The Women of Kennesaw
By: Calvin E. Johnson, Jr.
1064 West Mill Drive
Kennesaw, Georgia 30152
Phone: 770 428 0978
Happy Birthday America!
July 4, 2005, will mark America's 229th
birthday. This is a time for celebration and reflection of how we
became a nation.
Please share the following story with your
Atop Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia you can see for
miles in all directions. The mountain is the centerpiece of the
Kennesaw National Battlefield Park located near Marietta, Georgia,
just north of Atlanta.
Hundreds of thousands of tourists have come to
Kennesaw, Georgia to hear the story of the battlefields and walk
the many paths of history. When the north wind blows, you can
almost see the soldiers of blue and gray and the summer thunder
storms bring sounds much like the cannons of old. There are ghosts
here with a story to tell. Do you have the time to listen?
People who visit Kennesaw come home with a
deeper respect for America's history of those who fought for the
Confederacy and Union. Their armies clashed on and around the
mountain in June 1864. The deaths were many with 3,000 Union and
1,000 Confederate killed in one day.
After the battle, the women of Kennesaw helped
bury the dead as their sisters would later do around Atlanta.
These women would form organizations to see that their loved ones
were not forgotten. They made sure that the truth of the war was
taught in public schools and that monuments were erected.
Forty-four years later in 1908, America was at
peace. The first Ford Model T came off the assembly line that
year. Joel Chandler Harris, famed author of the Uncle Remus
stories, died on July 3, 1908, in Atlanta, Georgia.
America was 132 years young on July 4, 1908.
Three days later, on Tuesday, July 7, 1908, the United Daughters
of the Confederacy and the Ladies Memorial Association, of
Marietta, Georgia, unveiled a new Confederate Monument at the
local cemetery. Marietta Confederate Cemetery, is the final
resting place for 3,000 Southern soldiers from 14 Southern states.
Fourteen young girls were selected by the two
ladies' groups to represent each state. They were selected from
Marietta families who knew and appreciated their heritage. Emma
Hedges was among those young ladies honored. She would go on to
become a loved and respected school teacher.
All businesses closed and people began to make
their way to the cemetery on that hot July 7th afternoon. They
came by the thousands in horse drawn carriages which raised clouds
of dust on those dry unpaved roads.
The men and women were attired in their Sunday
best and many of the ex-Confederate soldiers wore their old
uniforms of gray. The Ladies of the United Daughters of the
Confederacy began the program which included the playing of
patriotic tunes. The Gem City Band inspired the crowd by playing
one of America's all time favorites "Dixie."
Speeches were given by such noted people as
Georgia's Governor Hoke Smith and former preacher and Confederate
General Clement A. Evans.
The Marietta newspaper reported: "The white
shaft reflecting the sun, the newly erected Confederate Monument
represents an imposing spectacle and attracts the attention and
admiration of all passersby. It is a beautiful piece of work,
twenty feet high with a base of ten square feet, of the well known
Elbert County granite."
Fourteen young ladies had their picture taken
with General Clement A. Evans. The picture was taken in front of
the monument. There names were:
Aimee G. Glover for Maryland,
Ruth McCulloch for South Carolina,
Page Anderson for Louisiana,
Julia Anderson for Florida,
Emma Hedges for Virginia,
Linda Anderson for Kentucky,
Jeanette Black for Georgia,
Carrie Phillips for Arkansas,
Augusta Cohen for Texas,
Cora Brown for Tennessee,
Pauline Manning for North Carolina,
Sue Green for Mississippi,
Lois Gardner for Alabama and
Sara Patton for Missouri.
When the veil fell from the monument and it was
revealed for the first time, the crowd became silent. You could
hear the birds and a light whisper of leaves as the wind moved
through the trees. It was a special silence.
Let Us Not Forget!