Presented by the Laurens County Historical Society, Dublin, Georgia. For questions and information, please contact Scott B. Thompson, Sr. at dublinhistory@yahoo.com.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

THE BLOOD OF HEROES NEVER DIES

        With another Memorial Day having come and gone, let us take a brief moment and salute those men from our county who have given their lives in the service of the United States of America.  

These are the men who have given the last true measure of devotion so that we may be free.

Take a few minutes and read the 199  names and say a prayer in their memory.  I pray that this list shall never be added to, except through the discovery of names from distant wars which are now only known to God.  

WORLD WAR I ERA - John W. Adams, George L. Attaway, Walter Berry, James Bradley, Leon F. Brannon, Fisher Brazeal,  Linton T. (Leonard) Bostwick, Joseph J. Bracewell, James Brown, Tom Watson Bryant, Sammie Burke, David Burton Camp, Freeman Coley, Ashley Collins, William Coney, Alvin T. Coxwell, Samuel Evans, James W. Flanders, Clarence David Fordham, Oscar Fulwood, John W. Green, James C. Hall, Archie Hinson, Syril P. Hodges, Delmar M. Howard, Ben F. Howell, Wallace C. Huffman, Jesse Kelley, Frazier Linder, Dewitt Lindsay, Ed McLendon, Walter E. Martin, James Mason, George McLoud, Jessie Mercer, Rayfield Meacham, George C. Mitchell, Robbie  New, Cecil Preston Perry, Wilbur Pope, John H. Sanders, Roger O. Sellers, John Stevens, Ed Stuckey, Louis M. Thompson, Edgar Towns, Fleming du Bignon Vaughn, Ed Washington, George Windham, James A. Williams, Henry K. Womack, Wayman Woodard, and McKinley Yopp. 

WORLD WAR II ERA - Robert T. Adams, Hardy B. Alligood, Connie Ashley, Jack Baggett, Charles E. Barron, Clinton H. Barron, Robert B. Bidgood, Cary H. Braddy, Palmer Lee Braddy, Eldridge D. Branch, Howard W. Brantley,  Bobbie E. Brown, Walter C. Browning, Gurvice A. Clark, James Coleman, Jerome W. Collins, Robert A. Colter, Hilton F. Culpepper, John C. Culpepper, John M. Dalton, Blanton T. Daniel, David G. Daniels, Jr., John R. Deamer, Walter B. Dixon, Daniel C. Fordham,  Thurman Foskey, James E. Fountain, Lester Graham,  Robert C. Graves, Horace J. Green, Joe R. Grier, Talman B. Hanley, Robert C. Harden, Freeman L. Harrison, Carice L. Harvey, E. Clay Hawkins, Hansford D. Heath, Edmond S. Hobbs, John C. Huffman, Willie T. Holmes, John W. Holt, Nathaniel Hooks, Billy Y. Horton, Robert L. Horton, James B. Hutchinson, Quien W. Johnson,  Henry Will  Jones, Wexell Jordan, Jr., Joel L. Keen, William A.  Kelley, Albert H. Knight, Peter Fred Larsen, Robert M. Leach,  Robert E. Lee, Otis C. Leverette, Embree W. Loague, Christopher C. Lowery, W. Carson McMullen, Chester C. Miller, Thomas L. Miller, Hugh M. Moore, Clem Moye, Carlton L.  Mullis, Albert F. Nobles, Harris O'Dell, Blakley A. Parrott, Jr., Martin H. Patisaul, J. Felton Perry, L. Cleveland Pope, Julian Rawls, Vernice Ricks, Randall Robertson, Henry V. Rogers, Jonnie F. Rowland, Roy C. Rozier, Thomas J. Russell, Jr., James Scarboro, Emory F. Scarborough, Hyram F. Scarborough, John Roy Scarborough, Roy W. Shepard, Jonnie W. Shinholster, John A. Shirley, Fred L. Smith, George B. Snellgrove, J. Frank Snellgrove, John H. Spivey, Hudson L. Stanley, G. Bert Stinson, Grady N. Strickland, Charles L. Taylor, Emil E. Tindol, Zollie L. Tindol, Willie J. Tingle, Jace M. Waites, Cleveland A. Warren, James R. Warren, John H. Warren, Columbus Watkins, Walter P. Watson, Rodger Watts, William R. Werden, Jr., Oliver W. Wester, Olson W. Wilkes, Robert E. Williams, J. Miller Windham, Luther B. Word, Jr., and  Frank R. Zetterower, Jr..

KOREAN WAR ERA - James E. Daniel, Robert H. Grinstead, Roy T. Hughes, Albert A. Lewis, Joseph E. McCullough, T.J. McTier, Walter E. Nesmith, James C. Rix, Bobby Robinson, Ralph B. Walker, Bobby R. Wood, and Lonnie G. Woodum.

VIETNAM WAR ERA - George W. Baker, Jimmy Bedgood, Tommy N. Bracewell, Billy E. Brantley, Harlow G. Clark, Jr., James E. Cook, James E. Cooper, David L. Copeland, Robert E. Davis, Jimmy Harlan Evans, Bobby L. Finney, Gerald C. Fordham, William Z. Hartley, Walter C. Hurst, Jr., James Linder, Jr., Edward B. Lindsey, J.D. Miller, Billy Mimbs, Felton Lee Mimbs,  Eddie L. Smith, Bobby Stanley, Donald E. Stepp, Ralph W. Soles, James A. Starley, and William C. Stinson, Jr..

IRANIAN CONFLICT 1980 - Dewey Johnson.

In his 1915 poem Canadian soldier John McRae wrote,


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
   Loved and were loved, and now we lie
         In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields.


         The poem became a rallying symbol for the war effort of Canada and Great Britain in World War I.  After the United States entered the war and began to experience a high number of casualties in the trenches of Europe, University of Georgia professor, Moena Michael, took up the cause of remembering the fallen heroes of our country as well as those serving over there.  

Inspired by McRae’s hauntingly beautiful words, Michael penned her own  poem, “We Shall Keep the Faith,” in which she wrote, 

“We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We'll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.
In Flanders Fields we fought.”
.
Michael became known as “The Poppy Lady.”  It was her patriotic vision which lead  to the tradition of wearing poppies, which still continues today.   

THE LAST FULL MEASURE OF DEVOTION - MEMORIAL DAY 2013

         On the last Monday in May, patriots assembled  in the auditorium of the Carl Vinson Medical Center to honor those men and women of our country who gave their lives as the last true measure of devotion in the service of our country.

