Mission: Confederate Cemetery, Forsyth, Georgia

Articles and Related Information About the Project

Introduction

"Unknown No More" from The Macon Telegraph, May 11, 1997

"Rest in peace: Rebel graves finally named" from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 13, 1997

"Woman trying to give identity to unknown Confederate soldiers" from the Associated Press, ca May 1997

Before and In Process Pictures of Cemetery

"Hallman Honored by the UDC with Medal" from The Monroe County Reporter, June 3, 1998 & September 9, 1998

"Confederate Cemetery Work is Saturday" from The Monroe County Reporter, June 3, 1998

Forsyth Cemetery Project Report - June 1998

Roster of Soldiers We Have Identified

Roster of Volunteers Working on this Project

Visit with Union Soldiers from Morgan County, Tennessee in Camp Sumter (Andersonville Prison), Sumter County, Georgia

Return to Home Page of Dixie Rose

Introduction

Monroe County's citizens made a great contribution to the Cause. Their care of the sick, wounded and dead will live on in the annals of time. In the wake of Sherman's march to destroy Georgia, the wounded had to be moved to points of safety. First a few of the wounded were sent to Forsyth; but after the battles in Atlanta, Jonesboro and Stone Mountain, the numbers swelled to 18,000 or more. Every shelter available was used: the courthouse, the old Lumpkin Hotel, stores, private homes, the Monroe Female College and the Hilliard Institute. When all available space had been consumed, tent hospitals were set up in groves near the railroad.

Mrs. Ella Palmer, a nurse attached to the staff of General J.B. Palmer, gave an eloquent account of just one instance of this terrible time in our history. She describes in detail how the kind people of Forsyth met the arriving trains in their wagons and buggies. Those great and loving citizens of Monroe County gave their all to help care for the soldiers who were wounded and dying. Adjoining the Sneed tent hospital was what has now become the Confederate Cemetery of Forsyth.

In 1889, the Ladies Memorial Association of Forsyth began the movement to erect marble headstones over their graves in the Confederate Cemetery in Forsyth. Two hundred ninety nine Confederate soldiers, one nurse (Honora Sweeney), and one Federal soldier were buried in the Confederate cemetery. The plot of ground containing the wooden markers with numbers and names of the dead was destroyed by fire in September of 1883, hence the words "Unknown Confederate Soldier" was placed on the stones.

With encouragement from the editor of the "Monroe Advertiser", J. T. McGinty (also a Confederate Veteran) and the first donation of $50.00 by W.A. Darter of Fort Worth, Texas (whose brother, James I. Darter, is buried in the cemetery), the project was underway.

As the result of much effort, the Vermont marble headstones were erected by the Georgia Marble Finishing Works of Canton, Georgia in 1893. The footstones were installed and a speaker's stand with a roof was erected in April of 1902.

On April 4, 1917, Mrs. George Newton, President of the Memorial Association, made out a deed to the Confederate Cemetery to Mrs. Charles W. Center, President of the Cabaniss Chapter, UDC. It was recorded October 18, 1917 in the Monroe County Courthouse in Deed Book 38, page 301. The Cabaniss Chapter # 415, United Daughters of the Confederacy has faithfully and lovingly cared for the final resting place in all the years hence.

Linda Hallman of Thomaston, Georgia began early on in her hobby as a researcher to find an interest in The War Between the States. She came in possession of an apparent list of Confederate soldiers in the late 1980's sent by a gentleman in Virginia. Along with the list, he simply stated that he was too old and too tired to continue and wanted someone to have this list. Upon closer examination, Linda discovered the list actually identified Confederate soldiers who died and were buried in Forsyth, Georgia. Of course, her first thought was, "Can this information possibly be true after all this time?" She has since undertaken verification of each name on the list by carefully checking exisitng records. In fact, she actually has been able to identify even more soldiers than appeared on the original list.

It is here that we must pause and appeal to all those interested in Southern history to help us with any information about the boys buried in the Confederate Cemetery in Forsyth, Georgia. Please be generous and share what information you have! She will gladly answer all questions by emailing Linda Moore Hallman. Linda is a member of the Cabaniss Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in Forsyth, Georgia. She currently serves as the Project Coordinator for the restoration of the Confederate Cemetery in Forsyth City Cemetery. She is Regent (1997-2000) of the John Houstoun Chapter, National Daughters of the American Revolution, Thomaston, Georgia. She and her husband, Ed, have resided in Crest Community, Upson County, Georgia since 1975. Linda is employed by Thomaston Mills, Inc. in Thomaston, Georgia. She is authoress of A Genealogical Sketch of the Scott Family of Morgan County, Tennessee, copyright 1990. She co-authored with her husband, Record of Interments for Rose Hill Cemetery of Bibb County, Georgia, 1840-1871, copyright 1998. Ironically, she marched among the tombstones of the Confederate Cemetery as a member of the Mary Persons High School Marching Band in the middle 1960's; she having graduated there in 1966.

