Marietta Set To Re-dedicate Confederate Monument
By Calvin E. Johnson, Jr.
Kennesaw is derived from the Cherokee Native-American word "Gah Nee Sah" which means cemetery or burial grounds.
One hundred years ago the people of Marietta, Georgia dedicated a Soldiers Monument at the local Confederate Cemetery. Marietta Confederate Cemetery is located next to the City Cemetery and Joe Brown Park and from Powder Springs Road, at 1-20 loop; you can see the soldiers memorial flag "Confederate Battle Flag" flying over the graves of honored soldiers from 14 Southern states.
The Kennesaw Chapter 241 United Daughters of the Confederacy co-sponsored the 1908 dedication of a soldier’s memorial with the Ladies Memorial Association. Now, the Kennesaw Chapter 241 UDC is proud to announce a centennial re-dedication ceremony for the soldier’s memorial on Sunday, July 27, 2008, at 2 PM at the Marietta Confederate Cemetery. Visitors are invited to attend the event and you can contact UDC President Nina M. Hill at phone: 678 983 4910 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
This is the story behind the unveiling of a soldiers monument.
On Tuesday, July 7, 1908, a few days after Independence Day, a beautiful monument was dedicated at Marietta, Georgia's Confederate Cemetery.
On top of Kennesaw Mountain you can see for miles in all directions. This mountain is the centerpiece of Kennesaw National Battlefield Park located near historic Marietta, Georgia and a short distance from Atlanta.
Thousands of tourists come to Kennesaw, Georgia to hear the story of the battlefields and walk the paths of history. When the north wind blows, you can almost see the ghostly figure of soldiers of the Union Blue and Confederate Gray and the thunder storms of summer sounds like the cannons of yesterday. The men who fought and died here have a story to tell. Do you have the time to listen?
People who visit Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia go home with a deeper respect for our nation's history and those men who fought for both the Confederacy and Union. During the month of June 1864, these brave men clashed on and around Kennesaw Mountain. The death toll was 3,000 Union and 1,000 Confederates killed in just one day of battle.
After the battle, the ladies around Kennesaw helped bury the dead as their sisters would do around Atlanta. These women would form organizations to see that their loved ones were not forgotten. They also made sure that the truth about the "War Between the States" was taught in public schools and that monuments be erected.
Forty-four years later in 1908, America was at peace. The first Model T came off the assembly line that year. Joel Chandler Harris famed author of Uncle Remus stories, died on July 3, 1908, in Atlanta, Georgia.
America was 132 years young on July 4, 1908. Three Days later, on Tuesday, July 7, 1908, the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Ladies Memorial Association of Georgia, unveiled a new Confederate Monument at the local cemetery. Marietta Confederate Cemetery is the final resting place for 3,000 Confederate soldiers from 14 Southern States.
Fourteen young girls were selected by the two ladies' groups to represent each state. They were selected from Marietta families who knew and appreciated their Southern heritage. Emma hedges was among those young ladies honored. She would go on to become a much loved and respected school teacher in Marietta, Georgia.
All businesses closed and people began to make their way to the cemetery on that hot July 7th afternoon in Dixie. They came by the thousands in horse drawn carriages which raised clouds of dust on those dry unpaved roads. Many had come in on the train or the trolley car from Atlanta.
The men, women and children were attired in their Sunday best and many former Confederate soldiers wore their old uniforms of gray. The Ladies of the United Daughters of the Confederacy began the program which included the playing of patriotic tunes. The Gem City Band inspired the crowd by the playing of "Dixie."
Speeches were given by such noted people as Georgia's Governor Hoke Smith and former preacher and Confederate Gen. Clement A. Evans. Evans, 75 years old at the time, died a few years later and is buried at Historic Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Marietta Journal newspaper reported: "The white shaft reflecting the sun, the newly erected Confederate Monument represents an imposing spectacle and attracts the attention and admiration of all passersby. It is a beautiful piece of work, twenty feet high with a base of ten square feet, of the well known Elbert County granite."
Fourteen young ladies representing 14 Southern States had their picture taken with Gen. Clement A Evans and Mrs. R.T. Nesbitt, President of the Kennesaw Chapter United Daughters of the Confederacy. The picture was taken in front of the Confederate monument after the unveiling. Their names were:
Aimee G. Glover for Maryland, Ruth McCulloch for South Carolina, Page Anderson for Louisiana, Julia Anderson for Florida, Emma Hedges for Virginia, Linda Anderson for Kentucky, Jeanette Black for Georgia, Carrie Phillips of Arkansas, Augusta Cohen for Texas, Cora Brown for Tennessee, Pauline Manning for North Carolina, Sue Green for Mississippi, Lois Gardner for Alabama and Sara Patton for Missouri.
When the veil fell from the monument and it was revealed for the first time the crowd became silent. You could hear the birds and light whisper of the leaves as the wind moved through the trees. It was a very special silence.
That special silence would be repeated 96 years later in Charleston, South Carolina.
In April of 2004 the last crew of the Confederate submarine Hunley was buried with over 50,000 people in attendance. The funeral parade covered over four miles and some think it may have been one of the largest parades in our nation's history.
When the Caissons bearing the remains of the Hunley crew passed by the massive crowd, they would go silent as had happened in 1908. All you could hear were the wheels of the caissons and the steel heels of the soldiers at the sides. All along the four mile route, many people took their hats off, Many bowed their heads, Many, especially old soldiers, saluted.
Two events so far apart. Yes, in years the distance is great, but in the heart and soul there is no separation.
Let's never forget our nation's history!!
Calvin E. Johnson, Jr.is a freelance writer and member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.