Washington, Georgia
City of Washington
The Robert Toombs House State Historic Site, also a National Historic Landmark
Flag of Washington, Georgia
Location in Wilkes County and the state of Georgia
Location in Wilkes County and the state of Georgia
Washington is located in the United States
Location of Washington in the US
Coordinates: 33°44′12.5″N 82°44′21.5″W / 33.736806°N 82.739306°W / 33.736806; -82.739306
Country United States
State Georgia
Founded byStephen Heard
Named forGeorge Washington
 • MayorBill DeGolian
 • CouncilWashington City Council
 • Total7.75 sq mi (20.08 km2)
 • Land7.70 sq mi (19.94 km2)
 • Water0.05 sq mi (0.14 km2)
607 ft (185 m)
 • Total3,754
 • Density487.66/sq mi (188.29/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)706/762
FIPS code13-80704[2]
GNIS feature ID0356620[3]

Washington is the county seat of Wilkes County,[4] Georgia, United States. Under its original name, Heard's Fort, it was for a brief time during the American Revolutionary War the Georgia state capital. It is noteworthy as the place where the Confederacy voted to dissolve itself, effectively ending the American Civil War.

The population was 4,134 as of the 2010 census. The city is often referred to as Washington-Wilkes, to distinguish it from other places named Washington.


Heard's Fort was established in 1774 by colonist Stephen Heard. The settlement served as the temporary capital of the new state of Georgia from February 3, 1780, until early 1781.[5]

American Revolutionary War

The Battle of Kettle Creek, one of the most important battles of the American Revolutionary War to be fought in Georgia, was fought on February 14, 1779, in Wilkes County, about eleven miles (17.7 km) from present-day Washington. The American Patriots were victorious, taking 75 prisoners and killing roughly 70 Loyalists, while losing 32 of their own men.

American Civil War

As a child, Alexander H. Stephens had studied at the school in Washington presided over by Presbyterian minister Alexander Hamilton Webster. He later became a politician and was elected as Vice-President of the Confederacy.

No major battles of the Civil War were fought in or near Washington, but the city is notable as the site where Confederate President Jefferson Davis held his last meeting with his cabinet. On April 3, 1865, with Union troops under General Ulysses S. Grant poised to capture the capital at Richmond, Virginia, Davis escaped for Danville, together with the Confederate cabinet.

After leaving Danville, and continuing south, Davis met with his Cabinet for the last time on May 5, 1865, in Washington, along with a hand-picked escort led by Given Campbell, including his personal body guard, Sgt. Joseph A Higgenbotham, Jr., of Amherst/Nelson County, Virginia. The meeting took place at the Heard house[6] (now used as the Georgia Branch Bank Building), with fourteen officials present.

Historic sites

Several historic sites in Washington are on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Wilkes County Courthouse, the Robert Toombs House State Historic Site, the Washington-Wilkes Historical Museum,[7] the Mary Willis Public Library,[8] Cherry Grove Baptist Church Schoolhouse, and the recently restored historic Fitzpatrick Hotel, built in 1898.[9]


Washington is located at 33°44′7″N 82°44′29″W / 33.73528°N 82.74139°W / 33.73528; -82.74139 (33.735394, −82.741420).[10]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.9 square miles (20 km2), of which 7.8 square miles (20 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.25%) is water.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[11]
Washington racial composition 2020[12]
Race Num. Perc.
White 1,226 32.66%
Black or African American 2,277 60.66%
Native American 12 0.32%
Asian 24 0.64%
Other/Mixed 122 3.25%
Hispanic or Latino 93 2.48%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 3,754 people, 1,646 households, and 904 families residing in the city.


The Wilkes County School District holds pre-school to grade twelve, and consists of one primary school, one elementary school, a middle school, and a high school.[13] The district has 116 full-time teachers and over 1,858 students.[14]

Dr. Rosemary Caddell is the Superintendent of Schools.[15]

In popular culture

One of Washington's most lingering mysteries is that of the lost Confederate gold.[16] As the last recorded location of the remaining Confederate gold, the Washington area is thought to be the site where it is buried. Worth roughly $100,000 when it disappeared in 1865, at 2016 prices its value would be around $3.6 million. The cable television channel A&E produced a documentary focusing on this legend.

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 18, 2021.
  2. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  5. ^ "Washington, Georgia". www.kudcom.com.
  6. ^ "Washington, Georgia". www.kudcom.com.
  7. ^ "Washington, Georgia". www.kudcom.com.
  8. ^ "General Info". n-georgia.com. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  9. ^ "The Fitzpatrick Hotel in Washington, Georgia – A Brief History". thefitzpatrickhotel.com.
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  12. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 7, 2021.
  13. ^ Georgia Board of Education, Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  14. ^ School Stats, Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  15. ^ "Wilkes County Board of Education". Wilkes County Schools. Retrieved June 16, 2012.
  16. ^ "Washington, Georgia – Lost Confederate Gold". www.kudcom.com.
  17. ^ Associated Press, Thomasville Times Enterprise, "Maj. Gen. Lloyd Brown, Retired Army Officer, Died in Washington," February 18, 1950

Further reading

General information