They came to pay homage to fallen heroes of our country as well as to pray for those who still serve in our country at their posts around the world and that they will return from their missions to the safety of their homes and families.

Master of Ceremonies Johnny  Payne thanked Brenda Holloway for displaying the belongings of her uncle, Sgt.  Charles Lamar Taylor, who was killed in the Philippines in Jan. 1945 and whose personal belongings were kept by a Texas family for 68 years before being returned to the family a few months ago.  

Payne also cited Commissioner Buddy Adams for his massive and educational display of World War I and World War II memorabilia.

The program could not go without mentioning and applauding Frank Brooks on his last official day of supervising and planning Memorial Day services.

“This gentleman is always  behind the scenes and has always been a tremendous asset to these programs,” Payne declared.

A personal moment of remembrance was held to recognize the late Mrs. Louise Purvis, a Gold Star Mother,  who rarely missed a Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day ceremony in the forty-five years following the death of her son, Jimmy Bedgood, in the Vietnam War.

John Barrow, 12th District Congressman, reflected on the proceedings by saying,  “At the end of each year we stop to recognize those folks who have served our nation and returned back home. But, in the spring time, we recognize those folks who were cut down in their primes, the ones who wore the uniform and did not come back home.”

“God bless the men and women who gave their lives to make our country free,” the Congressman concluded.





Dick Burrell and Clay Young presented special music, singing separately and together in heart wrenching, tenor duo performance of “The Last True Measure of Devotion.”






North Carolina farm girl and valedictorian of the Wakeland High School Class of 1931. Meta Monteleon, spoke to the gathering, recalling her early nursing career which began as a  Red Cross nurse at Fort McLellan in 1940.  When the war broke out in December 1941, Monteleon left her classrooms at Yale University to join the Army Nursing Corps in the summer of 1942.  Stationed at Camp Gordon, Georgia until her discharge in the spring of 1944, 2nd Lieutenant Monteleon retired after a 50-year career as a registered nurse at the age of 72, more than a quarter century ago.

“I can’t believe that I have been asked to speak before all of these veterans and these important people.  I have always felt that because I didn’t go to a war zone that my service as a nurse was not so special,” the former nurse confessed.

While stationed at Camp Gordon, Monteleon nursed many German prisoners of war.

“Not many people realized the large number of German POWs in the country, 350,000 in all,” the nearly 99-year-old remarked about her German patients, many of whom she developed friendships with, including a doctor who saw neither of them as combatants.

“My years as an Army nurse were the best years of all, exciting and fulfilling, said the retired nurse who recommends a nursing career to young people as an opportunity to meet nice people and broaden their life experiences.

“I am proud to be in this room with those  who have served,” Monteleon concluded.

Retired Lt. Colonel Stan Couey spoke on the importance of Memorial Day.  Couey, a 1975 graduate of Dublin High School and a distinguished military graduate of Presbyterian College, is the current Headmaster of Trinity Christian School.

“Their sacrifices are our mandates.  Our challenge is to remember them,” Col. Couey proclaimed.

The awardee of the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Army Achievement Medal, Couey declared that Memorial Day should be an important day in America - a day to remember those who gave their lives to protect our country.

“In reality, we should be thankful every day,” Couey asserted.

The 20-year veteran of the Army is grateful for his service as it helped him to better understand patriotism and the sacrifices of those who have served, those who serve today and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to keep America free.

“We should remember those men and women  forever and keep them in our hearts,” Couey commented as he directed the audience’s attention to the poppy he wore on his lapel.

“When I think of Memorial Day, I think of those people, who without their sacrifices, we and others around the world would not have the freedoms we enjoy,” Couey concluded.

Gus Albritton and MSGT Roderick McNeil presented a wreath in memory of the veterans who  gave the last true measure of devotion.

There were few dry eyes in the house after Georgia’s State Bagpiper Dan Bray’s usual soul stirring rendition of Amazing Grace and Clay Young’s pride swelling performance of God Bless the U.S.A. concluded the afternoon service.









Saturday, May 25, 2013

COME YE BACK WHEN SUMMER IS IN THE MEADOW

For 68 years, the family of PFC Arthur Louis Schoelman Jr. kept a tan parcel post box in their home. Everyone in the Schoelman family knew exactly how it got there, but they never quite understood why it was there.  And, to whom did the box's contents belong to?

Schoeleman, (LEFT) a native of Texas, was born in 1925 as the oldest of eight children of Arthur Louis Schoelman and his bride, Opal Elizabeth Jones. Before Arthur enlisted in the Army in June 1943 after his 18th birthday, he worked in a local gas station. By Christmas 1943, Arthur found himself in the volcanic islands of the South Pacific as a member of the 169th Infantry Regiment of the 43rd Infantry Division.

On the last day of January 1945, Arthur was mortally wounded when a tree, struck by a mortar, exploded, sending a deadly shrapnel missile into his back. Schoelman died the next day at a hospital of the 118th Medical Battalion. His mortal remains lie in a green field covered with white crosses in Grave 96 of the 11th row of Plot F in the American Memorial Cemetery in Manilla, Philippines. 

One might think that the story of Private First Class Arthur Schoelman, Jr. ended with his burial. In fact, nearly seven decades later, Arthur's story is now being told again.

Members of the Clearing Company unit, assigned to such matters, gathered his belongings, or so they thought,  and shipped them off to the War Department's Personal Effects Bureau, Kansas City Quatermaster's Depot in Kansas City. There, a clerk took a bundle of belongings and placed them inside a 9-by-13-by-3 inch cardboard Crook Paper Box Company box and sent them to Mr. Arthur L. Schoelman at his home on West 34th Street in Houston.  

When the box arrived, the Schoelmans knew what was inside - it was clearly typed on an official army label, "Pfc. Arthur L. Schoelman, Jr. ASN 38549214, Case No. 451966."  As they opened the box, they found a 48-star casket flag, together with an official government publication containing instructions on the proper use and display of the flag along with the words of "The Pledge of Allegiance." Printed right on the inside of the booklet was a highly impersonal form letter from The Administrator of the Veteran's Administration conveying the deepest sympathy of the country "for the bereavement caused by the death of the veteran." 

Wrapped inside the banner of red, white and blue, there was an assortment of personal belongings. One by one, the Schoelmans tentatively looked through the box, looking for something that belonged to their son.  Very soon, Arthur's puzzled, grieving parents decided that the contents of the box did not belong to their son, but to some other poor soul who had lost his life in the war.

