The Civil War not only divided the country, but also parts of the South.
After the Confederate Army lost the battle of Missionary Ridge in Chattanooga in 1863, Confederate troops retreated to Dalton, Georgia.
With the constant onslaught from the North, what could the Southern soldiers do to fight back?
In early 1864, Confederate General Patrick Cleburne came up with an idea that many couldn't believe, according to local historian Bob Jenkins.
"Some Confederates here were thinking in terms of how do we get more manpower, why don't we offer slaves their individual freedom in exchange for fighting."
The idea of African Americans fighting for the South was quickly tossed aside.
But Jenkins says the thought did not seem so far fetched up North.
"So they brought in an additional 6 hundred man regiment, a new regiment called the 44th U.S. Colored troops, and it was a Regiment formed in Chattanooga during the summer of 1864 from freed men and slaves who had run away to Chattanooga from North Georgia."
That troop made history at the battle of Fort Hill on October 13th, 1864, according to Jenkins.
"The only place in the state of Georgia where African American troops fought, but they fought for the North and they fought not just for their individual freedom, but they fought for the freedom of all people enslaved."
The Battle at Fort Hill made history during the war.
But it was not a success for the North.
Captured white forces were allowed to return home.
But African American soldiers were put to work, and many were returned to their former slave owners.
Slowly, the war started to turn in favor of Northern Troops.
By the time the war ended, Dalton found itself devastated from all the conflict.
But fate had another plan for a community serving as a gateway to the Civil War.
Jim Burran with the Dalton Civil War 150th Commission reports a new industry would shape the community for years to come.
"And it took until the 1880's when the Crown Cotton Mill came into town, and the American thread company came into town that Dalton began to enjoy economic re-vitalization."