24 March 2013

Her Body Still Warm: Is She Dead or Not?


At midnight last night Marya Webb, the girl who died at 82 Forsyth street, was still warm. The girl had been dead then thirty-six hours, but no change in her temperature had been detected. The skin was still apparently moist and the people who were about the body during the day assert that the girl is not dead. During the day several physicians examined the body and all of them pronounced the girl dead. Her mother, however, will not credit these statements, and when an undertaker is suggested becomes perfectly frantic. She will probably be buried today unless some signs of life are detected, which is hardly possible. [The Atlanta Constitution (Georgia), 21 November 1885.]

Maria Webb's Body Grows Cold and She is Laid to Rest

Maria Webb, the girl whose body remained warm too long after she quit breathing, was buried late yesterday afternoon.

There is now no doubt about her death.

Her body maintained the same temperature from her death up to three o'clock yesterday afternoon. About the time the temperature of her body began to change, and in less than an hour


and the body presented the appearance of death. The mother of the girl finally became satisfied that life was extinct, and allowed the undertaker to take charge of the body. Late yesterday afternoon the body was interred in Westview cemetery. When the girl was placed in the coffin her body was as cold and stiff as a lump of ice.

Maria Webb was a girl of fourteen years of age. She lived at 82 Forsyth street, and was always remarkably healthy and strong. Two weeks ago she was taken sick for


At first nothing was thought of her illness, but within a few days after its inception she was unable to leave her bed. The physician who attended her pronounced her disease a fever, and gave her every attention, but notwithstanding the care given her she died Thursday morning about nine o'clock. Soon after her death her body was shrouded for the coffin and then laid upon the bed. No one there thought of disputing the girl's death, but later in the day someone observed that her lips were


and that there was a faint tinge of color on her cheeks. In looking at these unusual accompaniments of death, it was discovered that the girl's face was warm. Then it was found that her body, even to the tips of her fingers and the ends of her toes was warm. This discovery created quite a surprise, for the girl had then been dead four or five hours. Later in the day the body was again examined and again found to be warm. The mother was notified of this strange circumstance and was unwilling to believe her child dead. Several physicians were sent for and every one of them agreed in


but none would venture an opinion as to the cause of the warmth of her body.

The intelligence of the strange case spread and Patrolman Harris' presence was required to keep the crowds out of the house. Hundreds of curious persons, however, gained admission and looked at the dead girl. She did not look like a corpse and but for the cloth about her head, would have looked like some one asleep. On Friday other physicians looked at the body and agreed with those who seen it Thursday.

Yesterday morning about ten o'clock the first change was noticed in the girl. Her feet began to grow cold and about noon they were as cold as ice but for more than two hours the coldness did not spread. Finally about three, her body generally commenced getting cold and rapidly the temperature changed. Every physician who saw the girl was positive that she was dead. [The Atlanta Constitution (Georgia), 22 November 1885.]

Couldn't think of anything to add, so figured I'd let the news articles do all the talking!

20 March 2013

Deep in Remembrance (Wordless Wednesday)

© 2007-2013 S. Lincecum

14 March 2013

Thomas Theus's Dying Request

Thomas N. Theus
A Confederate Soldier
Died Nov 28, 1903
Eliza Wilhelmina
The Devoted Wife Of
Thomas N. Theus
Died February 21, 1895

Thomas Nichol Theus.

SAVANNAH, Ga., Nov. 28 -- Thomas Nichol Theus, a well known Savannahian who was prominently related in Georgia and South Carolina, died at an early hour this morning. He made a dying request that he be buried in Confederate gray, and he himself named six pall-bearers, all Confederate veterans." [Macon Telegraph (Georgia), 29 November 1903, pg. 2 -- Viewed online at GenealogyBank.]

Bonaventure Cemetery
Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia
Photos © 2007-2013 S. Lincecum

13 March 2013

From Savannah to Manila

Capt. Robert H. Anderson
9th U.S. Infantry
Died Manila, Philippine Islands
November 7th, 1901
1861 - 1901

Died of Pneumonia at Mobile -- Was Appointed From Georgia.

