Grave at Pioneer Cemetery
An unusual stone grave is
among the many to be found
at Old Pioneer Cemetery in
Fort Gaines.
Early Burial Place
Graves at Pioneer Cemetery
include those of the second
president of the University of
Georgia. - Historic Cemeteries of Fort Gaines, Georgia - Historic Cemeteries of Fort Gaines, Georgia
Fort Gaines, Georgia - Historic Cemeteries
Old Pioneer Cemetery in Fort Gaines
A number of early settlers of the Georgia frontier are
buried here in the Old Pioneer Cemetery.
Life and Death on the Frontier
To walk among the two oldest cemeteries in
Fort Gaines is to walk through the history of
early Georgia.

The Old Pioneer Cemetery, located near the
original site of the fort established here in
1816, probably was started by the U.S.
soldiers stationed at Fort Gaines.

There are a number of unknown burials in
the historic cemetery and its proximity to the
original fort location suggests it probably was
the post cemetery of the fort.

As the military post evolved into a frontier
settlement during the years 1818-1820, the
cemetery was used as a burial ground for the
little community.

The oldest marked grave dates from 1830
and several other headstones provide the
names of individuals that passed away
during the 1830s.

Among the individuals buried here is Rev.
John E. Brown, the second President of the
University of Georgia. His wife rests beside

Also buried at the Old Pioneer Cemetery are
John Dill, once a brigadier general in the
Georgia militia (the equivalent of today's
National Guard), and his wife.
Stewart Dill was the sole female survivor of
Scott's Massacre, a battle that took place at
present-day Chattahoochee, Florida, on
November 30, 1817. She was held in captivity
by Creek and Seminole warriors for several
months, but was eventually freed by Andrew
Jackson's army during his invasion of Florida
in the spring of 1818.

The cemetery may also contain the graves of
several Fort Gaines area settlers killed
during Native American raids at the time of
the First Seminole War of 1817-1818.

Located at the southern edge of the modern
community and on level ground overlooking
the Chattahoochee River is New Park

Established as a replacement for the earlier
Pioneer Cemetery, New Park Cemetery is
unique in a number of ways.

A gazebo in the cemetery, for example,
stands atop a Native American burial mound
that is believed to be nearly 2,000 years old.
This area was once part of the powerful
Kolomoki chiefdom, centered south of Fort
Gaines at today's
Kolomoki Mounds State
Park. The entire Fort Gaines vicinity was
heavily populated during the Woodland or
"Weeden Island" era that ended more than
1,000 years ago. It is unique that the early
citizens of Fort Gaines selected a centuries
old Native American burial ground as the site
for their new cemetery.

At the northern edge of New Park Cemetery
can be found a burial trench containing the
remains of nine Confederate soldiers.
Following the Battle of Olustee, Florida, in
February of 1864, medical facilities in Florida
were overwhelmed with hundreds of
wounded from the dramatic Southern victory.
Injured men were moved north on the
Chattahoochee River by steamboat for
treatment at hospitals in Georgia.

Fort Gaines became an important hospital
center and wounded men were treated at
several facilities in the community. While
most of those treated here recovered, at least
nine did not. They unfortunate soldiers were
buried at New Park Cemetery, far from their
homes and families.

The names of the Confederate soldiers
buried in Fort Gaines have been lost to time,
but their graves were marked by the citizens
of the town and a monument was erected to
their memory during the early 20th century.

New Park Cemetery also includes a number
of unusual monuments and markers, as well
as antique iron fences surrounding some
family plots. The cemetery has been in
continuous use since antebellum days and
is an active burial ground today. Many of the
early residents of Fort Gaines are buried
here, as are many former Confederate
soldiers that returned home to the
community after the war.

Other cemeteries dot the area, many of them
rich in history.
Cemetery Mound
The Gazebo at New Park
Cemetery stands atop an
ancient Native American
burial mound.
Monument to the Unknowns
A monument at New Park
Cemetery calls attention to
the graves of nine unknown
Confederate soldiers.
New Park Cemetery
This Fort Gaines cemetery
preserves the burial places of
many early settlers and a
wide variety of unique
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Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
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