Tag Archives: The Civil War in South Georgia

Andersonville National Cemetery

One of fourteen National Cemeteries administered by the National Park Service, Andersonville is still open for burials today. Few places will put into perspective the human cost of war more than the burial place of so many who paid the ultimate price in preserving our national interests and values.

I’ve visited here numerous times during my life and the impact is always the same. I’m awed by the beauty of the place yet saddened by the loss of so many.

The earliest burials at the site were trench graves of those who died at the adjacent prison at Camp Sumter, and these began in February 1864. In little over a year, over 13,000 men were interred here. The earliest graves are those visible when you first enter the cemetery.

After the war, the remains of many prisoners were confirmed and given proper markers.

Andersonville National Cemetery is still open for burials today, and the National Park Service tries to accommodate as many requests as possible. There are no waiting lists, so such a burial can only be arranged after a veteran’s death. Over 20,000 are interred here today.

Andersonville National Historic Landmark

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Filed under --MACON COUNTY GA--, Andersonville GA

Providence Spring House, 1901, Andersonville

Thousands of prisoners were literally dying of thirst when on 14 August 1864 a spring burst forth at this site within the prison stockade at Camp Sumter. Its appearance was providential and it was one of the treasured memories of many veterans who returned to the site in the years following the Civil War. Pilgrimage to the spring was a regular part of Memorial Day activities here by the 1880s.

The prisoner’s cry of thirst rang up to Heaven. God heard, and with his thunder cleft the earth and poured his sweetest waters gushing here. These words are memorialized on a tablet inside the well house marking the site. The construction of the pavilion was a collaboration between the Woman’s Relief Corps and the National Association of Union Ex-Prisoners of War.

The site is among the most popular stops at Andersonville. Just don’t drink the water. Signs indicate it’s contaminated today.

Andersonville National Historic Site

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Monuments of Andersonville National Historic Site

With its notorious reputation as one of the worst Confederate prison stockades, the site of Camp Sumter inevitably became hallowed ground to the survivors and families of those who died here, including Confederate guards. Between 1899 and 1916, a series of monuments were placed by various states at the stockade site and within the cemetery, and their dedications were huge events, with survivors and regular citizens making the long journey to Andersonville by train. The Georgia Monument (above) was placed on Memorial Day 1976 at the entrance to the cemetery.

State Monuments of the Cemetery Site

The Illinois Monument, a collaboration by sculptor Charles Mulligan and state architect Carbys Zimmerman, is one of the nicest of all the memorials in the cemetery.

Dedicated in 1912, it features a bronze sculpture of Columbia pointing to fallen heroes, flanked by Youth and Maiden.

Statues of anonymous Illinois veterans leaning on the words of Lincoln and saddened by the human loss of war, flank each wing of the monument.

The Iowa Monument, dedicated in 1906, features a weeping woman atop a red base. The front of the base features a relief of an Iowa infantryman and the words: Iowa honors the turf that wraps their clay. The Unknown. Their names are recorded in the archives of their country. 

Though it was placed in 1911, the New York Monument wasn’t dedicated until 1914. It features bronze reliefs on the front and back of a tapered granite marker.

The back relief features a young and old soldier sitting inside the stockade with an angel hovering above them. It’s one of the most moving sculptures at the site.

The New Jersey Monument was among the first of the state monuments placed at Andersonville.

It features a soldier at parade rest, surveying the dead.

The Connecticut Monument commission chose a design by Boston sculptor Bela Lyon Pratt. It was dedicated in 1907.

It depicts a typical young Connecticut soldier.

The Minnesota Monument is one of three monuments of the same design that Minnesota dedicated in 1916, the other two being located at the National Cemeteries in Little Rock and Memphis.

It depicts a young Union soldier in a winter coat.

The impressive Pennsylvania Monument features a mournful soldier atop an arch.

It was installed by Miller & Clark Granite and Monumental Works of Americus and dedicated in 1901.

The Maine Monument was erected in 1903. It was dedicated not only in memory of those who died here but to all who served. It was designed and cut by C. E. Tayntor & Company of Hollowell, Maine.

The Indiana Monument was dedicated in 1908.

State Monuments of the Prison Site

The Massachusetts Monument was dedicated in 1901, honoring the state’s 767 known dead at the site.