Washington, Nov. 7 -- A cablegram received at the war department today from General Chaffee, at Manila, announces the death from pneumonia of Captain Robert H. Anderson, of the 9th infantry.

Captain Anderson was appointed to the army in 1884 from civil life, being credited to Georgia.

Savannah, Ga., Nov. 7 -- Captain Robert H. Anderson, of the Ninth regular infantry, was born in this city in 1861. His father was General Robert H. Anderson, of the Confederate army, and for many years chief of police of Savannah. Young Anderson was appointed a second lieutenant in the army by President Arthur, in 1884. He served gallantly in Cuba, and afterwards in China and the Philippines. His family connection in this section are extensive and prominent. He leaves a widow and two children." [Columbus Daily Enquirer (Georgia), 8 November 1901, pg. 1 -- Viewed online at GenealogyBank.]
Capt. Anderson rests in Bonaventure Cemetery at Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia.  There is a beautiful carving on the foot of his gravestone:

Initials R.H.A., laurel wreath, and sword.
Photo © 2007 - 2013 S. Lincecum

The laurel wreath symbolizes "military as well as intellectual glory and was also thought to cleanse the soul of any guilt it had over the slaying of enemies." [Douglas Keister, Forever Dixie: A Field Guide to Southern Cemeteries & Their Residents (Utah: Gibbs Smith, 2008), 155 & 156.]

Note: In the obituary at top, the subheadline reads, "Died of Pneumonia at Mobile..." I suspect this is a mistake. Please let me know if I'm wrong.

12 March 2013

Col. Aaron Wilbur Made it Home to Georgia (Tombstone Tuesday)

Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah, Georgia
Photo © 2007-2013 S. Lincecum
DEATH OF COLONEL AARON WILBUR. -- Colonel Aaron Wilbur, for many years a prominent citizen of this city, died at his residence last evening, at 10 o'clock. He was a native of Vermont, but removed South soon after he became of age, and located in Richmond, Virginia, from which city he removed to Savannah in 1853, since which time he has been engaged in the insurance business. His energy and well known business capacity secured for him the position of manager of the Southern branch of the Knickerbocker Life Insurance Company of New York. He was also President of the Home Insurance Company of Savannah, and a Director in the Merchants' National Bank.

During the war he was appointed by Gov. Brown on his staff, with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, which position he held for some time. At the close of the struggle he engaged extensively in business and succeeded in saving from the general wreck that followed that event a large portion of his fortune.

Last Spring, while on a tour North, he was taken sick and at one time it was thought he would not live to return to Georgia, but he so far recovered as to be able to make the trip, and on the day of his return to the city spent several hours in his office; from whence he went to his residence, never more to be seen "amid the busy haunts of men," and after a week of great suffering breathed his last. He was about fifty years of age. - Savannah News, 6th. [Augusta Daily Constitution (Georgia), 8 December 1869, pg. 4 -- Viewed online at GenealogyBank.]

Aaron Wilbur
Born Barnard, Windsor Co, Vermont
December 12, 1821
Died Savannah, Georgia
December 5, 1869
Aged 48 Years

"Asleep In Jesus."

Bonaventure Cemetery
Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia

Photo © 2007-2013 S. Lincecum

10 March 2013

So What Happened to John Latham?

View from the upper walkway near memorial.
When visiting Fort Pulaski near Savannah, Georgia, one of the things you can do is walk around an upper deck that circles the fort on the interior. There are several cannons strategically placed, giving you an idea as to how things were during the early part of the Civil War before the surrender to Federal troops. Along the walkway, I saw this plaque:

This memorial commemorates the act of Lieutenant Christopher Hussey
of the Montgomery Guards and Private John Latham of the Washington
Volunteers, the first volunteer regiment of the state of Georgia.
While under fire during the bombardment of April 11, 1862, they
recovered the Confederate colors which had been shot down and raised
the flag on this parapet.

