A Trip Report on

July 16-18, 1999
Atlanta, GA

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This is a strictly unofficial report of one attendee of this latest annual meeting of the Cloud Family Association. This follows Kenny Cloud's precedent in providing a record (of the 1997 gathering) for the benefit of those who couldn't make it. Reports of others are solicited. -- Cecil Stokes
Meeting:   The Cloud Family Association met at the Wyndham Park Hotel in Duluth, Georgia, over the weekend of 16-18 July of 1999. Duluth is about 20 miles (and, some of us found, sometimes two hours worth of interstate traffic) from downtown Atlanta.
Friday 7/16/99   Some folks arrived in Atlanta early to do research in the area. Uncle Jim Cloud and I drove over from Huntsville Friday and arrived about 3:00 p.m. We were greeted by a very friendly desk clerk and were soon met by Jane Ellison and Kenny Cloud. We chatted a bit, freshened up, checked in with Linda Boose, and greeted distant cousins, old friends, and new folks in the meeting room and  lobby-lounge area as they arrived.
  We all gathered on Friday evening to kickoff the annual Gathering.   Jane Ellison, CFA VP, welcomed everyone and reviewed plans for the weekend. Family introductions were deferred until Saturday morning since several expected attendees had not yet arrived.

Pat Cloud, whose invitations to the first meeting in 1978 began the Cloud Family Association (CFA), spoke on her Kentucky ancestors and their siblings who were on different sides of the Civil war.  She also told a bit about the early days of the CFA.

Pat993414.jpg (19003 bytes) Pats_chart_tn993413.jpg (13186 bytes)

Several attendees took advantage of the opportunity to read and copy material from the Cloud Family Journal (originally called "... Newsletter").


Saturday   The Annual CFA business meeting  on Saturday  started at 10:00 a.m. and was followed by the annual luncheon and our afternoon session.
Annual Business Meeting
on Saturday Morning
  The meeting was called to order by Jane Ellison, CFA VP. She reported on excused absences of President Len Cloud (family illness), Historian Jan Cloud (conflict with work in New Zealand), and Past President Taylor Cloud.  
    presiding_officer993412.jpg (23070 bytes)  

In CFA tradition thirty attendees introduced themselves and their spouses, giving their hometowns and Cloud origins. These reported Cloud origins ranged from 1) those who trace their Cloud ancestry to 1682 or before to 2) those who have only recently become curious about who their great-grandparents were. Clusters of us told of our quest for the parents of Jeremiah Cloud (born in GA in 1782), Ezekial Cloud (born NC 1750, fought in Rev. War and is buried in McDonough, GA -- which turned out to be a goldmine of information during the weekend). Charlie Cloud (went to TX and had 18 kids), Robert T. Cloud (Edgefield C., SC), Joseph Cloud (Stokes C., NC), William Cloud (born VA 1795), John W. Cloud (born VA 1817), Frances Cloud (migrated from Alsance Lorraine to Ohio), etc.

Linda Boose gave a financial report summary:

Starting balance, July 1998 $9,575.74
Income (Dues, payments for lunch, etc.) $7,166.65
Expenditures (printing Journal, postage, meeting expenses, etc.) $7,577.37
Interest income $  254.13
Ending balance, July 1998 $9,418.15

A motion was made to accept the report and it passed without dissent. A motion was also made to approve the minutes published in the Journal and it passed without dissent. Kris Moore responded to a call for a volunteer other than an officer to review the books.

Proposed by-law modifications were discussed and passed. The position of Second VP, which has been unfilled in recent years, was changed from an elected two-year term to an appointed one-year term to be filled by the person organizing the Cloud Family Gathering for the year (to facilitate negotiating for facilities and arrangements). Another change was recognition of the combined offices of Secretary and Treasurer, which were in-effect merged some years ago (without by-law change) in response to previous difficulties in coordinating membership status.

Future meeting sites were then discussed. During the 1998 meeting, Jim Cloud of Huntsville (AL) had proposed his city; and, his nephew, Cecil Stokes, followed up by tentatively booking the CFA at the Huntsville Hilton for the weekends of 7/14/2000 and 7/20/2001 to offer flexibility. Huntsville was accepted unanimously for 7/14-16/2000 and Cecil Stokes was appointed Second VP (with the endorsement of his Uncle Jim). Austin (TX) was proposed for a future year, and Pat Cloud suggested that we hold off until the 25th meeting in 2002 to again return to the site of the first meeting. There was another suggestion that the intervening meeting be held in California and this was tentatively accepted.

In accordance with by-laws, a Nominating Committee was elected. Those elected were Pat Cloud, Linda Boose, and Cecil Stokes. (The group met later in the day, agreed to a course of action, and resolved to meet in Huntsville on 7/14/200 to finalize what it will propose to the membership at the 7/15/2000 annual meeting.

The group strongly applauded Jane Ellison for her efforts in organizing and conducting this annual Gathering and meeting. The meeting was adjourned.

There was some continuing discussion of web sites, e-mail addresses, and hotel preferences (consensus was that downtown Huntsville, with adequate parking, was preferred to other locations offered).

Attendees continued to visit, peruse old Journals, exchange information, and look at Kenny Cloud's computer data-base before lunch.

  Saturday's luncheon speaker was William Scaife, a Civil War historian. This was a fascinating presentation for many. One attendee said "I learned as much from him as I learned in a whole semester on the subject."

He told of the 2:1 (110,000 to 50,000) disadvantage faced by Confederate General Joe Johnston in facing Union General Sherman; the anti-war sentiment growing in the north in mid-1864, including anti-draft riots in New York and Chicago; the electoral challenge faced by Lincoln in retired-general McCelland, who was campaigning as a peace candidate who promised to end the war even if it meant independence (victory) for the Confederacy; Sherman's assigned objective of destroying Johnston's army, not the objective of taking Atlanta as was later claimed; Johnston's brilliant strategy of defending a series of strong positions along the Chattanooga to Atlanta Railroad, defending each as long as practical and then falling back to the next; his effectiveness in prolonging fighting as the 1864 election approached; the sacking of Johnston by Confederate President Jefferson Davis, a West Point graduate with no experience commanding more than 1,000 men; replacement of Johnston with General Hood; Hood's reversal of Johnston's strategy and its consequences; the fall of Atlanta, a victory that convinced the electorate that the war was winnable and Lincoln should be reelected; and turning conduct of the war over to General Robert E. Lee after it was too late for the Confederacy.

Scaife993516.jpg (20859 bytes)

We received a brochure describing Mr. Scaiff's several books on the subject and serves as a Historical Consultant to many nationally recognized organizations and magazines.

  On Saturday evening we had a genealogical research interactive workshop led by Jane Splawn,  a regular lecturer at the National Archives Branch in Atlanta. She talked about what the archives have to offer and what wan be found in Military Records.
Sunday Morning   Everyone who had stayed over gathered for buffet breakfast and further visiting on Sunday morning before departing. Meetings in the conference room continued until lunchtime.


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Posted 7/19/99; Last Updated 8/7/99

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