Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Ghost of Thomas Cobb

Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb

       The very first blog I wrote was on Thomas R.R. Cobb. I wrote about the conspiracy theory surrounding his death. Some said he was killed by artillery shrapnel, others say a bullet, and yet another claimed it was friendly fire. Recently, I have learned of another Cobb story.
       Thomas Cobb built his house in 1830. In 1850 he added octagonal wings. It was still on its original site in 1984, when the city decided it needed to be torn down. The house was in a state of disrepair. The home was then moved to Stone Mountain Park where it was to be restored. The restoration never occurred. In 2004, a non-profit organization had it brought back to Athens and restored to its original condition. It opened for tours in 2007. 

Cobb House today in Athens, Georgia

       The present staff have some very strange stories to tell about the place. According to them, two priests have visited the home and asked who the ghost is. Both priests said they saw a man dressed in gray descend the stairs and walk into General Cobb's library where he stood by the fireplace. They also tell a story of some newspapers catching fire in the house while no one was there. The papers were found the next morning completely burned, but none of the house was touched. One of the priests said that the house was being protected by Cobb. 
       The staff also claims to hear footsteps and a little girl laughing when there are no visitors in the home. The Cobb's had three children die inside the home. The staff believes the girl laughing is one of Cobb's deceased children. There is also an armoire that belonged to General Cobb. The doors on the cabinet are very difficult to open. Often times the staff will arrive in the morning to find the doors wide open. The staff believes Cobb's spirit is there looking for something.
       There is a part of this story I find a bit difficult to believe. According to the priests and the staff, General Cobb's ghost is benevolent and appreciates what is occurring at his old home. I've studied Confederate Generals all my life and there is one thing that is certain. In life, General Cobb was not a benevolent person. The man had a violent temper and often seemed paranoid. During the war he constantly complained about his superiors. He didn't agree with Davis's policy and even labelled Robert E. Lee as being haughty and crude. 
       Maybe Cobb haunts his old home place. If I'm ever in Athens, Georgia, I would like to tour the house. Regardless, if ghosts are real, it would be a man like Thomas Cobb who would have a restless spirit. 

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