Subsequent research lead me to the Historical Record of the City of Savannah (pub. 1869). Page 85 gives a bit more detail about the incident described above:

The asterisk by Lt. Hussey's name lead to this:

Entry to Catholic Cemetery.
Photo by Linda Wallis via
A search of FindAGrave revealed "A List Of The Known Confederate Sailors And Soldiers Buried In [Savannah's] Catholic Cemetery." There are no markers, only office records. A Capt. Christopher Hussey was included with "Co. E, 22nd GA Hvy. Arty." -- the Montgomery Guards. A John Latham is also listed, but there is no identifying information such as the unit with which he served. I wonder, is this the same Pvt. Latham who rescued the Confederate colors? If so, what was the ultimate cause of his demise? Anyone out there know?

Top 2 photos © 2010 S. Lincecum.

08 March 2013

Robert Rowan had Nothing to Do with the Civil War

In Memory of ROBT. ROWAN of No.
Carolina, Lieut in 1st Regimt of Artilrst &
Engirs of the U. States Troops who died
March 3d 1800, Aged 25 Years.
I wonder how many visitors have paused at Lieut. Robert Rowan's tombstone. How many times it's been photographed. I'll bet the numbers are staggering. You see, young Robert's final resting place is a cemetery on Cockspur Island, right outside Fort Pulaski -- a defender of the ports of Savannah, Georgia during the Civil War. This is also the place where 13 of the Immortal 600 were buried.

Lieut. Rowan, however, had nothing to do with the Immortal 600, or any part of the Civil War for that matter. He was already dead. Robert Rowan died at the young age of 25 in the year 1800. A full 60+ years before the drama at Fort Pulaski. Back when the fort on Cockspur Island was Fort Greene, built in 1795 and named for Revolutionary War patriot Nathanael Greene.

Robert Rowan's death did make the newspaper --

Died, at Fort Greene, near Savannah, on the 3d instant, lieut. Robert
, of the 1st regiment of Artillerists and Engineers.
[Charleston City Gazette (South Carolina), 22 March 1800, pg. 2]

-- but I can't help but wonder if, under different circumstances, we would even be aware there ever was a Lieut. Robert Rowan. I, for one, think it's cool we are.

Top Image © 2010 S. Lincecum

07 March 2013

Georgia's Cincinnati Cobra

Did you know the famous boxer, Ezzard Mack "Cincinnati Cobra" Charles, was born in Georgia? Me, neither. He is the March 7th subject of the Georgia Historical Society and Georgia Public Broadcasting collaboration, Today in Georgia History.

FindAGrave Memorial Photo by Anonymous 

04 March 2013

Military Monday: Specialist Edwin Freeman Ussery

Edwin Freeman Ussery
SP - 2
World War II
September 19, 1922
August 6, 1955
Edwin Freeman Ussery was born in Hart County, Georgia.1 He died in service to his country while in Korea, 6 August 1955. Specialist Ussery was honored with an upright marble headstone placed at Blue Heights Baptist Cemetery in Mountain City, Rabun County, Georgia.2


1. "Georgia, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1940-1942," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/V2MR-CMQ : accessed 03 Mar 2013), Edwin Freeman Ussery, 1941.

2. Ancestry.com. U.S., Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, 1925-1963 [database & images on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Entry for Edwin Freeman Ussery.

03 March 2013

William J. Trusty, Tank Destroyer

William J. Trusty (1919-1949)
William Jack Trusty rests at Blue Heights cemetery in Mountain City, Rabun County, Georgia. The stone I photographed was a government issue granite marker. I was not familiar with all of the abbreviations on the stone, but was able to decipher it easily after reading the headstone application on Ancestry.

From Wikipedia
As part of his service for the U.S. Army during World War II, Corporal Trusty was a member of Company B, 638th Tank Destroyer Battalion.  He enlisted 23 September 1942 and received an honorable discharge 18 October 1945.