Something deep in the soul of Opal Schoelman told the Texas housewife to hold on to the box. One day, maybe some day, the Army would discover the mistake and the effects would be rightfully returned to the family of another lost, all too young soldier. Certainly she believed that in her care they would have a better chance of finding their way back home than in the care of the corps of clerks who could easily once again mislay the once opened box.

Nearly 20 years elapsed before the senior Arthur Schoelman died in 1964. Opal held on to the box until she died in 1980.  

The package was passed along to Opal's daughter, Dolores Wicker, who was only 13 years-old when her dear brother Arthur was killed a world away in the Pacific. For more than three decades, Dolores kept the aging box, still bound together with its original tape and marked with its original labels and postal marks.  

When Delores died on March 14, 2012, her daughter Renee Leslie  began going through her mother's possessions. Renee had long known the story of the mysterious box, but her desire to find the family of the dead soldier was stronger than ever.  

Renee logged on to the Internet and searched Google and ancestry.com for clues as to the identity of the missing man. She found a hand-written name and an army serial number pasted on a darkened label inside a glasses case, containing the mystery man's eye glasses. After a thorough search, Arthur's niece Renee found the location of the grave Charles L. Taylor, who was buried in the cemetery of Oconee Baptist Church at the northern tip of Laurens County just inside the Wilkinson County line.

Charles L. Taylor, who went by his middle name of Lamar, was also a member of Company B, 169th Regiment, 43rd Division. Taylor, a son of Eli and Nona Dominy Taylor born on Feb. 1, 1920, grew up in hard times - his father died when he was four. Lamar entered the service on May 15, 1942 at Fort McPherson near Atlanta. He trained at Camp Shelby, Miss. before going overseas where he served in New Zealand, New Caledonia, New Guinea and Luzon. 

On Jan. 9 1945, the division conducted an amphibious landing in the San Fabian area, Lingayen Gulf, Luzon. Sgt. Taylor was killed in heavy fighting five days later on Jan. 14.

Renee Leslie and her cousin, Rebekka Barker, thought that since Taylor was buried in a small church cemetery, there would still be relatives in the area or attending the church. So, Renee wrote to the church, "This letter may seem a bit strange, but please bear with me," as she proceeded to briefly explain the story of how her family came to possess Taylor's effects and their efforts to find surviving members of his family. When the church received the letter, they put Leslie in contact with Brenda Taylor Holloway, a niece of Taylor, who received the package on behalf of the sergeant after all this time.

Brenda, who was born a year or so after her uncle died, still lives in the area, but knew very little about her uncle Charles, known to his friends as "Little Doc." She had heard the stories about her uncle and how he was killed in that now distant war.  

As Brenda carefully opened the package, the discovery process began. Inside, there was a trove of personal mementos; a wallet filled with pictures of his mother, his sisters, his army buddies and a sweetheart or two - the usual photo collection of an American GI. A Good Conduct medal, an Asiatic-Pacific medal and the badge of a combat infantryman which once adorned the dress uniform of Sgt. Taylor were inside as well. A small leather craft clip, once a part of his combat gear, was placed inside Sgt. Taylor's moth-eaten dress hat, complete with a rain cover. Two panoramic photos of Taylor's unit, Company B, were neatly rolled up in the package, one marked "Send to Dock" and the other "The Boys of Company B taken in New Zealand."  


"My grandparents would be so thrilled," Holloway exclaimed.

And the flag that was intended for her Arthur Schoelman's casket, but never sent to Nona Taylor was there too.  On this Memorial Day, that flag will momentarily fly in front of the Dublin Laurens Museum as a tribute to the memory of Arthur Louis Schoelman, Jr.  and Charles Lamar Taylor and our country's continuing gratitude of their service to the country.  

To all of our fallen heroes,  simply sleep in peace, for we'll be here in sunshine and shadow until ye come back when summer is in the meadow. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

LAURENS NATIVE IS THE OLDEST PERSON IN THE UNITED STATES

 
    On a fair, warm, late spring day a child was born to Samuel James and Amelia Kurtz.  William McKinley was President of the United States.  On May 23, 2013, some nineteen presidents, fourteen hundred plus full moons and 41,368 sunsets later, that child will celebrate her 114th birthday.  It is on this May day when Jeralean Kurtz Talley reaches yet another milestone in the time line of her longest life.  In fact, Mrs. Talley is the oldest living person in the United States and the oldest known living person on Earth outside of the Island of Japan.  Photo @ Detroit Free Press.

Jeralean, who was among a dozen children of Samuel and Amelia Jones Kurtz, grew up in the outskirts of Montrose, Georgia in western Laurens County, Georgia.  Her grandfather, Andrew J. Kurtz, husband of Rachel Kurtz, was most likely a slave owned by Dr. William J. Kurtz,  who owned nearly two dozen slaves during the Civil War.

Jeralean and her family moved to Inkster, Wayne County, Michigan during a vast migration of African-American farm workers who left Laurens County in the 1920s for Detroit, Michigan. That group includes the family of world champion boxer, Sugar Ray Robinson and Ford Motor Company inventor and innovator, Claude Harvard.  

Jeralean married Alfred Talley, who died in the 1980s.  Although she was from large family,  Jeralean had only one child, a daughter, Thelma Holloway, who is now seventy-five years old. She has three grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren. 

As for Talley, she credits her God for her longevity.  When asked by Congressman John Conyers as to what her secret to a long life was, she pointed upward and said, "The good Lord up above. If it wasn't for Him, none of us would be here."

Talley was almost 107 before she moved out of her home and into her daughter's home.  She gave up bowling when she was a mere 104.   And, she scored a very respectable 200 in her last game.  

If all goes well, "Mother" Talley hopes to go on her annual fishing trip with friend Michael Kinloch, which has been scheduled for this Memorial Day weekend. 

"Until recently Talley cooked for herself. She likes fish, squash and banana nut bread, "said her daughter, who added, "Every day she has to have her cup of coffee. The doctor wanted to put her on a diet, but she wouldn't listen.  She doesn't believe in diets," Holloway said. "She eats whatever she wants to eat," Holloway told Candice  Williams of The Detroit News. 

"She loves to share wisdom with younger people," said Pastor Dana Darby of New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church in Inkster, where Talley attends. 

With 114 years behind her Jeralean has many stories to tell.  One of her favorites is the tale of her first and only attempt to drive a car. 

"I tried that one time," in her 30s, she said. 

