In this section of the old McMillan Burial Ground are the graves of unknown Confederate soldiers. An historic marker, recently placed in observance of the Sesquicentennial of the War Between the States, notes: “As fighting intensified in central Georgia in the summer of 1864, caravans of wagons evacuated sick and wounded Confederate soldiers from Macon’s overcrowded Ocmulgee Hospital. Caravans coming down the Old Savannah Road stopped at this cemetery and buried soldiers who had died en route to hospitals further south.”
A monument was also placed in this section of the cemetery, with a poem by late Civil War reenactor Sergeant Benjamin R. Gormley. It first appeared in his book Haunted Fields, in 1985.
“The Southern Dead”
The Southern dead are sleeping
In a thousand Southern glens. . .
The moss and willows beckon
With the breath of Southern winds.
Though the blood-stained cross of St. Andrew
Is tattered now and furled. . .
They bore it high on every field
And o’er every ocean of the world.
It wasn’t through their failing
That the gleaming turned to rust. . .
And the dreaming of a Nation
Is enshrined within their dust.
Some would have their deeds forgot,
Their monuments swept away. . .
But while Southern blood flows in our veins,
Those knaves shall never see the day.
Teach your children of their story,
Of battles, lost and won. . .
They must keep memory’s light a-burning
Till Southern rivers cease to run.
The Southern dead are sleeping.