This information was great, but it didn't tell me why William J. Trusty died at the young age of 30 years. In viewing several family trees online, the consensus seemed to be that he died in Pontiac, Michigan. However, not one of those I saw offered a source for this vital fact. Going ahead with this data, though, I did find a blurb in The Daily News (Ludington, Michigan - 25 July 1949, pg. 3):
PONTIAC -- Jack Trusty, 35, of Bloomfield Hills, died Sunday of burns suffered in a fire which destroyed his trailor early Sunday morning.
The Record-Eagle of Traverse City, Michigan stated the same while offering the age of 32.

I searched Oakland County, Michigan's death records index online and found a William Trusty died there 24 July 1949. Those online trees might just be right.

02 March 2013

Record of Hunnicutt Marriage Not Obtainable

So sayeth Rabun County, Georgia Ordinary James F. Smith back in 1913. But Lottie (maiden name Rogers according to online family trees) did marry Nathan Andrew Hunnicutt. She swore to that fact when filing for a widow's pension only several days after the death of said husband. She got a few other folks to sign sworn statements to that end, as well.  (Application available for viewing at Ancestry.com.)

Under the heading of Questions for Applicant, Lottie stated she and N. A. Hunnicutt were married 3 December 1865 in Rabun County, Georgia. About 3 weeks before Lottie's 14th birthday. Lottie also claimed to have only $225 worth of worldly goods and property, including two small town lots and a house on Park Street in Mountain City making up the majority with a value of $200.

More information about N. A. Hunnicutt's service to the Confederate cause was actually provided by a witness, I guess since Lottie and Andrew weren't married until after the surrender in 1865. N. A. Hunnicutt was a member of Company F, 11th Georgia Cavalry.

After the war, Lottie and Andrew settled down in Rabun County, Georgia and had many children. Census records suggest the number was 11. Andrew died 25 July 1913 and Lottie followed 15 September 1926. They both rest in the graveyard of Blue Heights Baptist Church in Mountain City, Georgia.

Lottie Hunnicutt
Dec 25, 1851
Sept 15, 1926

At Rest

Andrew Hunnicutt
b. June 4, 1845
d. July 25, 1913

Beloved father, farewell.
Photos © 2011 - 2013 S. Lincecum.

Note: Rabun County, Georgia is where the famous Foxfire books were created.

01 March 2013

William Dickerson Did Time at Fort Delaware

Confederate Civil War Service
Record for W. L. Dickerson at Fold3
In 1863, as a private in Company F of Georgia's 52nd regiment. What landed him on Pea Patch Island was the fighting he did at The Battle of Champion Hill on the 16th of May, down in Mississippi. William Loren Dickerson was captured by the Union Army during that battle, and a few weeks later arrived at Fort Delaware.

According to an article at Wikipedia, citing the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fort Delaware "contained an average population of southern tourists, who came at the urgent invitation of Mr. Lincoln." At the time of Pvt. Dickerson's imprisonment, the camp population was about 11,000. By the end of the war, the number had jumped to 33,000. Though the conditions were classified as decent, one private described them as "bad, hopeless and gloomy enough without any exaggeration." I suppose I can say W. L. Dickerson was "lucky" enough to spend less than a month at the prison camp before being exchanged on 4 July 1863. What a nice way to celebrate Independence Day.

Photo © 2011-2013 S. Lincecum
The next year, Pvt. Dickerson was transferred to Company E of Georgia's 24th Infantry Regiment. According to his Civil War Soldier Profile at Ancestry, William Loring Dickerson survived the war and was mustered out 9 April 1865 at Appomattox Court House, Virginia.

W. L. Dickerson was just 17 years old when he signed up to fight in 1862. After the war, his time was spent farming in Rabun County, Georgia. Online family trees and census records suggest William married a lady named Hindy and had several children.

W. L. Dickerson died on New Year's Eve, 1923. He was laid to rest at the graveyard of Blue Heights Baptist Church in Mountain City, Rabun County, Georgia.

W. L. Dickerson
Sept 4, 1844
Dec 31, 1923

Dearest Father thou has left us here,
Thy loss we deeply feel.
But tis God that hath bereft us,
He can all our sorrows heal.

Photo © 2011-2013 S. Lincecum

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