of the early Tattnall/Evans Co. town, including photos, profiles. Loaded with historical and genealogical data.   305 pages 8x11 hardback                                                                        $49.95                                                                                                                                                   

10.  Houses of Heart Pine by Col. Pharris Johnson . 2001 Excellent groundbreaking work on the antebellum architecture of Evans Co. Ga.  Many pictures. Family names featured prominently include Bacon, Brewton, Daniel, Durrence, Eason, Edwards, Hearn, Rogers, Smith, & Tillman.  177 pgs. perfect bound (paperback) , 8 x11 inches                     $32.95                                                                                                                                                 

11.  1930 Candler County Ga. Census  8.5 x 11 spiral bound 241 pages including index.    Transcribed by Jay Clifton of Metter, Ga.   Candler was formed from parts of Bulloch and Tattnall                                                                                                                    $29.95                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

12. Evans County and the Creation of Fort Stewart, Georgia by Col. Pharris Johnson Johnson gives a complete overview of the history and effects of the Fort’s creation. Excellent work on overlooked part of south Georgia history.  103 pgs. Spiral bound 8x11                     $24.95                                                                                                                                              

13. It’s Not What You Know: The Battle to Control How You Feel About History by Gordon A. (Tony) Thompson  2004, 2nd Edtion 2008 What began as a cursory look at how Georgia History middle school texts had changed in recent years became the basis for an examination of over 100 years of Georgia history texts. Highlights the origins of mandatory state history classes, the influence of various interest groups upon textbooks, the traditional underpinnings of state history philosophy and the gradual rise of political correctness doctrine. Highlights the recent court case which gave unbridled influence to modern revisionists who openly reveal their goals for history at all levels. A must for parents of history students. Available individually or in bundles for sharing. 5 x 8 paperback stapled                    $2.99 ea        or           5 for $9.99                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

14. Stories from the Tattnall Journal  (from page one)  2008 by John Rabun Jr.                                                                                                                                                       $29.95

15. Tales of the Altamaha (from page one) 2009 T. Ross Sharpe, Branch and Brogdon                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     $39.95

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If you would prefer to order by mail, just print out this page and send in your selections to me (Georgia residents add 7% sales tax to your total and $5 postage for the first book, $4 for each additional book.) I’ll get them to you promptly. If you prefer, please call at 912-685-3347 or 912-682-5501. Leave a message if I’m not available and I’ll get back to you. Thank you for your patronage and love of South Georgia History.
Thompson’s Books of SE Ga.
625 Dorothy St.
Metter, Ga. 30439

Altamaha Heritage Center Solicits Members
Museum Nears Completion
The Altamaha Heritage Center in Lyons, Georgia is nearing completion and the member society seeks interested individuals and families to become supporting members. You may join at any level you wish and donations of any amount are greatly appreciated to fund the opening of the museum which is housed in the old Masonic Lodge building in downtown Lyons across from the railroad tracks. The museum houses exhibits, artifacts and memorabilia about the history and culture of the region. An open house has already been held and the museum will soon be open to the public. The Heritage Center organization is a non-profit group and relies on members and donations to continue to grow and flourish. Please consider joining. Memberships start at $20 for individuals and may be sent to the Heritage Center at P.O. Box 1085 Lyons, Ga. 30436

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