"I  didn't hit the right one to make it go forward and it went backwards," Talley told Elisha Anderson of The Detroit Free Press.

When her husband Alfred yelled at her, she opened the door and got out of the car and never drove again.

A verified supercentenarian is a person who is at least 110 years old and whose age is documented by at three or more reliable documents as determined by an international body - the most respected organization being the Gerontology Research Group.

The world's oldest verified person ever was a French woman Jeanne Calment, who died at the age of 122 years, 164 days.   Today, the oldest living person is a  Japanese man,  Jiroemon Kimura, who turned 116 on April 19th.  Misao Okawa, who is 14 and one half months older than Talley, is the world's oldest living female.   As of today, Jeralean Talley stands as the 92nd oldest verified living person since 1955 and is poised to move into 90th place within a week.

Supercentenarians, at least not fully documented ones, are nothing new to Laurens County.  At lest ten former slaves, Madison Moore, Billy Coates, Tempy Stanley, Jack Robinson, Thomas Allen, Isaac Jackson,  Frances Thompkins, Emily Horn, Daisy Wilson and Llewellyn Blackshear, reportedly lived well into their twelfth decades.  

Isaac Jackson died in Montgomery County at the age of one hundred and twenty-two.  Isaac was a former slave of Gov. George M. Troup of Laurens County, who lived on  Troup's Valdosta Plantation in 1846.  Isaac Jackson is credited with being the last surviving slave of President George Washington by the  Hawkinsville Dispatch in its  Oct. 19, 1876 edition. 

Jack Robinson was born during the French and Indian War.  He lived the better part of his life as a slave.  In 1865, at the age of 111, Robinson gained his freedom.  He died in Laurens County in December of 1872.   Jack Robinson had survived many hardships during his lifetime, but in the end the Milledgeville Union Recorder stated that "tobacco was what cut him down in his prime."  He was only 118 years old. 

Aunt Daisy Wilson claimed that she was born in 1804, two years before Laurens County was created.  According to the Macon Telegraph, there were white people who stated that she had authentic records showing that she was 117 years old in the summer of 1922.  Daisy was born into slavery in North Carolina and purchased by John Manson, who brought her to Wilkinson County, where she lived well beyond her 100th birthday.  If her claim could be substantiated, Daisy Wilson may have been the oldest woman in Laurens County history and one of the oldest in the State of Georgia.

Thomas Allen maintained that he was born in 1800 and was 114 years old just before he died on the plantation of Dr. W.B. Taylor, outside of Dexter, Georgia.  Owned by the Giles family, the former slave was a native of Wilkinson County.  Although his age cannot be documented by census records, Dr. Taylor, who knew the old man for many years, did not doubt the accuracy of his claims.

Happy Birthday Mrs.  Jeralean! We hope you catch a big mess of fish.



LUCY MAY STANTON

Miniature Artist Extra Ordinaire

Lucy Stanton  found her niche as a miniature artist.  In fact, she became famous both in the United States and around the world.  To prove that assertion,  Lucy Stanton was awarded the highly coveted Bronze Medal of the Society of American Miniature painters, being the first or second woman in America to receive such a distinction.  For one brief term,  this teenage artist taught art at what is now called Middle Georgia State College.  

An artist who worked with oils, pastels and watercolors, Miss Stanton is most recognized for her miniature watercolor portraits on ivory during the Arts and Crafts period at the turn of the 20th Century.   Critics laud her mature style,  innovative use of broad washes and evocative portraits depicting African Americans without sentimentality or prejudice.

Lucy May Stanton was born to William L. and Frances MeGee Stanton, on May 22, 1875.  As a child, Lucy grew up living across the street from the legendary Georgia journalist and writer Joel Chandler Harris, the author of the Uncle Remus tales.  

It is said at the age of four, Lucy began to mold creatures out of modeling clay and  took her first art lessons in New Orleans when she was a mere seven-years-old. 

Lucy became totally captivated with  the arts when she attended Southern Female College in LaGrange, which later became known as Cox College after its removal to College Park.  As an 18-year-old, Lucy accepted a position as an art teacher at the New Ebenezer College in Cochran, which is currently known as Middle Georgia State College.  After serving a one year term during the 1893-1894 school year, Lucy returned to the Atlanta area.

Lucy traveled to Paris, France to receive a formal and very prestigious education in painting. She would remain in the capital of European art for two years until 1898.  Seven years later, Lucy returned to France to further improve her artistic talents.

Stanton's first paying job came in 1896 when she was commissioned to paint miniature portraits of Spanish born opera singer Adelina Patti.  Over her thirty five-year career, Lucy May Stanton would become one of Georgia's premier portrait artists, painting portraits of her former neighbor, Joel Chandler Harris, (LEFT) and the iconic Georgia politician, Howell Cobb, who served as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the latter of which still hangs in the national capital.

After a single year spent in New York, Lucy Stanton returned to Georgia in 1902 to make her home in Athens, where she would live for most of  the remainder of her life.  By her late twenties, Lucy became a popular artist across the country.  Her works were exhibited in galleries in the largest cities in the world, including London, Paris, New York, Boston and Philadelphia.   

Stanton moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 1916, where she painted and taught art for nearly a decade.  

Lucy May Stanton's interests extended beyond the visual arts.  Stanton was highly involved in the social, cultural and political affairs of Athens and the nation. In 1914, she headed the Equal Suffrage League of Athens. 

In 1928, Stanton, along with Jeannette Rankin, helped to co-found the Georgia Peace Society, an organization dedicated to preventing any more wars.  Rankin, the first woman elected to the United States House of Representatives, voted against the country's entrance into World War I and lead the fight to adopt the 19th Amendment to allow women the right to vote. 

''It was so interesting to me ... She was one of the first people to paint (African Americans) in a serious fashion, without propaganda or sentiment.'' Georgia Museum of Art Curator Betty Alice Fowler told the Athens Banner Herald. 

"She did a lot of stuff that I certainly don't think my grandmother or great-grandmother were doing at the time. She was well educated, clever, smart and talented. She made the most of it,'' Fowler added.  
At the height of her career, Stanton's works were featured in a solo exhibition in Atlanta's High Museum of Art.   

A worldwide acclaimed artist, Lucy May Stanton's seemingly endless list of awards  includes; The Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts (Blue Ribbon, Paris, 1906), Pennsylvania Society of Miniature Painters (Bronze Medal, 1917), Atlanta Art Association (first prize, 1917), Concord Art Association (Medal of Honor, 1923), and National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors (honorable mention, 1925).