A favorite of many visitors, the Michigan Monument features a life-size weeping maiden.

It was created by the Lloyd Brothers Monument Company of Toledo, Ohio, and dedicated in 1904. Among those present at the dedication were ten carloads of former veterans from Fitzgerald, Georgia, the Union soldiers colony about an hour east of Andersonville.

At 40 feet, the Ohio Monument is the tallest at Andersonville. Dedicated in 1901, it is the second oldest monument in the park.

Like many of the others in the park, it features the motto “Death Before Dishonor”.

The Wisconsin Monument, accomplished in Georgia granite and topped by a bronze eagle, was dedicated in 1907. This view is from the rear of the monument.

The Rhode Island Monument was dedicated in 1903. As it’s the smallest state, its monument is also the smallest state monument at Andersonville. The 74 Rhode Island soldiers who are buried in the cemetery are all named on the monument. Among the is Charles F. Curtis, 5th Rhode Island Heavy Artillery, who was one of the leaders of the despised Andersonville Raiders. These men were hanged by the other prisoners for terrorizing, stealing from, and even murdering some of  their fellow captives.

The so-called 8-State Monument was placed by the Woman’s Relief Corps (auxiliary of the Grand Army of the Republic) in 1934 to memorialize the states that didn’t have a monument. It was dedicated in 1936. States listed are: Delaware, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, Vermont, West Virginia.

Other Monuments at Andersonville

Lizabeth Ann Turner was a prominent member of the Woman’s Relief Corps (WRC) who were instrumental in securing and beautifying the grounds at Andersonville. She had been a volunteer nurse in Boston during the Civil War and in 1895 became the National President of the WRC. Mrs. Turner died while visiting the prison site on 27 April 1907 and this memorial was dedicated to honor her in 1908.

Clara Barton was a leader in the effort to identify the dead at Andersonville and to establish the site as a National Cemetery. This monument, commissioned by the WRC, was dedicated on Memorial Day 1915.

On Memorial Day 1929, this monument commissioned by the Woman’s Relief Corps and authorized by President Hoover, was dedicated. It features two bronze tablets containing the words of the Gettysburg Address and General Logan’s Memorial Day Order of 1868.

There is also a monumental sundial, which isn’t pictured, and a wellhouse at Providence Spring, which will be covered elsewhere.

On 3 May 1989, the anniversary of the liberation of the German prison camp Stalag XVII-B, this monument was dedicated to honor all prisoners of German camps throughout the European theater of World War II. It is the last monument dedicated at Andersonville and is located within the cemetery, unlike the preceding monuments which are located at the prison site.

Southern State Monuments of the Cemetery Site

The Tennessee Monument is unusual in that it honors Southern natives who died at Camp Sumter in service to the Union. It was funded by contributions of Tennessee members of the Grand Army of the Republic. It was dedicated in 1915, within the prison site.

The Georgia Monument, dedicated on Memorial Day 1976, was the last state monument placed at Andersonville. Governor Jimmy Carter, who had worked to have Andersonville included in the National Park System, was instrumental in the monument being placed. It was created by Athens sculptor William J. Thompson. It commemorates lost prisoners of all American wars.

Andersonville National Historic Site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under --MACON COUNTY GA--, Andersonville GA

Civil War Village, Andersonville

The picturesque tourist village of Andersonville is essentially a living museum, with over 75,000 visitors annually making the short drive from the park entrance across Georgia Highway 49 to further explore the story of the area. The locals are very friendly and welcoming, with antique shops, a cafe, and one of the best Civil War museums (despite its size; middle building pictured below) to be found in Georgia. Gerald Lamby’s Drummer Boy Civil War Museum has been praised by students and scholars of the war from far and wide. The village post office (pictured above) is still open, and one of just a handful in Georgia not located in modern facilities. It’s a throwback to a time when most post offices were located in general stores or similar frame structures.

Prior to the establishment of Camp Sumter, the surrounding area was focused on agriculture. Originally known as Anderson (for John Anderson, a director of the South Western Railroad), the village name was changed to Andersonville when a post office was established in 1855.

