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25 March 2010

Asleep in Jesus! Blessed Sleep. (Today's Epitaph)

Felton Cemetery; Montezuma, GA.
Caroline's stone at far left.
Caroline Holmes was laid to rest in Felton Cemetery at Montezuma, Georgia. Her tombstone inscription:

Mother
Caroline Card Holmes
Feb 12, 1846
Oct 17, 1909
Asleep in Jesus! Blessed sleep, From which none ever wake to weep.

Caroline's epitaph is from a hymn written by Margaret Mackay (1802-1887):

Asleep in Jesus! Blessed Sleep

Asleep, in Jesus! Blessed sleep,
From which none ever wakes to weep;
A calm and undisturbed repose,
Unbroken by the last of foes.

Asleep in Jesus! Oh, how sweet
To be for such a slumber meet,
With holy confidence to sing
That death has lost his venomed sting!

Asleep in Jesus! Peaceful rest,
Whose waking is supremely blest
No fear, no woe, shall dim that hour
That manifests the Savior's power.

Asleep In Jesus! Oh, for me
May such a blissful refuge be!
Securely shall my ashes lie
And wait the summons from on high.

Fellow Graveyard Rabbit M. Diane Rogers also writes a bit about this epitaph as found on one of her ancestor's gravestones at The Graveyard Rabbit of British Columbia, Canada.

24 March 2010

Cemetery Hour?

On a grand scale: save the planet. On what might seem like a smaller scale: save a cemetery. Everything we love about a cemetery -- the stones, the flowers, the trees, the landscape, the art -- is connected to our earth. I wrote more about my thoughts on the subject in a post for Earth Day 2009. I hope you'll join me at Earth Hour 2010.

Illinois Monument at Andersonville (Wordless Wednesday)


23 March 2010

One from the Monumental Bronze Company (Tombstone Tuesday)

C. C. Grant
Born May 10, 1842
Died Aug 6, 1883
Gone From Our Home,
But Not From Our Hearts.
C. C. Grant's tombstone was made by the Monumental Bronze Co. of Bridgeport, CT. It is located in Felton Cemetery at Montezuma, Georgia.

Photo © 2010 S. Lincecum

18 March 2010

Housekeeping at the Southern Graves Blog


Well, as you can see, I made a change or two to the blog. I hope it's for the better!

I first took advantage of Blogger in draft and worked with their new template designer. I love it. It makes it much easier to change the background of your blog. As you can see, I decided to acknowledge St. Patrick's Day a day late. I have not decided on a steady background just yet. It may take me a few attempts before I settle. The layout will stay the same though, so any navigational links you might be used to from the sidebars will still be there.

I also added a few things to the bottom of each post. The labels specific to each post can now be found there. If you are looking for similar articles, this is another way to find some. I also added a way for you to rate posts because comments and feedback are always appreciated.

I am especially excited about the location feature Blogger added. At the bottom of applicable posts will be a location link. The location will usually be of the cemetery where the topic of the article originated. Clicking on the link will take you to a Google map. I think this is great for a variety of reasons. I hope you find it useful.

I am also working on a few additional static pages. One is a list of surnames found on the blog. There are just as many genealogists as taphophiles (and combinations of both) that follow Southern Graves, and I think a surname list would be beneficial. Unfortunately, I did not tag all my posts with surnames. A bit if work will be required to go through each post.

I am thinking about a "tombstone type" page, as well as a list of the cemeteries discussed. All will take time, so please be patient and on the look-out.

As always, thank you for visiting and following Southern Graves!

15 March 2010

Women's Relief Corps, Order of the Eastern Star, & Mother Enterprise

Mrs. Nettie C. Hall's (1841-1908) ledger marker is located in Evergreen Cemetery at Fitzgerald, Georgia. At first glance, there might not seem to be a whole lot of information inscribed here. However, there is actually much included in these few lines. Let us start at the top.

W. R. C. stands for Women's Relief Corps. From the W. R. C. website: "The National Woman's Relief Corps, Auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic, Inc., is a patriotic organization whose express purpose is to perpetuate the memory of the Grand Army of the Republic, as we are their auxiliary organized at their request on July 25 and 26, 1883 in Denver, Colorado..." The first statement of their mission reads, "To perpetuate the memory of the Grand Army of the Republic and its heroic dead; to assist in every practicable way in preserving, and making available for research, documents and records pertaining to the Grand Army of the Republic and its members..."