This web page is dedicated to her mission and is an account (sometimes inaccurate) of the news media coverage and various individuals and organizations interested in preservation of Southern history. Many thanks to the volunteers who have made this project possible. Parts of this introduction were taken liberally from the pages of Monroe County, Georgia, A History, by the Monroe County Historical Society, Inc., Forsyth, Georgia, copyright 1979. The news articles are transcribed by the webmaster verbatim.

Back to the list of articles

Uknown No More

By Mike Billips

They were sick, shot up boys from Murfreesboro and Fayetteville and Jackson, too hurt to fight anymore in Johnston's doomed defense of Atlanta. When they were taken off the cattle cars in Forsyth, they were treated in crowded hospitals by men and women who were short on sleep, medicine, time and knowledge.

Photo
of  SCV at Work

Sons of Confederate Veterans from Forsyth and Thomaston install new headstones at Forsyth Cemetery Saturday morning. (Photo on page 1 by: Woody Marshall / The Macon Telegraph)

They died, many of them, and 300 of them were laid down in the red clay of Forsyth Cemetery, ranked in 12 even rows on a plot 50 yards square. And for more than 130 years, each of their headstones bore the same name:

"Unknown Confederate Soldier"

The names of many of those lonely boys and men have been rediscovered, and new markers are replacing the anonymous marble, through the efforts of local resident Linda Hallman.

She used to read the historical marker next to the graves when she was a member of the Mary Persons High School marching band.

"We used to practice up there because the football team had the field," she said Saturday while sitting on a stone wall beside the soldiers' graves. "It always bugged me that so many men had died without anybody knowing their names."

Coincidentally, Hallman graduated from Mary Persons 100 years after the summer of 1864, when most of the soldiers died. In the 33 years since, she has kept up her interest in history and the Confederacy, joining Forsyth's Cabiness chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Confederate dead finally get proper headstones

The grave of Capt. George A. Lowe has a new headstone installed by Sons of Confederate Veterans from Forsyth and Thomaston Saturday morning. (Photo on page 8A by: Woody Marshall / The Macon Telegraph)

She searched records in Atlanta and at courthouses, and met other researchers who led her to more material.. The bonanza came a few years ago, when a Virginia man who said he was "too advanced in age to do more research," sent her a list of names culled from the reports of Edward Fluellen, chief surgeon of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's Army of Tennessee.

Hallman has now identified about 175 of the soldiers, and her friends in the Sons of Confederate Veterans are putting that knowledge to use.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides new marble or granite headstones for the graves of American soldiers, including those who fought for the Confederacy. The VA is also providing a stone for Honora Sweney, a nurse who died at the hospital and is buried next to the young men she tended.

Two SCV "camps," as local chapters are known, from Thomaston and Forsyth worked together on Saturday to replace 50 of the 1930's era, "unknown soldier" headstones that currently mark the graves. Jack Grubb, commander of Thomaston's John B. Gordon Memorial camp, said he hopes to finish the work within a couple of years, as fast as the VA will send the stones.

The camps are looking for someone to donate a flagpole to mark the soldiers' cemetery.

On Saturday, men in blue jeans and T-shirts labored like infantrymen digging trenches, slotting the 250 pound marble headstones into a newly dug, 18 inch deep ditch.

Like fresh recruits replacing shell-shocked veterans, the new stones - 50 others were put in place last year - stood in lines at rigid attention. Some are still labeled "Unknown Soldier, CSA," but most bear names, such as Pvt. Joseph D. Ridley, 6th Florida, died August 22, 1864. The exact location of each body is unknown, but the names on the new stones match those buried in the cemetery.

The remaining old slabs - stained, broken and leaning drunkenly - patiently wait for their relief.

Hallman's nieces - Corey, 8, and Christina, 10 - help tamp the clay into place as each stone was erected. Their elders said they hope the next generation will hold the same spirit of respect for their forebears.