It became a supply center and grew during the war, but at the end of hostilities reverted to farming. In 1973 longtime mayor Lewis Easterlin led the effort to create and promote the tiny town as a Civil War village. Most of the prominent structures seen today were relocated here, saving them for posterity when they would have otherwise been lost.

Perhaps the most prominent feature of the village is the Henry Wirz Monument. Controversial from inception, the simple obelisk has drawn ire, and vandalism, over the years. Even its location at Andersonville was questioned throughout the state before its placement. Captain Heinrich Hartmann “Henry” Wirz was born in Zurich Switzerland in 1822 and served as the commanding officer at Camp Sumter. In 14 months, over 13,000 Union soldiers perished at the prison camp, which was particularly despised by the Union. Wirz was tried as a war criminal and hanged in Washington, D. C., on 10 November 1865. In response to the 16 Union monuments erected in the nearby National Cemetery between 1899 and 1916, the United Daughters of the Confederacy commissioned a memorial to Wirz as a countermeasure. During this era, the UDC was at the forefront of promoting what is known today as Lost Cause mythology. Language on the monument’s base confirms this: Discharging his duty with such humanity as the harsh circumstances of the times, and the policy of the foe permitted Capt. Wirz became at last the victim of a misdirected popular clamor. He was arrested in the time of peace, while under the protection of parole, tried by a military commission of a service to which he did not belong, and condemned to ignominious death on charges of excessive cruelty to Federal prisoners. He indignantly spurned a pardon proffered on condition that he would incriminate President Davis and thus exonerate himself from charges of which both were innocent. Also present are these words of General Grant from 18 August 1864: It is hard on our men held in southern prisons not to exchange them, but it is humanity to those left in the ranks to fight our battles. At this particular time to release all rebel prisoners would insure Sherman’s defeat and would compromise our safety here. The monument was dedicated by the Daughters on 12 May 1909. It has been referred to as the only U. S. monument to a war criminal.

The Atlanta Birmingham & Atlantic Railroad depot was relocated from Mauk, a settlement about 38 miles northwest of Andersonville in Taylor County.

This is one of several antique stores in the village which also sell Civil War-related memorabilia and folk art.

A town hall is painted blue and grey, keeping with the Civil War theme. I’m not sure its original use or location, but feel it was moved here like many of the other historical buildings.

There’s also a village hall, which was built in 1843 on nearby Lightwood Creek and moved to Andersonville in 1890. Wings were added at some point and it served for many years as Andersonville Baptist Church.

Beside the village hall is this gazebo, which I think was the bandstand from nearby Miona Springs.

Just beyond the Village Hall is the inspiring St. James Pennington Church, moved from the nearby hamlet of Pennington.

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under --SUMTER COUNTY GA--, Andersonville GA

Hayes House, Circa 1851, Thomasville

This home was built by Thomas Jones of Greenwood Plantation as a wedding gift for his daughter Harriet and her husband, Dr. David S. Brandon, a prominent surgeon. [It’s referred to as the Dr. David Brandon House in the National Register of Historic Places]. Dr. Brandon sold the house to Mrs. John R. Hayes in 1862. In the last days of the Civil War, Professor Joseph LeConte of Liberty County was granted refuge here by the Hayes family.

Originally a one-story brick house, the second floor and mansard roof were added in the 1870s. The brick was stuccoed at that time. The roof is covered with octagonal slate tiles, featuring a decorative flower design.

National Register of Historic Places

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Knight-Dubberly House, 1845, Glennville

1906 albumen photograph of the Knight-Dubberly House by Dolan of Waycross. Courtesy of the Perkins Collection, Glennville-Tattnall Museum

One of Tattnall County’s most important landmarks, the Knight-Dubberly House is an excellent example of the Plantation Plain style. Built by the Reverend Seth Knight (1795-1853) in what was then the village of Philadelphia, it is the oldest house in Glennville and among the oldest in Tattnall County. Reverend Knight served as Treasurer of Tattnall County and a justice of the inferior court. His plantation, anchored by this house, covered over 700 acres and Sea Island cotton and rice were its two chief crops.

Albumen photograph of Squire & Mary Ellen Dubberly (Likely 1880s). Courtesy of B. Daniel Dubberly Jr.