The Grand Army of the Republic was founded in Decatur, Illinois on 6 April 1866 by Benjamin F. Stephenson. Membership was limited to honorably discharged veterans of the Union Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or the Revenue Cutter Service who had served between 12 April 1861 and 9 April 1865.

Next on Nettie's gravestone is the emblem for the Order of the Eastern Star. I was not very familiar with this emblem or organization, and researching it proved to be most interesting. According to Wikipedia.org, "The Order of the Eastern Star is the largest fraternal organization in the world that both men and women can join. It was established in 1850 by Rob Morris, a lawyer and educator from Boston, Massachusetts, who had been an official with the Freemasons. It is based on teachings from the Bible, but is open to people of all monotheistic faiths... Members of the Order are aged 18 and older; men must be Master Masons and women must have specific relationships with Masons. Originally, a woman would have to be the daughter, widow, wife, sister, or mother of a master Mason, but the Order now allows other relatives..." Famous members include Clara Barton, Caroline Ingalls, Eleanor Roosevelt, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Maya Angelou.

The emblem of the Order is a five-pointed star, and the character-building lessons taught are stories inspired by Biblical figures. In the center of the star is a pulpit. One point contains the image of "Electa's Cup" from the story of the "elect lady" in II John. Next is the "Adah Sword" from the story of Adah, Jephthah's daughter, from Judges. Next is "Life-Time Wheat" from the story of Ruth, the widow. Then there is a "Crown and Sceptor United" from the story of Esther, the wife. Finally is the "Broken Column" from the story of Martha, sister of Lazarus, from the Gospel of John.

And finally, the last line from Nettie's gravestone -- "Mother Enterprise." This is a personal title. According to the Evergreen Cemetery Tour Map and Guide, Nettie was among the first colonists to arrive in Fitzgerald, GA (known as "the colony," or "shacktown") in 1895. She was a reporter for the Enterprise newspaper beginning with its first edition on 12 December 1895. Later, she bought the paper. Nettie was also a famed speaker and temperance movement worker in South Dakota, and she had a passionate interest in the development of the railroads. She was "cast in the mold of the nationally famous Nelly Bly."

Nettie C. Hall was the widow of two Union veterans -- first husband Mr. Weems, second husband Cleveland T. Hall.

12 March 2010

In Hoc Signo Vinces: the Knights Templar

I came across this emblem during a recent visit to Evergreen Cemetery in Fitzgerald, Georgia. It is one of the most detailed symbol of the Knights Templar I have seen. At the top is a knight's helmet. A cross in crown is on top of a Maltese cross with crossed swords behind it. Included is the motto In Hoc Signo Vinces, a Latin rendition of a Greek phrase meaning "in this you will conquer."

According to Wikipedia.org, the Knights Templar were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders. The organization existed for approximately two centuries in the Middle Ages. It was officially endorsed by the Roman Catholic Church around 1129, became a favoured charity, and grew rapidly in membership and power. Templar knights, in their distinctive white mantles with a red cross, were among the most skilled fighting units of the Crusades.

Today, the Knights Templar is "an international philanthropic chivalric order affiliated with Freemasonry." Predominantly in the United States the Knights Templar is the final order joined in the York Rite. Unlike other Masonic bodies which only require a belief in a Supreme Being regardless of religion, membership in the Knights Templar is open only to Christian Masons who have completed their Royal Arch and in some jurisdictions their Cryptic Degrees.

From KnightsTemplar.org:
The Knights Templar is a Christian-oriented fraternal organization that was founded in the 11th century. Originally, the Knights Templar were laymen who protected and defended Christians travelling to Jerusalem. These men took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and were renowned for their fierceness and courage in battle.

Today, the Knights Templar display their courage and goodwill in other ways. They organize fund-raising activities such as breakfasts, dinners, dances, and flea markets. They support Masonic-related youth groups and they raise millions of dollars for medical research and educational assistance.
Note: I saw this emblem on three gravestones in Evergreen Cemetery. The first two granite markers were in the same plot. The third was a ledger marker in another part of the cemetery.

