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War drama coming to Covington
Historical Society to host free presentation Tuesday

COVINGTON - History will come to life Tuesday night when the Newton County Historical Society presents an original drama by Civil War historian the Rev. Jim Cabaniss at 7 p.m. at Mansfield Community Center.

The presentation will focus on Gerard's Raid, when Gen. Sherman sent an expeditionary force to burn bridges in Conyers and sent men to Oxford College to round up horses and supplies.

Cabaniss will portray a chaplain ministering to the wounded at the hospital at Oxford College who is asked to take up arms during the raid.

"After the fighting, he goes to sleep at night and the angel Gabriel comes to him and asks him to come forward in time to meet with ... the Newton County Historical Society to tell his story," Cabaniss said.

Cabaniss said his main goal is to educate people about "what it was like back in those days and how much we take for granted now about the convenience of modern life in the 21st century."

Cabaniss will invite questions and discussion from the audience.

A similar presentation he made before the Rockdale County Historical Society in July drew a crowd of about 100, and the Newton County Historical Society is hoping for a similar turnout. The public is welcome to attend the free presentation.

Cabaniss, who has 32 ancestors that fought during the Civil War, travels across Georgia sharing his history presentations with various groups. He's been active in the Sons of Confederate Veterans since 1977, having been past commander of several camps, and has served as president of the Dalton Civil War Roundtable.

He is the author of "Civil War Letters and Journals of Washington Ives."

A retired United Methodist Church minister, he currently lives in Lawrenceville. Cabaniss served as student minister at Newborn United Methodist Church from 1989 to 1991.

The Historical Society's business meeting begins at 7 p.m., and the presentation will start at 7:30 p.m. Mansfield Community Center is located at 3158 Ga. Highway 11.

Features Editor Karen Rohr contributed to this story.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.