Wednesday, August 22, 2012

No Cause e're Rose So Just and True - Newnan GA's Oak Hill Confederate Cemetery

Went looking for my great great great grandfather Elijah Hunt's grave which I had located using the website - Elijah is buried at the Confederate Cemetery at Oak Hill Cemetery in Newnan GA. The cemetery is a very large one with beautiful old shady oak trees lining the access road off Jefferson Street in downtown Newnan. Cedars (symbolizing eternal life) surround the Confederate Cemetery portion of the cemetery.  The cemetery contains many other Confederate veterans as well as distinguished Newnan citizens including two former Governors of the state of Georgia. The city of Newnan provides a nice walking tour guide of the cemetery - and an Eagle Scout actually created a indexed map of the graves in the Confederate Cemetery portion of Oak Hill - .

Elijah Hunt was a Private in Company B of the GA 15th Infantry which fought under Benning's Brigade in such important battles as Fredricksburg, Chickamauga, and Gettysburg. He died of disease while in one of the Confederate hospitals in Newnan leaving behind a 32 year old wife (Mahala Neal who is buried in Franklin County GA) and children. 

There is an historical marker there at the cemetery which reads:
“Here are buried 268 Confederate Soldiers most of whom died of wounds or
Disease in the several Confederate hospitals located in Newnan. Some were
killed in the battle fought south of here, 30 July 1864. Due to the efficiency of
the local hospitals, only two are “Unknown.” Most of these men were veterans
of many hard fought battles. Every state in the Confederacy is represented in
these burials. Also, buried here are two Revolutionary War Soldiers, and one
from the First World War.

One on end of the Confederate Cemetery there is a wonderful monument erected by the Ladies Memorial Association which has two crossed flags on the top with the inscription, "Our Confederate Dead. No cause e're rose so just and true, none fell so free from crime."
Certainly the most famous grave at Newnan's Oak Hill Cemetery is that of Private William Thomas Overby who was posthumously awarded the Confederate Medal of Honor. His grave is located adjacent to the Ladies Memorial and a flagpole flying the Confederate Battle Flag.  The local Sons of Confederate Veterans Sharpsburg Sharpshooters Camp 1729 reinterred Pvt Overby in a January 1997 funeral with full military honors and placed a beautiful memorial granite slab over his grave.  Pvt Overby was known as the Nathan Hale of the Confederacy; he was executed as a spy after he was captured by Union troops and refused to divulge the whereabouts of the headquarters of his commander Confederate Cavalry Colonel John Singleton Mosby. provides a short synopsis of the story of Pvt Overby but there are volumes written about Overby including the book of his name "William Thomas Overby Proud Partisan Ranger".

It was a beautiful final resting place for these Confederate veteran heroes.

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