20 May 2009

Relics of the Jackson Artillery

Macon Weekly Telegraph
22 January 1892
The Jackson Artillery!

"Here is something I want every Confederate soldier in Macon to see, and every Federal for the matter of that."

"I want them to see it because I want them to know that the daughter of an old Confederate, catching the inspiration from old war stories and these war relics, has combined natural genius with natural sentiment, and has painted these relics of the Jackson Artillery with an artist's brush and the spirit of a soldier's daughter."

It was Captain Tom Massenburg who spoke. He stood before an oil painting of "Relics of the Jackson Artillery."

Only a flag, dear to the Southerner's heart, torn by the pitiless storms of leaden hail that poured upon its folds as it waved proudly in the breeze at Murfreesboro, Chattanooga, Chicamauga, Missionary Ridge, Mobile or Atlanta.

Only a bared sabre, whose jagged edge tells of something more real than the holiday exercise of the recruit. A sabre, whose blade has flashed in the sunlight, fallen and risen again, dyed with the life blood of an enemy to the flag on which it is resting now.

Only a bugle, whose notes have been echoed from gloomy valley to mountain top, blushing from the first kiss of day. It is silent now and no more evil sound the summons that has thrilled many a heart with the exe[?]acy of war.

Tom Massenburg was captain of the Jackson Artillery. The sabre is his and the scabbard peeps out from the careless folds of that flag for which the sabre leaped from its resting place thirty years ago. The bugle, standing out so well in the foreground, so perfect in light and shadow and exquisite in coloring, was blown by Bugler Alphonse Stroemer. Stroemer, whose name is well known in Macon, but who has long since gone to join the innumerable host that waits on the silent shore for the sound of the last great summons.

The flag belongs to the past and its dead. It belongs to those who fought under its shadow. It belongs to the members of the Jackson Artillery living and dead.

Here in Macon Tom Massenburg, Willis Price, "Daisy" Price, Charlie Wood, A. B. Quinker, George A. Dure, Fred Abel and William Abel, with a few others, can lay claim to that flag. If Miss Annie Massenburg, the fair artist whose brush lent that wealth of color to the whole and whose heart dictated the touches that gave it life, if she would place on canvas the thing most dear to the memory of those men it must surely be the counterpart of those torn, battered and war-stained relics of the Jackson Artillery.

[Note: Tom Massenburg, Willis Price, Charlie Wood, A. B. Quinker, George A. Dure, Fred Abel, William Abel, and the artist Annie Massenburg are all buried in Rose Hill Cemetery; Macon, Bibb County, Georgia. I have only, thus far, found mention of Confederate service on two of their stones.]

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