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Considered to be one of the most haunted places in Georgia, the Last GASPS has actually had the pleasure to spend a great deal of time in this wonderful cemetery. The cemetery is actually two cemeteries side by side. The Marietta City Cemetery is the older of the two and then the Confederate Cemetery houses our war dead.
Written by Kyle T. Cobb, Jr.
Nos tibi credere.
The Confederate Cemetery
Adjacent to the older Marietta City Cemetery, Marietta Confederate Cemetery is on a hill overlooking the downtown square from the south.
The cemetery was opened in 1863 after a CSA train wrecked near Allatoona Pass (close to Emerson, GA.). Jane Porter Bolan Glover donated the land from the corner of her plantation, Bushy Park, that became the Confederate portion of the cemetery. Twenty Confederate soldiers were laid to rest beneath an oak tree in the Cemetery.
During the battle of Chickamauga, Marietta served as the major hospital town for Confederate wounded. Wounded were transported by rail from Dalton to Marietta. The entire town was converted into an extended hospital with places like the depot and the Fletcher House Hotel serving as hospital wards. It was said that so many wounded were pouring into Marietta that a swamp of blood formed from the rail track to the town square.
While a number of graves were added over the next several months, it was not until the Union army marched on Kennesaw Mountain on 27 July 1864 that the cemetery began to fill.
As the death toll rose, thousands of graves stretched over the hills. Soldiers were buried there until 2 July 1864 when the bastard General William T. Sherman captured the city.
In 1866 the Georgia Legislature appropriated $3,500 to collect the remains of Confederate soldiers left in the battlefields and reinter them in Marietta. Catherine Winn of the Ladies' Aid Society and Mary Green of the Georgia Memorial Association, who organized groups of women to search for soldiers who were killed on the battlefields at Ringgold, Chickamauga, Kennesaw Mountain, Kolb Farm, and the points north of the Chattahoochee River.
When the last soldier was buried, more than 3,000 combatants were laid to rest on the Marietta hillside. Unfortunately, most of the markers for the soldiers were simple wooden markers. By 1902, many of the wooden markers had rotted away. As a result the plain marble markers that are present today were placed. It is important to note, that by that point the actual location of the graves and the occupants was generally unknown so the placement of the markers was more symbolic than marking the actual burial point.
While there National cemetery in Marietta had been established for soldiers of both sides of the war, it was considered an outrage to bury the Confederate dead next to the Union soldiers that had ravaged Marietta.
Because of the heroic actions of Southerners in fighting during the Spanish-American War, the cemetery became the first place in the South where it was legal to fly the Confederate flag.
In 1899 the Ladies Memorial Association began managing the Confederate Cemetery. As one of the founders the Daughters of the Confederacy, Mattie Lyon Harris (also called the “Mother of Marietta” and “aunt Sissy”) is credited with ensuring the enduring legacy of the cemetery as well as helping to bring the lasting respect to the fallen confederate soldiers.
On 18 April 1907, the association was granted the deed to the land by Mrs. Glover. In 1908, the Association gave the property to the State. That same year, the marble statue to "Our Confederate Dead" was placed by the Kennesaw Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
An act of Congress in 1910 placed "the Little Cannon," a 6-pound field cannon that was captured near Savannah in 1864 as a war memorial in the cemetery.
The first report of ghosts here came in 1895 by a city sexton. According to the report from Sanford Gorham he noticed a man in black watching him work. He walked toward the man and he vanished.
In 1896, a second report was made by Goham of a woman in black standing in the rain by a fresh grave. She vanished and there were no footprints.
Since that time hundreds of reports ranging from apparitions to orbs have been noted at the cemetery.
A reoccurring report since the 1980s is that of a "homeless man" encountered on the perimeter of the cemetery by joggers. After the passing the man, he disappears.
The graves at Christmas time.
The graves are regularly attended and given Confederate flags and flowers on holidays.
1920s photo of cemetery
Mattie Lyon Harris is often credited with having saved the cemetery from neglect.
Photo of Mattie Lyon Harris
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