"I hope that, in 2097, there will be people out here taking care of these boys," said Lee Murdock, commander of K Company, 53rd Georgia, the Forsyth SCV chapter. "Because they need it."

(Article transcribed from the front page and page 8A of The Macon Telegraph, Sunday Edition, May 11, 1997, Number 131.)

Back to the list of articles

Rest in peace: Rebel graves finally named

Associated Press

Forsyth - Linda Hallman was touched by the 300 graves in Forsyth Cemetery that bore identical headstones: "Unknown Confederate Soldier."

She spent more than 30 years trying to find the names of the men, and with the help of other researchers has been able to identify about 175 of them. One hundered new markers have been erected at the cemetery, and more are on the way.

Hallman said the graves came to her attention in the early 1960s when she read the historical marker next to them. At the time, she was a member of the marching band at Mary Persons High School in Forsyth, north of Macon.

"We used to practice up there (near the cemetery) because the football team had the field," she recalled. "It always bugged me that so many men had died without anybody knowing their names."

The soldiers came from all over the South and were brought to Forsyth on cattle cars to be treated in crowded hospitals in the summer of 1864. Their graves were dug in a 50 - square - yard plot of red clay in 12 even rows.

Hallman, who graduated from Mary Persons in 1964, joined the United Daughters of the Confederacy and began searching records in Atlanta and elsewhere, hoping to find the names of the soldiers who died while being treated in Forsyth. She also met with other researchers, who led her to more material.

The turning point came a few years ago when a Virginia man who said he was "too advanced in age to do more research" sent her some valuable information.

(Article transcribed from the "Local News" section of The Atlanta Journal - Constitution, Tuesday, May 13, 1997, section C8.)

Back to the list of articles

Woman trying to give identity to unknown Confederate soldiers

In 30 years, the Forsyth, Ga., native has found the names of 175 men buried in a 300 - lot grave of unknowns.

Associated Press
Forsyth, Ga.

Linda Hallman was touched by the 300 graves in Forsyth Cemetery that bore identical headstones: "Unknown Confederate Soldier."

She spent more than 30 years trying to find the names of the men., and with the help of other researchers she's been able to identify about 175 of them. So far, 100 new markers have been erected at the cemetery, and more are on the way.

Hallman said she first noticed the graves in the early 1960's, when she read the historical marker erected next to them in the cemetery. At the time, she was a member of the marching band at Mary Persons High School in Forsyth, north of Macon in central Georgia.

"We used to practice up there (near the cemetery) because the football team had the field," she recalled. "It always bugged me that so many men had died without anybody knowing their names."

The soldiers came from all over the South and were brought to Forsyth on cattle cars to be treated in crowded hospitals here in the summer of 1864. Their graves were dug in a 50 - square - yard plot of red clay, in 12 even rows.

Hallman, who graduated from Mary Persons in 1964, joined the United Daughters of the Confederacy and began searching records in Atlanta and elsewhere, hoping to find the names of the soldiers who died while being treated in Forsyth. She also met with other researchers, who led her to more material.

The turning point came a few years ago, when a Virginia man who said he was "too advanced in age to do more research" sent her some valuable information, she said. It was a list of names culled from the reports of Edward Fluellen, chief surgeon of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's Army of the Tennessee.

Using those papers, Hallman has now identified about 175 of the soldiers.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs - which provides new marble or granite headstones for the graves of American soldiers, including those who fought for the Confederacy - has provided markers for the graves, and the Sons of Confederate Veterans are installing them.

SCV members from Forsyth and nearby Thomaston replaced 50 of the 1930s - era "unknown soldier" headstones last weekend - including one Pvt. Joseph D. Ridley, 6th Florida Infantry, who died Aug. 22, 1864. Another 50 were replaced last year.

Jack Grubb, commander of the Thomaston chapter, said he hopes to finish the work within a couple of years, as fast as the government can send the stones.

The exact location of each body is unknown, but the volunteer workers are certain that the names on the new stones match those buried in the cemetery. They hope future generations will help maintain the markers.

(This article was sent to Linda Hallman from a lady in the Order of Robert E. Lee, Ladies Official Ladies Corps, SCV chapter from Senoia, Coweta County, Georgia shortly after the publication of the story in the Macon Telegraph.)

Back to the list of articles

Photo of 
Cemetery

View of Forsyth Cemetery, Confederate Section before the project began. Photo taken by Linda Hallman ca 1994.

Photo of 
Cemetery

A second view of the cemetery taken in ca 1994.

