May 10

In Savannah, Georgia’s Laurel Grove Cemetery has a section for Confederate soldiers. This area has been variously called “Confederate Field” or “Gettysburg Field.” This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 10:00 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

The Gettysburg Daily took a journey to the Savannah, Georgia area this month. One of our purposes for the visit was to find Civil War events/personalities associated with Gettysburg.

In our first Savannah post we showed the monument and the grave of Confederate Major General Lafayette McLaws.

In our second Savannah at Gettysburg post, we showed the monument and the grave of Colonel Francis S. Bartow. They are very similar to the monument and grave of Lafayette McLaws.

In today’s Savannah at Gettysburg post, we give an overall view of “Gettysburg Field” in Laurel Grove Cemetery and concentrate on the statue “Silence” in the midst of Confederates removed from Gettysburg to Savannah.

This map shows the two areas in Savannah featured in these posts. #1 is the area of the Confederate Monument in Forsyth Park. #2 is Laurel Grove Cemetery. This view was taken facing north at approximately 8:30 PM on Friday, April 29, 2011.

This is the brochure given out to those who visit Laurel Grove Cemetery is which southwest of Savannah’s Historic District. It is a handy size and points out some of the important people buried in the cemetery. There is another map which we were given that lists each burial plot, but that was too big for our scanner. In our previous Savannah posts we walked from the Circle surrounded by Cypress, Cedar, Willow and Elm Streets to the McLaws grave in the northeast quadrant, with the red star and the “M.” In our second post we continued our walk to the grave of Francis Bartow, which is the red star with a “B.” In today’s post we walked to the most well known Confederate section of Laurel Grove Cemetery which is marked with a “C.” This view was taken facing west at approximately 5:30 PM on Saturday, May 7, 2011.

To get to the Confederate section at Laurel Grove, we went back near the entrance where our vehicle is parked. We are looking southwest along Elm Street/Avenue. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 10:00 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

We will take a left on Sycamore. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 10:00 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

We will walk approximately 200 yards on Sycamore. This view was taken facing south at approximately 10:00 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

It is not difficult to figure out that this is the area for which we were searching. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 10:00 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

There are two clearly defined sections here… This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 10:00 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

One on the left (east)and one on the right (west) of Aisle 10. This view was taken facing south at approximately 10:00 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

If we had not gotten distracted and cut across other plots to see the Confederate section, we should have continued down Sycamore and took a right here on Pine. This view was taken facing west at approximately 10:00 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

Then the Confederate section would be visible to our right. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 10:00 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

The Confederate section is separated from the rest of the cemetery by a fence. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 10:00 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

We are now looking north on Aisle 10. This view was taken facing north at approximately 10:00 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

There are approximately 700 Confederates buried in this section at Laurel Grove Cemetery. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 10:00 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

The markers weren’t always this nice and clean, and in a standardized form. The markers used to be very dirty, rundown, and falling apart. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 10:00 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy requested the Veterans Administration to replace the markers with the ones that you see here. So the Veterans Administration funded and replaced these markers without having family members having to request for these CONFEDERATE markers to be erected. And the cemetery also power washes the markers. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 10:00 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

The central figure in the Confederate section is the figure “Silence.” This view was taken facing east at approximately 10:00 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

“Silence” was placed in the middle of the Georgians removed from Gettysburg to Savannah. The bottom section reads, “Here Rest ‘Till Roll Call’ The Men Of Gettysburg.” This view was taken facing east at approximately 10:00 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

“Silence” was not originally in this location. It was originally on the Confederate Monument in Forsyth Park, which we have showed in our first two Savannah posts. The citizens were unhappy with “Silence” and and the monument named either “Justice or Judgement or Resurrection” on top of the Forsyth Park Monument. In 1878 Silence was removed to here, and Justice was relocated in Laurel Hill Cemetery in Thomasville, Georgia. Justice was replaced with the current Confederate soldier on top of the Forsyth Park monument. This view was taken facing south at approximately 10:00 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

The words on the north side of the monument are from Theodore O’Hara’s poem, “The Bivouac of the Dead” which is displayed in many National Cemeteries: “On Fame’s Eternal camping ground, Their silent tents are spread. And Glory guards with silent round The bivouac of the Dead.” This view was taken facing south at approximately 10:00 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

One of the reasons that Silence was removed from the Confederate Monument in Forsyth Park… This view was taken facing west at approximately 10:00 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

…is because originally she was placed inside a cupola on the monument. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 10:00 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

Some felt that being inside the cupola made her look like “a canary in a cage.” The torch carried by Silence is touching the ground. This view was taken facing north at approximately 10:00 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

The south side of the monument reads, “Tread lightly for each man bequeathed, Ere placed beneath this sod, His ashes to this native Land, His gallant soul to God.” This view was taken facing north at approximately 10:00 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

According to Laurel Grove Cemetery’s pamphlet, buried in the Confederate Field are “Hundreds of Georgia casualties which were ordered removed from the Gettysburg National Cemetery.” Really? Other articles also state that the bodies were not removed from the “battlefield,” but from the National Cemetery because government authorities would not allow them to remain there. Of course, these individuals were never in the cemtery in the first place. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 10:00 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

There are some well known Gettysburg figures buried in the cemetery, such as Lieutenant Colonel David Winn who was killed on July 1, 1863 in the area of Blocher’s/Barlow’s Knoll. This view was taken facing east at approximately 10:00 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

However, it doesn’t take one familiar with Gettysburg very long to figure out that there are a lot of soldiers here not killed at Gettysburg. Some might have been in units that fought at Gettysburg, but others are in Western Theater and other units not anywhere near Gettysburg during the Civil War. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 10:00 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

So to us, “Silence” appears to be attempting to keeping a secret which anyone who looks closely at the headstones can figure out. This view was taken facing east at approximately 10:00 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

Of the approximately 700 Confederates buried in “Gettysburg Field,” no more than 40 of them were killed at the Battle of Gettysburg. This view was taken facing east at approximately 10:00 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.

We will begin to show you who they are in our next Savannah at Gettysburg post. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 10:00 AM on Friday, April 22, 2011.


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