Tuesday, April 18, 2017

McWhorter Family Cemetery in Oglethorpe County

On our wanderings in the past, my husband and I encountered an old, abandoned cemetery in the back woods of Oglethorpe County. The name and the hint of a story on one of the markers prompted my husband to do a little online research to see if he could find out anything more about this 23 year old young man that was described on his tombstone as having died in defense of his country on April 7, 1865. What I found was, I thought, q...uite poignant. James Hamilton McWhorter, along with other seniors who joined the Confederate army, graduated early from the University of Georgia in April of 1861. He enlisted in the 3rd Georgia Infantry Regiment and fought through the entirety of the war with the Army of Northern Virginia. Anyone familiar with US Civil war history can imagine what that entailed. The 3rd Infantry fought at Seven Pines, Malvern Hill, Second Manassas, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, and finally Appomattox. All terrible and bloody engagements. Having been through all of that, James was killed at the battle of High Bridge at Appomattox, just 5 days before Lee surrendered. Given the limitations of communications in that era, combined with the chaos of a regime in collapse, it is not unreasonable to speculate that James’ family may very well have learned of the wars end before they learned of his death. May he rest in peace in his abandoned gravesite given over to weeds and brush in the woods of Oglethorpe County.
Denise Rich Fitzgerald‎

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