ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Magnolia Cemetery in Augusta, Georgia
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Magnolia Cemetery in Augusta, Georgia
Magnolia Cemetery
Generals Walk pays tribute to the seven noted
Confederate generals buried at Magnolia Cemetery.
Among them is E. Porter Alexander.
John Martin's Grave
A Revolutionary War cannon
marks the grave of soldier
John Martin who survived a
tomahawk to the head.
Grave of Ambrose R. Wright
A Confederate general, Wright
led the brigade that briefly
captured part of Cemetery
Ridge during the Battle of
Magnolia Cemetery - Augusta, Georgia
Historic Cemetery in Augusta
Copyright 2012 by Dale Cox
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Two Centuries of History
The oldest marked grave
dates to 1818. This stone,
form 1820, marks the grave of
John Carter.
Civil War Loophole
The brick wall surrounding
Magnolia Cemetery was
pierced with loopholes by
Confederate troops who
fortified the cemetery when it
was thought Sherman's
March to the Sea might come
their way.
Magnolia Cemetery in Augusta is one of the
most historic burial grounds in Georgia.

Seven noted Confederate generals rest
there, as do veterans of the American
Revolution, War of 1812, Seminole, Mexican
and Civil Wars, along with those who served
in America's more recent conflicts. A walk
through its trees, stones and grass is a walk
through the history of America. It also is
home to what is thought to be the oldest tree
in Georgia.

Although it was not officially designated as a
cemetery until 1818, the oldest marked grave
at Magnolia is that of J. Hartford Montgomery
who died on December 24, 1800. It likely was
used even before then.

Among the more unique landmarks of
Magnolia Cemetery is the grave of John
Martin, a soldier of the American Revolution
who died on February 14, 1843, at the age of
105. Not only did he serve in the Revolution,
but Martin also fought in the French and
Indian War, in which he received a tomahawk
blow to the head from a Cherokee warrior.

Located in the northern end of the cemetery,
Martin's grave is marked by a small cannon
that he supposedly brought home from the
Revolutionary War. It is planted muzzle down
in the ground at the foot of his plot.

Many visitors to Magnolia Cemetery come to
pay respects at the graves of its Confederate
generals. Seven general officers of the
Confederacy are buried at Magnolia, with
stones marking their individual grave as well
as set in a memorial "Generals Walk" near
the Confederate section of the cemetery.

The list of Confederate generals now at rest
at Magnolia Cemetery includes the following

  • Brig. Gen. Edward Porter Alexander
  • Brig. Gen. Goode Bryan
  • Brig. Gen. VIctory Jean Baptiste
  • Brig. Gen. John King Jackson
  • Brig. Gen. William Duncan Smith
  • Brig. Gen. Marcellas A. Stovall
  • Maj. Gen. Ambrose Ranson Wright

Particularly noteworthy among them were
Edward Porter Alexander and Ambrose
Ranson Wright.

The chief of artillery for General James
Longstreet's Corps of the Army of Northern
Virginia, Porter Alexander was a graduate of
the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He
commanded the 75 guns that raked the
Union lines at Gettysburg as the Confederate
army prepared to launch Pickett's Charge. He
later was wounded at Petersburg but had
rejoined his commander in time for
Robert E.
Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House.

Major General Ambrose Ranson Wright was
Georgia's commissioner to Maryland after
the secession of the Peach State in 1861.He
enlisted in the Georgia Militia as a private but
was commissioned colonel of the famed 3rd
Georgia Infantry in 1861. He fought and won
the Battle of South Mills in April of 1862,
earning promotion to the rank of brigadier
general. Ordered to Virginia, his brigade
fought bravely in every major battle of Robert
E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.
Historic Cemeteries of the South
General Wright was badly wounded at
Antietam in 1862 and again at the
Battle of
Chancellorsville in 1863. At Gettysburg, his
brigade made the deepest penetration of the
Union defenses on Cemetery Ridge during
the fighting of July 2, 1863. Receiving a brevet
to the rank of major general in late 1864, he
commanded in Georgia until the war ended.

Other noteworthy individuals buried at
Magnolia Cemetery include James Ryder
Randall, author of
Maryland, My Maryland;
Paul Hamilton Hayne, noteworthy Southern
poet; and Brigadier General Thomas
Glascock who served in the War of 1812 and
First Seminole War of 1817-1818.

The Confederate section, near the east wall,
includes the graves of 337 Confederate
soldiers. Nearby rest the remains of a
handful of Union soldiers.

The cemetery also bears other reminders of
the Civil War. When the city was fortified to
protect the important
Confederate Powder
Works, Magnolia Cemetery formed one angle
of the fortifications. Earth was banked
against the brick walls on the eastern and
northern walls of the cemetery and the east
wall was pierced with loopholes to allow
defenders to fire on an attacking force from
inside Magnolia.

Augusta was never attacked by Union forces.
General William Tecumseh Sherman moved
in the city's direction during his infamous
March to the Sea, but veered off at the last
minute and marched to Savannah instead.
The loopholes, however, can still be seen in
the east wall near the Confederate Section.

Magnolia Cemetery is on Third Street in
Augusta and is open to the public during
daylight hours.
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