Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Visit to Marietta's Confederate Cemetery Part 4

Mattie Harris Lyon was known as the Mother of Marietta.  For decades she helped return Confederate dead from local battlefields to the Marietta Confederate Cemetery and tended their graves.  To the age of 97 she placed flowers on the graves of the Confederate heroes buried here.  One monument explained, "This cemetery was the first place where the federal government allowed the Confederate (Battle) flag to be flown. In 1898 due to Southern loyalty during the Spanish-American War, the War Department reportedly sent a letter which said of Mattie Harris Lyon, "Tell her to fly her flag; we have no jurisdiction over Confederate cemeteries."
Confederate Flags Flying in the Center of the Marietta Cemetery
Virginia Heroes Monument with Christmas Wreathes Sill Laid About Each Tombstone
Mattie wrote in her memoirs, "When I saw the flag I was almost overcome with emotion and I thought it more beautiful than I had ever seen."  The Confederate flags flown on the flagpole in the center of the Marietta Confederate Cemetery are the Battle Flag and the Second National Flag which would have been the flag in service at the time of the nearby battles including Kennesaw Mountain and Atlanta.  As I strode down the hill from these flags to the parking lot, I passed one more poignant statue, a beautiful life size bronze statue of a Confederate widow and her child gazing at the wooden marker at the grave of their slain husband and father.  Simple wooden markers like these were originally placed at the Confederate graves but after they deteriorated over the years, they were replaced by plain granite markers.
Confederate Widow and Child

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