ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Edwin F. Jemison Grave in Milledgeville, Georgia
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Edwin F. Jemison Grave in Milledgeville, Georgia
Private Edwin F. Jemison
The eyes of Private Edwin F. Jemison, the
Confederacy's  best known private soldier, reach
through the years to remind us of the cost of war.
Library of Congress
Edwin F. Jemison Monument
A monument to the best
known private soldier of the
Confederacy can be seen at
Memory Hill Cemetery in
Milledgeville, Georgia.
E.F. Jemison, 2nd Louisiana
A private in the 2nd Louisiana
Infantry, Jemison was killed at
the Battle of Malvern Hill on
July 1, 1862.
Grave of Private Edwin F. Jemison - Milledgeville, Georgia
Best Known Confederate Soldier
Tribute from a Loving Family
The monument to Jemison at
Memory Hill Cemetery is a
tribute of fond remembrance.
Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
Through 150 years of history, the sad face of
Private Edwin F. Jemison looks out at us to
remind us of the terrible cost of war. Jemison
is probably the best known enlisted soldier of
the Confederacy, even if his story is known to

A monument to Edwin F. Jemison, who was
identified in his military service file simply as
E.F. Jemison, can be found at the historic
Memory Hill Cemetery in Milledgeville,
Georgia. An accompanying interpretive panel
tells the story of a young man who gave his
life for his country.

The descendant of proud Georgia families,
Edwin Francis Jemison was born December
4, 1844 to Robert and Sarah Jemison. Both
parents were educated and considered part
of the Southern aristocracy of their day. Edwin
was the great-grandson of a hero of the
American Revolution and the descendant of
members of a prominent Quaker family that
had settled Wrightsboro, Georgia, when the
state was still a British colony.

By the time of the Civil War, Edwin's family
had moved to Louisiana and established
new holdings in the Monroe area. He was 16
years old when Louisiana seceded from the
Union on January 26, 1861.

Like tens of thousands of other young men of
his generation, Edwin F. Jemison responded
to the calls of patriotism and enlisted in the
Confederate army. According to his Service
Record in the National Archives, he entered
the Confederate service on May 11, 1861,
when he was mustered into Company I, 2nd
Louisiana Infantry, for a one-year tour of duty.
His 17th birthday was still seven months

Possibly because of his age, Edwin was
immediately detached for "special service"
under General John Magruder in May and
June of 1861. It was probably during this time
period that the famous photograph was

By July, Jemison had moved to Company B
of the 2nd Louisiana Infantry, in which he
remained until April of 1862.

The 2nd Louisiana was one of the regiments
sent north from the Deep South to reinforce
Virginia as the war intensified in the country
between RIchmond and Washington, D.C.
Jemison's service record shows that he was
hospitalized due to illness at Williamsburg,
Virginia, in December of 1861.

By January 1862, however, he was back at
his post in the cold temperatures and snow
of the Virginia winter. His regiment became
part of the army assembled by General
Joseph E. Johnston to oppose the Peninsula
Campaign of Union General George F.
McClellan in the spring of 1862, by which
time the young soldier had moved again to
Company C, 2nd Louisiana Infantry.

Jemison's regiment fought and skirmished
with the massive Union army as it advanced
to within sight of the spires of Richmond
before General Johnston suddenly turned on
it with a fury in the bloody Battle of Seven
Pines. Johnston was severely wounded and
General Robert E. Lee assumed command,
continuing the offensive through what is
known as the Seven Days Campaign.
In a critical battle of the campaign, Lee sent
waves of Southern troops charging across
open ground into the muzzles of Union guns
positioned on a piece of high ground called
Malvern Hill. It was in this battle that Private
Edwin F. Jemison was shot down on July 1,
1862. He was 17 years old.

A monument to Edwin Jemison has stood at
Memory Hill Cemetery in Milledgeville,
Georgia, for more than 100 years.

Although some modern researchers point
out they are unable to find written
documentation of his body being buried
there, many Confederate soldiers were
brought home by their relatives during and
after the Civil War. Evidence presented that
the young soldier lies elsewhere is very
circumstantial and there is no reason to
assume that his remains were not brought
back to Georgia by his family after the war
when the monument was erected.

Memory Hill Cemetery is located where
South Liberty Street intersects with West
Franklin Street in Milledgeville. Jemison's
grave is on the self-guided walking tour of the
cemetery, brochures from which can be
obtained at the gate.

The cemetery is open daily during daylight
Please click here for more information.
Edwin Francis Jemison
Jemison was only 16 years
old when this haunting photo
was taken.
Enhanced by Dale Cox
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