It is unclear when William Dubberly (1827-1895) purchased the house but it was around the time of the Civil War. The war actually came to the doorstep of the Knight-Dubberly House. According to Dylan Edward Mulligan: On 14 December 1864, a band of Sherman’s army under Colonel Smith D. Atkins forced their way across the Canoochee River at Taylor’s Creek and invaded Liberty and Tattnall Counties. The Yankee invaders forded Beards Creek and marched into defenseless Philadelphia, where they camped in the front yard of the Knight – Dubberly House. On or about December 15, the troops awoke and awaited orders from Colonel Atkins. As they had already done much damage in other parts of the county, Philadelphia seemed fit for the torch. Before ordering the destruction of the plantation and the surrounding village, Colonel Atkins entered the deserted house, where he discovered a Masonic emblem displayed on the mantel. He had received orders from General Sherman not to lay a hand on any property belonging to Masons, as Sherman himself allegedly belonged to the brotherhood. Atkins begrudgingly ordered his troops to leave the village, claiming that there wasn’t much worth burning there anyway. Despite his orders, some renegade troops had already ransacked part of the property, doing no significant damage. And thus, the Knight – Dubberly House was the savior of the village.

William and his second wife Mary Ellen Smiley Curry Dubberly (1832-1902) were the leading citizens of the village of Philadelphia, which eventually became the city of Glennville. William had deep roots in Philadelphia. He was the son of two of the village’s original settlers, Joseph and Holland Anderson Dubberly, and the grandson of Tattnall County pioneer and Revolutionary War veteran John Dubberly. Dubberly served as Justice of the Peace in the years following the Civil War, earning him the honorific “Squire” or “Squire Bill”. The area around Philadelphia grew rapidly in the years following the war and Squire Dubberly lived to see it become the city of Glennville in 1894.

Undated modern photograph of the Knight-Dubberly House (late 20th century). Photo Courtesy of the Perkins Collection, Glennville-Tattnall Museum

I am most grateful to Dylan Edward Mulligan, one of Glennville’s finest historians and the great-great-great grandson of William Dubberly, for sharing all the history and all of the vintage images. This post would not have been possible without his assistance. Dylan has a passion for the history of his home county that’s rarely seen these days. You may know him as The Georgia Sandman; he builds magnificent sandcastles along the Georgia and Florida coasts in the image of historical structures. If you haven’t seen his work, you really should pay him a visit on Facebook.

Please note the house is located on private property and is not accessible to the public.

 

 

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Filed under --TATTNALL COUNTY GA--, Glennville GA

Coleman House, Jefferson County

This delightful home is unusual in its high style and isolation, likely unique in this section of Georgia. To call it a farmhouse almost seems to minimize its grandeur though its setting among hundreds of acres of open fields confirms that purpose. Buddy Moore notes: This house was the home of my 4th Great Grandfather, E. Lindsey Coleman (1811-1872). Bill Paul adds: My grandfather’s home…when I was a youngster the front yard was surrounded with a white picket fence and gardens.

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Effie Sharp Bush, Widow of Georgia’s Last Confederate Soldier, Fitzgerald, Circa 1977

The lady in this photograph was Mrs. Effie Tinnell Sharp Bush [1887-1980], widow of Georgia’s last surviving Confederate soldier, William Joshua Bush [1845-1952]. ‘Uncle Josh’ as family and close friends knew him, was afforded the honorific ‘General’ Bush in recognition of his connection to the Civil War. I haven’t been able to confirm it, but it’s likely that Mrs. Bush was also the last surviving Confederate widow in Georgia. This snapshot was made in the late 1970s during a town festival by a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, who graciously gave me the photograph.

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Filed under --BEN HILL COUNTY GA--, Fitzgerald GA

Fair Haven United Methodist Church, 1846, Jenkins County

Francis Jones brought his family from North Carolina to this section of Georgia before the Revolutionary War and the family has maintained land and been involved in the social and religious development ever since. His four great-grandsons, Henry, William, Joseph, and James, were responsible for the construction of Fair Haven, which stands today as one of the great architectural treasures of rural Georgia.

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Saffold, Georgia

Saffold is located just across the Chattahoochee River from Alabama. It was the site of the Southern Confederate States Navy Yard during the Civil War and at least one gunboat, aptly named Chattahoochee, was completed here.

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Filed under --EARLY COUNTY GA--, Saffold GA