We came across the little town of Cassville by accident, when we were driving along the back roads to get to Barnsley Gardens. We weren’t really planning on stopping anywhere; the sun goes down early these days, and we wanted to have plenty of time for exploring Barnsley. But when I saw the old Civil War markers I had to stop. It was a given.
Cassville was once one of Northwest Georgia’s largest and most important towns, the county seat of Cass County. Today, it’s not even incorporated, and Cass County became Bartow County long ago. Cassville is a rural crossroads community, mostly residential, with a few churches and a gas station/grocery store that once serviced cars traveling down the Dixie Highway before US-41 upped and moved and bypassed the whole town.
In its heydey, pre-Dixie Highway and pre-automobile, the city was home to colleges, hotels, and businesses. Throughout the early 1800s Cassville thrived, even though its citizens voted against having the Western & Atlantic Railroad come to town. This slowed its growth, but by 1864 the town was still considered important enough to be the setting for a major Confederate attack. The attack didn’t happen; the Confederates withdrew, opening the town up to Union forces, who eventually destroyed it. The fact that Cassville had previously been renamed Manassas to honor a big Confederate victory may have sealed its fate, but I don’t know if that’s true. It seems to me that Cassville was just unlucky.