Photo of 
Cemetery

Linda at Home with Her Boys

Linda Hallman double checking new stone placement. Notice we have a ways to go before we are through! To the left of Linda is a beautiful tall oblique monument placed there for James I. Darter, Company C, 24th Texas Cavalry, (d: August 21, 1864). Photo taken by Ed Hallman November 1997.

Photo of 
Cemetery

The gravestone of Honora Sweney, the nurse who died at the hospital and is buried next to the young men she tended. Her gravestone has since been replaced with a new gravestone.

Back to the list of articles

Photo of  Linda Hallman & UDC

Honoree Linda Moore Hallman, center, was recoginzed by the UDC for her work in researching the names of the Confederate dead buried in the historic Forsyth cemetery. (Pictured left to right: Jane Hampton, Linda Moore Hallman and Angela Harbuck. Photo courtesy of The Monroe County Reporter.)

Hallman Honored by the UDC with Medal

By Jane Hampton

May 19, 1998 was a busy evening for the Cabaniss Chapter #415, UDC. Linda Moore Hallman was honored with the bestowal of the Winnie Davis medal. The coveted Winnie Davis medal is the means by which the United Daughters of the Confederacy expresses appreciation to one of its own for her extraordinary contributions beyond the required duties of the organization, excluding the realm of history.

An appropriate medal was designed and adopted by the UDC in 1987 at the 94th General Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. The medal was named for Varina Anne Davis, called Winnie by her family, youngest child of Jefferson and Varine Davis. Winnie was often introduced by General John B. Gordon as "the Daughter of the Confederacy." In Miss Davis' frequent public appearances during her short life time she presented with great fervor the objectives of the Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The education of southern children was one of her personal objectives as well.

UDC Winnie Davis MedalThe gold oval shaped medal bears the name and profile of Winnie Davis which are bordered with laurel leaves tied with a ribbon bow bearing the numerals 61-65. The words, "Daughters of the Confederacy," completes the frame above the profile. The ribbon bow, lettering and profile are highly polished against a burnished gold background.

Hallman was given the award for her diligence and relentless effort in identifying the names of 147 of the 299 heretofore unknown Confederate soldiers buried in Forsyth and for documenting, at her own expense, that information. She has ordered the tombstones and also helped supervise and coordinate the work days.

Also at the May meeting, a slate of new officers were presented to the chapter and elected: Angela Harbuck, president; Amma Crum, vice-president; Angeline DeLeGal, 2nd vice-president; Lee Ann Scott, secretary; Mary Wade Mitchell, treasurer; Barbara Fincher, registrar; Jane Hampton, historian; and Virginia Lloyd, recorder of Crosses of Military Service.

The fiscal year comes to an end with an installation service and dinner which will be held at the Harbuck home on June 16. Mary Rose of College Park, Third District Director, will install the new officers.

(Article transcribed from The Monroe County Reporter, Volume 26, Number 22, June 3, 1998, page 6 and was reprinted in part in The Monroe County Reporter, Volume 26, Number 36, September 9, 1998, page 3.)

Back to the list of articles

Confederate Cemetery Work is Saturday

Work will continue on the Confederate Cemetery in Forsyth, as volunteers from the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Company K, 53rd Georgia Volunteers and the John B. Gordon Camp in Thomaston work to replace the old, anymous tombstones with new ones bearing the names of fallen soldiers. Also assisting will be volunteers from Macon and Warner Robins.

The work begins at 9 a.m. Anyone wishing to help is invited to join in.

(Article transcribed from The Monroe County Reporter, Volume 26, Number 22, June 3, 1998, page 1.

Back to the list of articles

Forsyth Cemetery Project Report

On June 6, 1998 our camp and our brother camp in Forsyth placed more new headstones in the Confederate Cemetery. This is hard work, but very satisfying and gives you a good and well deserved feeling at the end of the day.

Our camp supplied sixteen people to the effort and we were rewarded by the placement of fifty stones. The total is now 200 headstones placed and 99 more to be placed. We already have nine headstones and have applied for the remaining ninety. Hopefully, these will be received in the Fall.

We have a flag pole which will be placed when the project is completed. What a glorious day that will be for our Southland!

(Article transcribed from John B. Gordon Memorial Camp Newsletter, June 1998.)

Back to the list of articles


The beautiful music you are listening to was provided by Randall Lawson. Just in case you do not recognize it.. It is "Danny Boy" !!!!