07 April 2012

Dudley Taylor

Dudley Taylor
Co F
52 GA Regt

Taylors Chapel Cemetery
Black Rock Mountain
Rabun County, Georgia

Photo © 2011/2 S. Lincecum
According to the Rogers Family Tree online at Ancestry.com, Dudley (whose first name was Sidney) was born 1842 to Henry Taylor and Susan Smith. His Confederate soldier files at Ancestry and Fold3 show he served a little over one month in the spring of 1862. Sidney Dudley Taylor supposedly died about 1867.

05 April 2012

He Died for the Cause He Thought was Right

Deep Cut at Allatoona Pass
The Civil War Battle of Allatoona Pass in Bartow County, Georgia was fought in October 1864. I visited this battlefield last year and was amazed at how little seemingly had changed in the almost 150 years since the fighting. Visible still were earthworks, trenches, wagon roads, and the massive deep cut through which the railroad once passed. I posted a bit of information and photos at the Peachy Past blog.

The casualties from the war, including both sides, numbered over 1,500 dead. Several soldiers were buried where they fell, unknown to this day. One marker in front of the 1838 Clayton-Mooney House memorializes 21 unknown Confederates. For many years, one solitary grave was marked in the deep cut as an unknown hero.

The Western & Atlantic Railroad employees maintained the grave for quite some time. And Georgia Governor Joseph M. Brown, who supposedly often visited the Allatoona Pass, was inspired to write a poem about the unknown soldier. Here are the first and last verses of "The Soldier's Grave":

In the railroad cut there's a lonely grave
Which the trackmen hold sacred to care;
They have piled round it stones, and for it they save
Every flower, when their task calls them there.

Heav'n pity the dear ones who prayed his return.
Heav'n bless them, and shield them from woes,
Heav'n grant o'er his grave to melt anger stern,
And make brothers of those who were foes!

According to the informational marker by Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites, local historians believe that the burial is Private Andrew Jackson Houston of Mississippi, who died at the Allatoona Pass during that October 1864 battle. He was buried where he fell.

The marker adds, "Forgotten to time for several years, in 1880 this site was marked with an iron fence and a marble headstone inscribed 'AN UNKNOWN HERO, He died for the Cause He thought was right.' Railroad employees maintained the grave for many years and later moved the grave to its present site when the rail line was relocated." A photo is included with this individual's FindAGrave memorial.

Of course, there is more than one theory as to the identity of this unknown soldier. A couple more are detailed at Explore Southern History.

03 April 2012

Young Jimmie Stetson: "It is well with the boy."

Our first born
Son of J. D. & E. S. Stetson
Born May 25, 1873
Died Sep 10, 1885

"It is well with the boy."

Rose Hill Cemetery
Macon, Georgia

Photo © 2012 S. Lincecum
Young Jimmie Stetson's tombstone is fashioned after a broken column. This often represents a life cut short. Dying at the young age of twelve years, as did Jimmie, would be an example of just that. A poignant Our first born is inscribed above Jimmie's name on the scroll that bears his epitaph, and at the base of the broken column is "It is well with the boy."

I took this latter phrase as a play on "It is well with my soul," a hymn written by Horatio Spafford about 1873.

...No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life,
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But Lord, 'tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

02 April 2012

The Lion of Atlanta

"The monument to the 'Unknown Confederate Dead' marks the final resting place of approximately 3,000 unknown Confederate soldiers who died during the Atlanta campaign in 1864. In 1869, the Atlanta Ladies Memorial Association had the 'battlefield dead' soldiers that had been buried in hastily-dug trenches near the battlefields brought to Oakland [cemetery] and independently reinterred in the square guarded by the Lion of Atlanta...

...The Lion is carved from marble supplied by the Georgia Marble Company of Tate, Georgia. The monument weighs 30,000 pounds and was carved from the largest block of marble ever quarried in America until that time (1894)...

The figure represents a lion that has received its death wound, and in his agony he is grasping and attempting to draw towards him the battle flag of the Confederacy."1

The sculptor was T. M. Brady of Canton, Georgia. He was inspired by a suggestion that the monument emulate the Lion of Lucerne. In tombstone symbolism, the lion represents courage, majesty, and strength.

Photos © 2011/2 S. Lincecum

1. Historic Oakland Foundation, A Guide to the Confederate Sections: Historic Oakland Cemetery, leaflet (N.p.: Georgia Division United Daughters of the Confederacy, n.d.), inside panel 2. Text co-written by the Historic Oakland Foundation and members of the Alfred Holt Colquitt Chapter No. 2018, UDC. Citing excerpts from The History of the Atlanta Ladies Memorial Association 1866-1946.
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