More than eighty years after her death in Athens on March 19, 1931, her works are among the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Emory University, and the Georgia Museum of Art.

Friday, May 17, 2013

BAD DAY AT BAKER'S CREEK


THE CHARGE UP CHAMPION'S HILL




This week marks the one hundred fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of Baker's Creek (also known as the Battle of Champion's Hill to Southerners.)   As Civil War battles go, it doesn't rate near the top of the list of the most important battles.  You probably have never even heard of it.  Before the day ended, it would be the most bloody and vicious battle of the war for more than one hundred and fifty Laurens County men of the 57th Georgia Infantry.  More men in the regiment  were killed on that one day than in the entire war.  Almost as many men in the 57th were wounded that day than in the four years of fighting.  The date was May 16th, 1863.  The place was Baker's Creek near Champion's Hill in Hinds County, Mississippi.  Ironically the battle took place within a few miles of U.S. Highway 80 between Jackson and Vicksburg and also runs through the heart of Laurens County.   

The 57th Georgia was organized in May of 1862.  Company B and Company C of the regiment were formed in Laurens County.   Some of the soldiers, like the Garnto brothers, were residents of western Johnson County.  Company I was formed by soldiers from Laurens and Wilkinson County.  Lt. Col. Cinncinatus Saxon Guyton of Laurens County was second in command of the regiment.  

Vicksburg, Mississippi, according to most military authorities, was the key to entire Civil War.  Its commanding heights allowed Confederate artillery to control shipping up and down the Mississippi River.  On the 13th of May, Gen. Johnston, C.S.A., decided to unite his forces in one concentrated attack on the forces of U.S. Grant.  Johnston ordered Gen. Pemberton to attack the Federals at Clinton, east of Vicksburg.  The plan failed.  The Confederates began a retreat toward  Vicksburg.  On the night of the 15th, Pemberton's forces were camped at a crossroads south of Champion's Hill.  Federal forces were surging ahead, moving by their right flank.   The Confederates did an about face and turned toward what they thought was the rear of the Yankee column.   Before the maneuver could be completed, Pemberton's men ran head long into the advancing Federal troops.  

The 57th , under the command of Gen. Stevenson, took the left.   His mission was to protect the wagon trains on the Clinton Road.   Just as the 57th had formed in their lines, the skirmishers of Hovey's Division engaged them near the foot of the hill on the Champion plantation.    About 10:30, the Federal skirmishers began their advance up the hill.  Two  more brigades, McGinnis' and Slack's, were thrown into action against Stevenson.   By noon, Federal forces were attacking Stevenson's entire front.  The Confederates were forced to retreat for six hundred  yards.  Three hundred prisoners were taken and eleven artillery pieces were lost.   With their backs in the woods, the Confederates rallied and forced the Federals back down the hill.   

As the afternoon progressed, fresh Union troops were brought in.  The 57th and the other regiments under Stevenson's command were falling, one after another.  The Union forces advanced and took the hill.   Stevenson and his men were forced further to the right.  Stevenson reported that he was outnumbered nearly ten to one.  Years after the war, John L. Keen of Brewton wrote. "In this battle, our First Lieutenant was killed and several others of our regiment.  The color bearer was shot down, and the next man hoisted the flag;  he was suddenly shot down until the third man was killed ."  The men found themselves cut off from the main body of the Confederate  army.  The tide of the battle began to turn.  On the north side of the battle field, elements of Logan's division had advanced to the top of the hill.  Stevenson found his entire division cut off from the main body.   He was forced to make a long sweeping detour to the South.  They arrived the next day with no baggage, cooking utensils, or wagons at Crystal Springs.  

The Union Army was victorious.  The battle at Baker's Creek or Champion's Hill was devastating to the 57th.   The casualties totaled forty killed, ninety-six wounded, and forty- eight prisoners of war.    It was the worst day for any Laurens County company in the war.  The carnage was more savage than their fellow Laurens Countians had suffered at Gettysburg, Spottsylvania, and Fredericksburg.  1st Lt. Virgil C. Manning of Laurens County was the highest ranking officer killed in the battle.   5th Sgt. Washington Hobbs, and privates, Wilkinson C. Price, John L. Stewart, Jordan Surmons, Alonzo Walker, John Walker, and James R. Witherington were also killed.  

Fielding J. Bass, John English, Fielding Fordham, Thomas Garnto, Martin Hightower, John Hobbs, Larry Hobbs, Thomas Holmes, Aaron Hutchinson, Joshua Hutchinson, David Maddux, Alfred L. Morgan, Moses L. Pope, Sr., F.J. Ross, Samuel F. Scarborough, Richard N. Smith, Wingfield B. Smith, William M. Snellgrove, Joshua J. Underwood, Wingfield W. Underwood, Thomas B. Winham, and Green S. Young were wounded.  Some of these men, like Thomas Garnto, had limbs amputated.  Garnto's amputation was performed by a Union surgeon after he was captured and while he lay dying on the battlefield along side privates Ross and Richard Smith.   Smith was taken to Ft. Delaware and died there in prison.   Thomas White and Elbert Underwood were also captured. 

With the news of the battle and its toll, the citizens of Laurens County went into mourning.  A memorial service was held at Boiling Springs Methodist Church. The church is still located across the road from the old muster grounds where Company B trained in preparation for war.  The members took it especially hard, since James Boatright, a member of the community had been killed.  

 The Battle of Baker's Creek proved to be the turning point in the Vicksburg Campaign.  Federal Forces had tried for over a year to capture the strategic port city.  The seven week siege of Vicksburg  was about to begin.   On July 4th, the city of Vicksburg fell,  just one day after Lee's defeat at Gettysburg.   The tide of the war turned in favor of the United States.  All 342 remaining members of the 57th Georgia, along with all of the defenders of Vicksburg, were captured.  The men were paroled after a couple of months.  They returned to Georgia, disheartened and demoralized.  The 57th was sent to Savannah where they fought a battle on Whitemarsh Island in February, 1864.   From there they were transferred to Andersonville, where they served as prison guards until the spring.  The 57th also participated in the battles of the Atlanta Campaign, seeing the most action at Kennesaw Mountain, Peachtree Creek, Atlanta, and Jonesboro.  In the last major engagement of the Army of the Tennessee, they lost fifteen men at Bentonville, North Carolina.  

