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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Resaca in Gordon County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Resaca's Confederate Cemetery / Resaca's Fort Wayne

 
 
Resaca's Confederate Cemetery / Resaca's Fort Wayne Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, April 11, 2021
1. Resaca's Confederate Cemetery / Resaca's Fort Wayne Marker
Inscription.  
Resaca's Confederate Cemetery
Nearby, in Resaca lies the lonely resting place of more than 440 Confederate soldiers who died here on the fields of battle and once lay buried where they fell. In 1866, Resaca resident Mary J. Green convinced her father to give up a portion of their land for a cemetery. She wrote to newspapers and friends pleading for money to move the bodies and mark them with simple stone tablets. Citizens responded by sending what they could. Mary, her sisters, her mother, and former family slaves worked to transfer the remains to this final resting place, making sure each was properly marked. The cemetery was dedicated on 25 October 1866.

In the ensuing years, the Federal government's graves recovery effort relocated Union graves to the Marietta National Cemetery. Due to poor procedures and unreliable methods of identification (often by the type of military button or other accouterment) some Confederate fallen now lie buried there as well.

On 16 May 1864, the battle ended and Johnston's forces marched south followed by Sherman's Union armies. Benjamin Harrison's Indiana regiment
Resaca's Confederate Cemetery / Resaca's Fort Wayne Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, April 11, 2021
2. Resaca's Confederate Cemetery / Resaca's Fort Wayne Marker
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remained to bury the dead and to collect arms and property left upon the battlefield. One of these men wrote:
The battlefield around Resaca bore evidence of the great struggle that had taken place. Thickets of brush, even great saplings, were literally mown down by the storms of musket balls, shot, shell, grape, and canister.
— James Barnes, 86th Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry

At about 10 P.M. on this day we moved out of our trenches and began our retreat from the blood-dyed bills of Resaca, and not a heart but heaved a sigh of regret at abandoning a spot where we had struggled so hard for thirty-six hours for our common country's cause — a spot consecrated by the life-blood of so many of the best and bravest of our comrades in arms; but as we look for the last time upon their graves, and knew that the vandal foe would tread upon them on to-morrow that they had not fallen in vain.
— R.P. McKelvaine, Colonel Commanding, 24th Mississippi Regiment

Resaca's Fort Wayne
Fort Wayne is located on a hill to the east of Resaca. Its position once overlooked the railroad bridge over the Oostanaula River. Originally built as a Confederate training camp in 1862, the fort consisted of a staging area for troops going north by rail. The parade ground and entrenchments
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are still visible today on a 65-acre tract owned by Gordon County and preserved by the Friends of Resaca.

Before the Battle of Resaca, the Georgia Militia built artillery entrenchments on the site to protect the railroad and bridge. This light battery came into extensive use just before and during the mid-May battle.

After the Battle of Resaca, Union forces occupied the fort and the village. They constructed a larger and separate fortification in the form of a redoubt encircled by a double ring of earthworks. These remain in excellent condition. Union forces occupied Fort Wayne until 1868. Today Fort Wayne contains the only intact Confederate entrenchments built by the Georgia Militia and the best-preserved Civil War fortifications of their kind in the state.

Captions:
Left (top to bottom):
• Mary J. Green
• George Barnard photograph taken shortly after the Battle of Resaca
• Barnard photograph of Resaca's battle-scarred landscape
Center (top to bottom)
• Resaca's Confederate Cemetery is the oldest in the nation.
• This Alfred Waud sketch illustrates the burying of the deceased and burning of dead horses after a Civil War battle.
Right (top to bottom)
• Enhanced view of Georgia Militia trench line
• View of section of Union redoubt at Fort Wayne (both Fort Wayne images are courtesy
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of the Friends of Resaca)
• (left) Both Union and Confederate forces used logs, stones, and/or earth to build redoubts. The materials used often depended on available local materials. (right) Typical outline of a redoubt
 
Erected by Georgia Department of Natural Resources - State Parks and Historic Sites.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesForts and CastlesWar, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is May 16, 1864.
 
Location. 34° 35.221′ N, 84° 57.312′ W. Marker is near Resaca, Georgia, in Gordon County. Marker can be reached from Resaca Lafayette Road Northwest (Georgia Route 136). Marker is at southern Red Battlefield Trailhead along entrance road to Resaca Battlefield State Historic Site. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6 GA-136, Resaca GA 30735, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Civil War Fighting Men (a few steps from this marker); Why Fight at Resaca? (a few steps from this marker); Resaca Battlefield State Historic Site (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Resaca Battlefield State Historic Site (within shouting distance of this marker); South Toward Atlanta (approx. 0.4 miles away); Dancers in the Red Clay Minuet (approx. 0.4 miles away); Logan's XV Corps to the South (approx. 0.4 miles away); How to Tell the Yankees from the Rebels! (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Resaca.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 15, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 14, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 42 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 14, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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May. 14, 2021