Elmer L. Waits
1899-1949
John T. Cass, M.D.
1851-1937
John C. Boney
July 30, 1850
Sept 9, 1930

11 March 2010

My Journey to Visit the Brother that Did Not Survive

Remember Henry Chaple? He was one of two brothers from a New York regiment that were captured at Plymouth, NC during the Civil War. They were both sent to Andersonville Prison Camp in Georgia. Henry survived, but his brother did not. When I photographed Henry's grave at Evergreen Cemetery in Fitzgerald, Georgia, I had no idea of his story. After I returned home and learned more, I decided I wanted to also pay my respects to the brother that did not survive. His name was Alfred Chapel.

We headed down I-75 yesterday morning. It was raining, and the forecast was not great. I was determined to go, however, since various things had interrupted my plans in recent weeks. I was armed with Alfred's grave site number that I had obtained online, as well as a map and my digital camera. At some point before we reached Andersonville, I began to wonder about Alfred's arrival to the prison camp. Since he was captured in April 1864, it is very close to being exactly 146 years ago. Was it raining when he arrived? If it was, there was no shelter once he stepped off the train that brought him to his final "home."

Once we arrived at Andersonville National Historic Site and Cemetery, we went into the building that houses visitor information and the Prisoner of War Museum. I have visited the excellent museum in the past and decided to skip it this time around. I did get some photos of the beautiful memorial located just outside.




Alfred's Gravesite Number & Section
I then returned to the visitor information section. Located there are a couple of computers that allow you to look up prisoner and burial information. While I knew Alfred Chaple was #4726, I decided to see what else I could find. While I already knew much of the information given -- his military information and cause of death -- I was able to determine he was buried in section F of the cemetery. That should make it easier to find him. I wrote down the information on a small card provided.

Instead of going directly to the cemetery, we drove around the actual prison camp site. This was not my first visit to Andersonville, but you can never get used to the feeling that comes over you when you take the time to try and absorb what happened on the ground on which you are standing.

View from Star Fort, the headquarters of the commandant.
In the photo above, at the bottom and just to the right of center, are two stone structures. They represent the South Gate entrance/exit to the stockade. Just across the "street," to the left of the gate in the photo, was the site of the Dead House. This was a small structure built of tree branches. When Alfred died in August 1864, his body was taken there. It was then carried by wagon to the cemetery for burial.

Next stop was the cemetery to find where Alfred was buried. On the back side of the small card on which I had written his gravesite number and section, was a map. Alfred was in section F, just inside the cemetery entrance on the left.

Using the information gathered, his marble military tombstone was easy to find.


I don't often spend long periods of time at particular gravesites when visiting cemeteries. I rarely know much about the individual sites I photograph until after I return home and research is conducted. This time was different. I told Alfred all about how I first found his brother Henry in Fitzgerald. How I learned of Alfred from research of Henry, and how I decided it was necessary for me to visit Alfred at Andersonville as well. I wondered if anyone had ever visited Alfred. Was his brother Henry ever able to make the trip? Could he even have mustered the strength it would have taken for him to return to this horrible reminder of his time spent at Andersonville? I certainly do not know, but I got the distinct feeling this Georgia girl was a welcome visitor.

While that was probably the best place to end this post, I want share with you a couple of photos from one of the monuments closest to Alfred. It so happens to be one erected in 1911 by his home state of New York.

Front of NY Monument
(Click to enlarge.)
Back of NY Monument

02 March 2010

Dora's Zinc Bedstead (Tombstone Tuesday)

This type of gravestone is not common in my area at all. A zinc marker is pretty rare all by itself. A zinc bedstead is even more so. It can be found at Evergreen Cemetery in Fitzgerald, Ben Hill County, Georgia. Inscription: Dora, Wife of S. O. Swafford, Died Aug 3, 1906. Love Is Eternal.

Photo © 2010 S. Lincecum

01 March 2010

Walter's Diamond Die

Walter Berry
Born in Delaware Co, Ind.
Oct 21, 1861
Died Nov 22, 1911

Walter's tombstone is known as a diamond die. The diamond shaped stone is on top of a stone base.

See the three chain link above Walter's name? This emblem shows he was a member of the Odd Fellows. I have written about this emblem and organization before. The article is here --> Odd Fellows and Rebekahs

This stone is located in Evergreen Cemetery at Fitzgerald, Ben Hill County, Georgia.
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