On April 26, 1865 the 57th Georgia, then a part of the 1st Georgia Consolidated Infantry surrendered at Greensboro, North Carolina.  The long journey home began.  The fighting, the dying, the starving, and suffering was over - finally.  The bodies of the dead never made it home from Baker's Creek.  They lie in unmarked graves somewhere between the creek and Vicksburg, known only to God.  

Thursday, May 09, 2013

THE FIRST COLA WARS




If you think that the Cola Wars started in the 1980s when the Coca Cola and Pepsi companies went head to head with massive advertising campaigns, new flavors and promising promotions, you would be quite incorrect.

A century ago in the spring of 1913, the marketing wars between the makers of a variety of soda water manufacturers were just beginning to heat up.

John Pemberton, a Columbus, Georgia pharmacist, formulated his Pemberton’s French Wine Coca in his Eagle Drug and Chemical Company drugstore in “The Fountain City.”  In the mid 1880s, when Atlanta and Fulton County passed prohibition legislation, Pemberton responded by developing Coca-Cola,  a nonalcoholic version of his coca beverage. The new drink was first sold at Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 8, 1886, 127 years ago.

Prior to the sale of Coca Cola in Dublin, small private companies like Prince & Kellam and the Dublin Artesian Bottling Company, sold their own versions of soda water in the Emerald City.  The Artesian Bottling Company, under the management of George Elbert, received 30,000 bottles in a single day at its plant on East Madison Street in 1905.

Three of Georgia’s pioneer bottlers were sons of James Russell Holmes and Alice Hester of Laurens County.  Robert H. Holmes, Joseph F. Holmes and Charlton B. Holmes left their homes in Laurens County and moved to South Georgia, where they enjoyed long and successful careers in the bottling business.  Robert, the elder brother, moved to Valdosta.  Joseph followed in 1896 joining Robert.  Charlton worked with both of his brothers before moving to the nearby city of Tifton.  Other members of the Holmes family, Charles Wesley Holmes, Willie Holmes, Luman Holmes and Harmon Holmes, were long time employees of the Dublin Coca Cola plant. 

Although the Coca Cola Company had previously operated in Dublin for several years, it wasn’t until 1912 when the Dublin Coca Cola Bottling Company was officially incorporated by J.W. Geeslin of Dublin along with Herbert F. Haley and J. T. Lupton, who operated the main office of the business in Macon. 




It will be  said with some authority that the first Coca Cola bottling plant (ABOVE) was located just northeast of the corner of South Franklin Street and what was once Harrison Street and is now known as Hughes Street on the site of a Dublin Construction Company warehouse.  Geeslin established his highly popular ice cream plant on the site in 1920.


Coca Cola Company Employees, 1935



Pepsi Cola came into the market in 1903 when it was patented by Caleb Bradham.  It would be another five years before the first Pepsis were bottled in Middle Georgia, specifically in Macon in 1908.

By the end of the first decade of the 20th Century, Pepsi entered the Dublin market under the name of the Georgia Pepsi Cola Bottling Company in a plant located at the southwest corner of East Jackson and South Decatur Streets. BELOW  The company, under the management of Aldine Hawkins, added ice cream to its line of products to compete with the local Coca Cola plant.  Hawkins boasted that his employees  could manufacture 40 gallons of Hokey Pokey and other kinds of ice cream per hour.




Lime Cola Bottle 

Acme Bottling Works, located on Lawrence Street and operated by J.B. Karrant, was charged with violating the pure food and drug act and was not in business for very long. The Lime Cola Bottling Company was established here by Wilkes Roberts, T.J. Freeman, E.A. and J.E. Evans of Blakely in J.O. Barnes warehouse on Jefferson Street in 1916. By 1922, the company was out of business. 


Claud A. Hatcher, yet another Columbus pharmacist, developed a new soft drink in 1905.  In 1910, the company became known as the Chero Cola Company.  W.E. Vann and R.M. Campbell opened the first Chero Cola Bottling Company in Dublin in 1913.  In 1915, they were bought out by  Robert Davis and J.C. Mathis of Tennille.




T.J. Kelly came to work for the plant as a young man.  After serving  in World War I, Kelly came back to work for the plant.  He was promoted to manager when Mathis left for Sandersville in 1920.  At that time,  the plant’s capacity was 1000 cases per day or 24,000 bottles.  At full capacity, the Dublin plant could conceivably produce upwards of 7.5 million bottles of pop a year.


One distinctive feature of Chero Cola was that it was only sold in bottles and not sold  in soda fountains.  One less than distinctive feature of Chero Cola bottles, made by the Graham Glass Company of Evansville, Indiana, were their striking similarity to the Coca Cola bottles.

At the height of the cola wars between Coca Cola and Chero Cola, a 1921 court decision banned Chero Cola from using the word “cola” in their product’s name.    The court found evidence that particularly in Dublin, the bottles of the two companies were so similar in appearance that employees of both companies picked up each other’s empty bottles.  Nearly a decade and half  later,  Hatcher revived his business by starting the NEHI line of flavored drinks and changing the name of his original cola to Royal Crown Cola. 



Not everyone in Dublin was enthusiastically in favor of Coca Cola.  Alderman G.H. Williams, a diehard Republican,  proposed an annual $5,000  tax on businesses selling Coca Cola, which he proclaimed was irreparably injuring the people of the city.  Williams also sought to discourage the sellers of cigarettes and near bear. It will be noted here that Williams was adamantly opposed to another Georgia icon, “Gone With the Wind,” which he asserted would ruin the South.



Coca Cola Plant - South Jefferson Street, ca. 1940.

Locally, Coca Cola was the eventual winner in the Cola Wars.  A modern plant was built in the early 1940s on South Jefferson Street, across from the current Dublin Police Department. The company moved to its present site on East Jackson Street while Royal Crown Company moved into the former Coke Building, before moving to East Dublin into a building now occupied by Irish Moving and Storage.





A popular pastime of kids and adults alike began in the years of World War I when Coca Cola began embossing its  bottles with the names of their bottling companies around the country.  The first Dublin bottles arrived in the winter of 1917. 



And to all of those of you who are over the age of fifty, do you remember the days when you would collect old coke bottles and return them to the Coke Company or your nearest neighborhood grocery?  You know, the days when a crate of two dozen empty bottles would land you nearly a half dollar, good for a trip to a matinee movie, a small pop corn and a thirst quenching  fountain drink -Coca Cola of course -  or the price of a new baseball to play with on the sand lots.


