Here is the Story about the Stonewall Cemetery in LaGrange
About 300 Confederate soldiers are buried here, most of whom died of wounds or disease in the several Confederate hospitals located in LaGrange. Most of these men served in the Confederate Army of Tennessee and participated in many bloody engagements. The hospitals here were the St. Marys, Oliver, Cannon, Law, and some temporary ones. The “Nancy Hearts.” a militia Organization of gallant Confederate women, assisted in nursing the sick and wounded, as did other patriotic men and women of this vicinity.
LaGRANGE – A citizen came before the city council on Tuesday to discuss allegations that the city disregarded state regulations regarding Confederate memorials in their recent renovations of the Mulberry Street Cemeteries, where famed bridge builder Horace King is buried.
The alleged infractions regarded the removal of a Confederate flag from the cemetery and a monument that the Sons of Confederate Veterans placed on King’s grave that appears to have gone missing.
“In 1995, I came before the city council with a request to erect a flag pole inside (with) the third national confederate flag in the cemetery,” said Mike Hanners on behalf of the Georgia division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. “It was approved by unanimous vote. We also got permission from some of Horace King’s last relatives living in Atlanta. We put a Confederate cross of honor on his grave, and it was supposed to stay there.”
The flag was replaced with the Georgia flag at the request of several citizens during the renovations at both the confederate cemetery and the adjacent cemetery where King was buried, which were approved by the city council in April 2016. The two cemeteries were also renamed at that time to Mulberry Street Cemeteries. A dedication of the new plaques and an obelisk to honor King and his son’s grave site and the 400 graves that were marked at that site took place in March.
“Back in 2016, Kaye (Minchew) along with the Georgia State Department of Tourism received a $12,000 grant to do the renovations to the Mulberry Street Cemeteries,” said City Director Alton West. “No marker has been removed identifying the cemetery. At the request of my boss, I was asked to have the flag taken down, and I did have that taken down, and I do have it here. We do now have the state flag up that is there flying in the Confederate cemetery. As far as the iron cross, there was a tree that was taken down by the river-side of Horace King. The city did not take that tree down. I do not know what became of the iron cross. I have consulted with city staff, and they have not seen it or know what happened to it.”
Hanners alleged that the removal of the Confederate flag and cross were illegal under the same Georgia law that was created in 2015 to protect Stone Mountain’s carvings, and he stated the possibility of taking a case before the county superior court or state supreme court if the city did not take some sort of action, but according to the city attorney that particular law does not apply to local governments.
“It (that law) doesn’t apply to local government property,” said City Attorney Jeff Todd. “Moreover, as a way to support that, a couple of years ago there was a bill that was dropped to attempt to have it apply to local governments, which backs up what is the plain reading as it applies to state property and not local government property.”
Hanners argued that as a city corporation, the City of LaGrange should be covered under the law, and the Confederate flag should be put back up in the cemetery.
“I would like the third national (Confederate flag) back up, and I would like the Mulberry Street rock moved,” said Hanners.
According to Hanners the Confederate cemetery was formerly called the Stonewall Jackson Cemetery – though there was no marker – and the current sign negates that distinction. Officials claimed that the sign covers both cemeteries at the site. “I think when you actually renamed it you called it Mulberry Street Cemeteries, plural, and there is still the Stonewall – Confederate – cemetery, but then there is the separate cemetery where we went in and marked all the unmarked graves, and so forth like that,” said Mayor Jim Thornton. “But, the overall property is what is named Mulberry Street Cemeteries, plural.”
The city council agreed to take Hanner’s request under consideration, but the council does not plan to take any action until they have had a chance to review their options on the best way to honor everyone buried at the site. They plan to discuss further action at their regular meeting on Tuesday, May 23 at 5:30 p.m.
In the next article
LaGRANGE – On Tuesday, the LaGrange City Council voted to place a historic marker next to the Stonewall Jackson Cemetery and created a city policy to only allow city, state and federal flags to fly on city properties.
Those decisions came in response to a request by representatives from the Sons of the Confederate Veterans to return a confederate flag to its former location in the Stonewall Jackson Cemetery. The confederate flag that formerly flew at the site was replaced by Georgia’s state flag during cemetery renovations last year.
“There was concern when Mike (Hanners) called me about the removal of the third national flag (of the Confederate States of America) from the flag pole that it had been authorized for by this city council back in 1995,” State Rep. Tommy Benton (R-Jefferson) said.
Benton was asked to speak at the meeting by Hanners, the founder of the local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and both saw the flag as a symbol of their heritage and a link to their ancestors. Some people who live in the neighborhood near the cemetery felt differently about the flag though.
“I live in that neighborhood, and I appreciate the mayor and council making that decision that they made to remove the flag,” Willie Cofield said.
The LaGrange City Council is scheduled to meet again on June 13 at 5:30 p.m. at 208 Ridley Ave.
So here we are in an attempt to keep the cemtery as StoneWall Cemetery, replace the iron cross there I have contacted the city council with a somple request.
These are some details about the monument in the Stonewall Cemetery in Lagrange. The amounts were donated in dollars and pennies. To illustrate to the DeKalb Commission and others that it took time to raise money for these monuments. Look how long it took to raise just $88 dollars and in DeKalb it took over 1000 school children and another 1000 donors to contribute to the Decatur monument fund in 1906. The year of this article is 1912. This is to illustrate it took a group effort to put up these monuments and a lot of hard earned money. In DeKalb the group Hate Free Decatur claimed the monument was put up in response to the 1906 Race Riots which was a complete lie. You can see the time and effort it takes to get this process started.