Midway Cemetery - Midway, Georgia
Midway Cemetery - Midway, Georgia
Historic Midway Cemetery
The old cemetery has been in use since before the
American Revolution. It is across the road from
Midway Congregational Church, built in 1792.
Midway Cemetery
The tall monument at the
center of Midway Cemetery
honors two Revolutionary War
generals buried there.
A Yankee Horse Corral
In 1864, near the end of
Sherman's March to the Sea,
Union cavalry used Midway
Cemetery as a corral for their
Midway Cemetery - Midway, Georgia
Crossroads of American History
Copyright 2013 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.

Last Updated: May 13, 2013
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American Revolution in the South
Revolution at Midway
The cemetery contains the
remains of James Screven, a
hero of the Revolutionary War
who was mortally wounded
nearby in 1778.
Resting Place of the Dead
The cemetery has been in
use for more than 250 years
and its stones tell the story of
Georgia and American history.
Midway Cemetery is a landmark of Southern
history in Liberty County, Georgia.

Located across the road from historic
Congregational Church, the cemetery dates
from before the American Revolution. It is
part of the Midway Historic District, which was
added to the National Register of Historic
Places in 1973.

Established as a burial ground for the
Congregationalists who settled in the Midway
area in 1752, the cemetery is the final resting
place for individuals who played key roles in
the founding of the United States. Others
served their state in the War of 1812 and Civil

It was at Midway Church, within view of the
cemetery, that citizens of the area gathered to
elect a representative to the Continental
Congress in 1775.  Lyman Hall, a member of
the church, was selected and joined Button
Gwinnett of
Sunbury and George Walton of
Augusta as Georgia's representatives to that
body. Nathan Brownson, also of Midway, was
elected to Congress in 1776, giving Midway
the largest representation of any Georgia

A doctor, former minister and graduate of
what is now Yale University, Hall was one of
three Georgians to sign the Declaration of

Liberty County, which was formed in 1777 by
combining St. John's, St. James' and St.
Andrew's Parishes, was a hotbed of Patriot
activity and the Congregationalists of Midway
and Sunbury were strong advocates in the
cause of American Independence. Many of
them paid the price for their support of the
Patriot cause with their lives and property.

In November 1778, British forces moved
north from East Florida to invade Georgia.
Savannah had already fallen and the focus
now was on Midway and Sunbury. As his 750
man force advanced on Midway Meeting
House (as the church was then sometimes
called), British Lt. Col. J.M. Prevost ordered
wide spread destruction and looting of farms
and plantations along his route. Men found at
home were taken prisoner.

Despite three to one odds, an American force
of around 120 men tried to oppose Prevost at
the Battle of Midway Church. Fought 1.5
miles south of the cemetery, the action was a
defeat for the Patriots and resulted in the
mortal wounding of Col. James Screven, for
whom Screven County, Georgia, is named.

Screven is buried at Midway Cemetery, as
are other veterans of the Revolutionary War. A
tall monument was erected there in 1915 by
the Daughters of the American Revolution to
pay tribute to both Screven and Gen. James
Stewart, another hero buried there.

Midway Church was burned by Prevost's
order as the British withdrew, but was
replaced with the structure seen today in

The brick wall that surrounds Midway
Cemetery was built long before the Civil War
and played a sad role in that conflict. It is a
standing reminder of Sherman's March to the

According to local legend, the wall was built
using slave labor and was the scene of a
tragic encounter involving two of its builders.
The two enslaved laborers had been forced
to work late because they had spent too
much time arguing during the day. This led to
another argument between them and one
killed the other with a brick.
Fearful lest the murder be discovered, the
killer hid is coworker's body by bricking it up
inside the wall. In short order, however, the
wall cracked and years later the bones of the
missing slave were found buried there. The
wall has been repaired many times over the
years, but each time the cracks return. Some
say the ghost of the unfortunate slave still
haunts the cemetery to this day.

Another ghost story told about the cemetery
involves two young people in antebellum
dress that some witnesses say they have
seen there. They are said to be the spirits of
young lovers killed in a Romeo and Juliet like

When Georgia seceded from the Union in
1861, the men of Liberty County turned out as
solidly in support of their state as their
fathers and grandfathers had in support of
the cause of American Independence nearly
90 years earlier.  Although Union warships
blockaded St. Catherines Sound, the war
itself did not come to Liberty County until
1864 when Gen. William Tecumsuh
Sherman closed in on Savannah near the
end of his March to the Sea.

As Sherman threated Savannah and Fort
McAllister, he ordered Maj. Gen. Judson
Kilpatrick's cavalry division to secure his right

Sherman himself had called Kilpatrick "a hell
of a damned fool" and the Union cavalry
leader showed it in his treatment of the
people - living and dead - of Liberty County.

Murray's Brigade of Kilpatrick's Division
occupied Midway on November 13, 1864,
and Kilpatrick himself arrived and set up
headquarters in Midway Church the next day.
He and his men turned Midway Cemetery
into a corral for their horses, using its brick
fence to keep the animals from straying. The
Union cavalry also damaged homes and
farms throughout the area.
Midway Cemetery is located adjacent to
Midway Congregational Church and the
Midway Museum at the intersection of US 17
(Coastal Highway) and Martin road in
Midway, Georgia. The grounds are open
Tuesday - Saturday.

Please click here to learn more.