The domination of the Dublin market by Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola and Royal Crown Colas did not deter other entrepreneurs from entering the market. Williams Bottling Company was established at the bend of South Jefferson on the site of Williams Body Shop. It’s Pop Kola and fruit flavored drinks were cheaper alternatives to those of the big three soda makers.



 
So whether you can’t beat “The Real Thing,”  prefer the “Great Taste of an RC” or if  you are member of “The Pepsi Generation,” remember that the fight for the best soft drink started a century ago during the Golden Age of the Emerald City an entire century ago.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

PARAMOUNT PRESERVATIONIST


Like Forrest Gump, Jeff Davis finds himself just drifting and floating around in time, being int the right place at the right time.  So said the Dublin businessman, who was honored by the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation this past Friday at its annual meeting in Milledgeville.  The members of the trust honored Davis’ restoration of the Old Dublin Post Office on Madison Street with its Marguerite Williams Award.

The award, named in honor of the first vice president of The Georgia Trust and a  longtime proponent of historic preservation in Georgia, is periodically given out to the project that has had the greatest impact on preservation in the state.   

“This project sets an excellent example of how to preserve and repurpose a decommissioned historic government building, a particular issue facing preservationists today,” the Trust proclaimed.  

“I am grateful to be a part of this award.  The building deserves it historically and architecturally,” Davis commented on receiving the prestigious award. 

The Post Office was originally completed in August 1912 after a long series of delays of funding and alterations of plans. Davis completed the bulk of the work and held an open house on the 100th anniversary of the opening of the building as a Post Office.  





“When I bought the building, it took me about four or five times in there to realize that about 85 percent of the building was still here,” remarked Davis, who personally flyspecked every nook and cranny of the sturdy structure finding hidden clues to its past.  Sometimes the clues came to him in the form of stories of bygone days and visitors to the building.  He discovered secret windows in the top of the work room, where the postmaster and inspectors could spy on employees, looking for sticking fingers while they were sorting mail and taking money orders.  

Calling the project a team effort between himself, local banks, businesses and interested citizens, Davis claims as his only credit of simply putting back a building which was already there.

Now that the project has made it through it first phase, Davis is taking a short break before marshaling his resources to make his hometown an even more special place in the future.

“A lot more good things are going to happen in downtown Dublin in the future,” Davis asserts. 

The Georgia Trust was organized in 1973 to help Georgians to understand and  appreciate the irreplaceable value of historic buildings and places and their relevance to modern life.  Its members strive to be careful stewards of our state’s historic buildings. The group hopes to boost local economies by stewardship by reinforcing downtown areas and historic neighborhoods.





At the 36th annual Preservation Awards ceremony, Davis’ award included a citation for Excellence in Preservation.  The Trust also acknowledges projects in restoration, rehabilitation and stewardship. 
“There will never be another one like this building.  Even though I am the caretaker of it now, this building belongs to everybody.  When you put yourself in that context, you can’t really say that you own this building,” Davis believes. 

“It’s a special building. It holds a special place in people’s hearts,” remarked  Davis, who operates a data-technology business inside the 101-year-old building.  

"This year's winners represent a tremendous dedication to restoring and revitalizing Georgia's historic buildings and communities," said Mark C. McDonald, president of The Georgia Trust.
  
For more than 35 years, the Trust has recognized preservation projects and individuals throughout Georgia who have made significant contributions to the field of historic preservation.  Awards are presented on the basis of the contributions of the person or project to the community and/or state and on compliance with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.

Now celebrating 40 years of work, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation is one of the country's largest statewide, nonprofit preservation organizations. The organization is committed to preserving and enhancing Georgia's communities and their diverse historic resources for the education and enjoyment of all.






The Georgia Trust generates community revitalization by finding buyers for endangered properties acquired by its Revolving Fund and raises awareness of other endangered historic resources through an annual listing of Georgia's 10 "Places in Peril." The Trust also helps revitalize downtowns by providing design and technical assistance in 102 Georgia Main Street cities; trains Georgia's teachers in 63 Georgia school systems to engage students in discovering state and national history through their local historic resources; and advocates for funding, tax incentives and other laws aiding preservation efforts.

To learn more about Historic Preservation in Georgia, go to www.georgiatrust.org.


THE BATTLE OF CHANCELLORSVILLE


The Stars of Night Contain The Glittering Day       


         One hundred and fifty years ago on May 3, 1863, the wheels were set in motion to begin the climatic end to the Civil War.  A Confederate victory at Chancellorsville made General Robert E. Lee and his men feel unequivocally  invincible.  Two months later, the Confederate hopes were crushed at the Battle of Gettysburg.  A group of Laurens County men, who called themselves the Blackshear Guards and the Laurens Volunteers, were assigned to the 14th Georgia Infantry Regiment of Thomas’s Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia.  And, they were right in the middle of this horrific fight.

Following the devastating Union loss at Fredericksburg in December of 1862, Gen. Hooker, the new commander of the Army of the Potomac, planned a bold move to attack Gen. Robert E.  Lee’s (left) forces on the opposite side of the Rappahannock River.  Hooker sent the major part of his force north up the river where they crossed and turned south.  The move went totally unnoticed by Lee, who discovered the movements at the last moment.  

Lee’s  commanders, Ambrose Powell Hill and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, moved from Fredericksburg west along the Mine Road toward Tabernacle Church in late April, 1863.  Jackson arrived at Chancellorsville on the 1st of May.  Gen. Hill was located to his rear along the Orange Plank Road.  By nightfall, the 14th Ga. was located about one mile east of Catherine's Furnace.  Thomas relieved Posey's brigade just after sun up on the 2nd.   

Jackson devised the boldest plan of his military career.  He planned to take his entire corps on a long forced march south and west, all the way around Chancellorsville.  At first, the Federals  thought Jackson's men were moving away from their lines.  Thomas's Brigade was sent to the rear of the column to assist the artillery train just after noon.    

The Volunteers, under the command of Gen. A.R. Wright, came to the aid of their fellow Laurens Countians to prevent  Geary’s attack on Thomas and the Blackshear Guards.  Thomas and Archer were forced to turn their brigades back to help Wright and Posey in front of Catherine's Furnace.  After the Federal attack was repulsed, Thomas and Archer double-timed along Jackson's route along the Brock Road.  By six o'clock that afternoon, Thomas was still two miles below Catherine Furnace - miles away from Jackson's front. 

Just after dark, Jackson moved to front of the column to scout for the Federal flank or rear.  While he was returning from the Federal lines, “Stonewall Jackson” (left) was struck by elements of the North Carolina Infantry.  Jackson fell and was taken away.  The highly beloved General died  at Guinea Station  on the 10th of May.  Many say that the hopes of the Confederate Army died with him.  A.P. Hill succeeded to the command of Jackson’s corps. 

