HistoryNative American tribes once inhabited the area. Mississippian culture were in the vicinity until about 1500 AD. Cherokee removal was accomplished locally by 1838. Europeans settlers were moved in as early as 1832, after a land lottery.
On April 12, 1862, James J. Andrews with 18 Ohio soldiers [US] in disguise, and 1 civilian, having seized the locomotive General Big Shanty intending to wreck the Western and Atlantic Railroad, were forced to side track here and wait for the southbound freights to pass. After a long delay "The General" continued north. Pursuing from Big Shanty, William Allen Fuller (Conductor) led a crew which used a push-car and other means and eventually caught the highjackers.
250 Confederate and two Federal soldiers died of wounds, disease and sickness in the Confederate hospitals located here during 1862-1864. These men were wounded in the Battles of Perryville, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, and in the Dalton-Kingston Campaign. The patients were moved to Atlanta in May 1864 to avoid capture by Federals. The hospitals were later used by the Federals. The dead are buried in unmarked graves nearby.
Sherman made his headquarters in the Hargis House May 16–19, for reorganization of forces in the campaign that would end at Atlanta. Assuming Johnston's army had moved, from Adairsville, directly on Kingston and the river crossings south, May 18, led Sherman to concentrate his forces here—only to discover that Johnston had gone directly to Cassville where, without making a stand, he continued to Allatoona on May 20. Sherman countered on May 23, by moving due south.
On May 18, 1864, Lieutenant General William J. Hardee's corps marched from Adairsville on the road parallel to the Western and Atlantic Railroad en route to Cass Station. He turned east on this road to join Generals Polk's and Hood's Confederate corps at Cassville which had moved on the direct Adairsville - Cassville Road. Federal General Sherman's erred when he assumed that all of Confederate Major General Joseph E. Johnston's army had marched from Adairsville, as Hardee had, to Kingston. This resulted in his ordering his forces concentrated here—discovering later that the Confederates were 5.5 miles (8.9 km) east at Cassville and not at the Etowah River south of Kingston.
On May 19 Union Generals Daniel Butterfield and Joseph Hooker, the new XX Corps, were headquartered at the house of Confederate Colonel Hawkins F. Price, a state senator who had voted for Georgia secession in 1861. Hooker had been ordered from Adairsville to Kingston, on false reports that Johnston had retreated there. South of the Price house Hooker discovered that Johnston had gone to Cassville.
On May 19, 1864, The IV Corps, followed by the XIV Corps reached Kingston at 8 a.m. The IVth turned east to Cassville. A division of the XIVth sent to Gillem's bridge, Etowah River, found no retreating Confederates. Johnston's forces were at Cassville, 5.5 miles (8.9 km) east. McPherson's XV Corps and XVI Corps, moving south from Barnsley's, camped on Woolley's plantation 2 miles (3.2 km) West. IV Corps, XX Corps and XXIII Corps were at Cassville.
May 19, 1864, McPherson's Army (XVth & XVIth Corps) [US] marched from Barnsley's and camped on the Woolley Plantation. This right wing of Sherman's advance, Kingston to Dallas, crossed the river, heading south, on Woolley's Bridge crossing the Ethowah River, May 23rd.
On October 11, 1864, while encamped on the Woolley Plantation, the Ohio soldiers of XXIII [US] Corps, voted in a state election.
In 1864, a road southward from Wooley's Bridge (Etowah River) crossed the road near this point and ran to Van Wert (Rockmart) and Dallas. This was the route of Federal Major General James B. McPherson's Army of the Tennessee (XVth and XVIth Corps), [US] right wing of forces under Sherman moving from Kingston to the Dallas front, May 23, 24. At that time, the church stood at the northwestern angle of the crossroads. Another edifice was erected on site of the present structure, .75 miles (1.21 km) eastward.
Sherman's forces encamped until May 23, when advance across the Etowah River began.
The first Decoration, or Memorial Day, was observed in Kingston in late April 1865, and has been a continuous observance here since that day, the only such record held by any community in this Nation.
The first Memorial, or Decoration Day, was observed while Federals still occupied the town, flowers being placed on both Confederate and Federal graves that day.
On May 12, 1865, Confederate Brigadier General William T. Wofford surrendered 3000 to 4000 soldiers to Union Brigadier General Henry M. Judah. These were the last significant Confederate regulars to surrender east of the Mississippi. These were mostly Georgians, not paroled in Virginia, North Carolina, and elsewhere. During final negotiations, Gen. Wofford's headquarters were at the McCravey - Johnson residence on Church Street. General Judah's headquarters were at Spring Bank, the home of the Rev. Charles Wallace Howard, 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Kingston. Rations were supplied to the Confederate soldiery by the Federal commissary.
- Kingston also has a small museum and several historical landmarks related to both the Civil War, and the Native American tribes which once lived there.
- Kingston Saltpeter Cave, the largest cave in Bartow County used by the Confederacy to produce gunpowder during the American Civil War.
- Confederate Memorial Day
- Hardee's Corps at Kingston
- Historic Price House
- 2.5 miles (4.0 km) northeast is the Site of the Thomas V. B. Hargis House
- Kingston Methodist Church. The original Methodist church, with another name at another location, was built in 1845. It was rebuilt in Kingston in 1854, and dedicated by Rev. Lovick Pierce. It was the only church remaining after Sherman's march through Kingston. It opened its doors to all denominations. It also served as Kingston's schoolhouse for many years.
- Old Macedonia Church Organized 1847
- Spring Bank
- Georgia (Bartow County), Kingston The post-war surrender of Confederate Troops took place here.
- The Federal Army at Kingston