“Everybody vacated the road, and lay flat on the ground. I did the same; and, while thus "hugging the ground", four litter bearers, carrying a wounded man, on account of that awful cannonading put the wounded man down so close to me that I could have touched him with my hand. I soon found it was "Stonewall" Jackson. He moaned frequently and piteously. When his friends proposed to move him out of the line of fire of the Federal batteries,  he told them "not to mind him, but look out for themselves," wrote Washington Lafayette Goldsmith, who began the battle as Captain of Company K and after the battle was promoted to Major of the regiment.

Thomas’s Brigade marched up the Orange Plank Road, reaching Wilderness Church about ten o’clock that night.  Thomas finally  arrived west of Chancellorsville just before  midnight.  His command was placed on Pender's left, north of the turnpike and just west of Bullock Road.  The moon was bright.  Shells were bursting.  The battle raged on until  after midnight.  By dawn, Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, now commanding Hill's Corp's, had ten brigades massed, waiting for an early morning attack.



The climax of the Chancellorsville battle began just after dawn.   Carr's Federal troops began to pull back as they were threatened by Pender and Thomas.  Thomas's brigade at the northern line of the attack rapidly turned the Federal flank.   At 7:30,  Pender and Thomas attacked Huger, striking Hay's right line south of the Orange Plank Road.  Thomas found the enemy two hundred and fifty yards away, and drove  them  from their works.  A second attack met with a similar success.  Gen. Hooker sent French's division of Couch's Corps to attack Thomas on his left flank and at his rear.  At this point, Thomas had no troops to protect his flanks.  Carroll's Federals threatened Thomas’s men, who were forced to retreat over Berry's and Slocumb's log works.  Thomas joined with Pender and Hall.  About ten o'clock that morning,  the Confederates pushed the Federals across the Orange Plank Road and back north of Chancellorsville. For the next two days, Hill's Corps kept Burnside's Army in check north of Chancellorsville.  

Captain Goldsmith wrote, “Next morning, the 3rd of May, the order came to "charge, and remember Jackson," was given, it was said, by Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, who had taken command of Jackson's corps. A.P. Hill was also wounded. Instead of Jackson' death casting a gloom and damper on the troops, it acted just the opposite. I never saw our soldiers act so much like insane demons; they moved forward utterly regardless of the blinding rain of bullets. The Federals fought with great bravery. My company was the first to gain the breastworks, and I was the second man across them. Here I first saw hand-to-hand fighting. A young Federal soldier came at me with fixed bayonet. With sword in my right hand, I knocked up his musket and grabbed it with my left hand. The tussle was a fearful one; but George Kelly, a sergeant in Company D, shot and broke the Federal's thigh. The poor fellow fell, but continued to fight game. I could have cleaved his head with my sword, and Kelly started to brain him with his clubbed musket; but I forbade it, and called on my brave enemy to surrender, or I would have him shot, which he did in broken English. He was a German, and a brave fellow, and elicited our hearty praise.”
Private George W. Hall of Company G described the scene at Chancellorsville: “The shrieks and groans of the wounded and dying as I lay nearly insensible around me that night, displayed all the horrors of war and put feelings and imaginations through the mind that I never wish to experience again.  There scattered over the fields and immense forest the battle field encompassed lay thousands of poor wounded and dying soldiers far away from home and friends, writhing in the agonies of death with no one to speak a soothing words to their ears." 

Gen.  Lee’s top aide, Col. Charles Marshall, described the scene as the triumph, as the oh so beloved Virginia general rode on the battlefield after the fighting subsided.  " The fierce soldiers with their faces blackened with the smoke of battle, the wounded crawling on feeble limbs from the fury of the devouring flames, all seemed possessed with a common impulse.  One long unbroken cheer, in which the feeble cry of those who lay helpless on the earth, blended with the strong voices of those who still fought, rose high above the roar of the battle, and hailed the presence of the victorious chief."   

Thomas’s Brigade lost 177 killed and wounded, including Lt. Colonel James Fielder, who was killed along with three captains in the brigade. No Laurens Countians lost their lives.

            The Laurens County men  took the rest of the month to rest and reorganize the regiment. David Bush and John J. Dominy, Robert L. Hill and Francis A. Linder of the Blackshear Guards were wounded during the fighting.  Of the Laurens Volunteers, William Henry Harrison Ashley, a musician, and Henry Curl were also wounded.  

George Washington Brooks, who would later move to Dublin, was captured during the battle and taken to Elmira Prision in New York, from which he escaped, only to be recaptured at the Battle of Petersburg and taken back to Elmira at the end of the war.  John Davidson lost his eye during the fighting.  Other future Laurens Countians who were injured during the fighting were John Thomas Floyd, John Benjamin Roberts and Peyton Shy. 

During the lull in the war, the 14th Georgia and Thomas's Brigade were placed in Pender's Division.  By mid-June, Lee launched his offensive into the North.  Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia moved through the Shenandoah Valley with their sights set on Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

In the first three days of July, the Guards and the Volunteers would witness Lee’s greatest defeat, “The High Water Mark of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg.  Fortunately for the men and their families, the men of Laurens County were not totally engaged in the several skirmishes in and around Gettysburg. They survived those horrible days, only to be engaged in the vicious fighting next spring west and south of the battle known as Chancellorsville. 







The Dying Words of Stonewall Jackson 
by Sidney Lanier, Signal Corps, C.S.A.



The Stars of Night contain the glittering day
And rain his glory down with sweeter grace
Upon the dark World’s grand, enchanted face—
        All loth to turn away.

And so the Day, about to yield his breath,
Utters the stars unto the listening Night,
To stand for burning fare-thee-wells of light
        Said on the verge of death.

O hero-life that lit us like the sun!
O hero-words that glittered like the stars
And stood and shone above the gloomy wars
        When the hero-life was done!




The phantoms of a battle came to dwell
I’ the fitful vision of his dying eyes—
Yet even in battle-dreams, he sends supplies
To those he loved so well.


His army stands in battle-line arrayed;
His couriers fly: all’s done: now God decide!
And not till then saw he the Other Side
Or would accept the shade.    

 Thou Land whose sun is gone, thy stars remain!
 Still shine the words that miniature his deeds.
 O thrice-beloved, where’er thy great heart bleeds,
 Solace hast thou for pain!