Ellijay in Gilmer County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
David Bailey Freeman - The Youngest Confederate Soldier
May 1, 1851 - June 18, 1929
His fellow Confederates called him "Little Dave.” He was the smallest soldier in his unit, and he rode a spotted pony. He later recalled that whenever his unit rode into a town, "By the diminutive size of myself and steed, I attracted much attention.” During his two year enlistment, Little Dave witnessed the bloody fighting at Chickamauga, and during the last months of the war he fought against Sherman's Campaign for Atlanta, seeing action in Resaca, Cassville, and Kennesaw Mountain with General Joseph E. Johnston.
"Little Dave" was David Bailey Freeman, the youngest Confederate soldier, and the youngest soldier of both armies to serve in the American Civil War. He enlisted at the ripe old age of eleven. Today, he is one of the "forgotten folk" who are buried in Cartersville's Oak Hill Cemetery.
David's brother Madison Montgomery Freeman, almost a dozen years David’s senior, raised a cavalry company in Gilmer County. Madison worried about offering his unit for Confederate service because he suffered from "White swelling” (Phlebitis, an inflammation of the veins in his legs) so much so that he was almost crippled at times and was afraid he would not be accepted for service. Madison asked their mother if David could accompany him to camp as his aide. David was then only ten years old, a month shy of his eleventh birthday, yet his mother consented. Offered the position of marker with the company's surveyor team, David enlisted in the 6th Georgia Cavalry, Company D, on May 16, 1862, just two weeks after his eleventh birthday.
He has been proclaimed “The Youngest Confederate Soldier" His career included Newspaper
Late on the evening of June 18th, 1929, at the age of 77, General David Bailey Freeman, the Civil War’s youngest Confederate soldier, quietly and peacefully died of a heart attack in his apartment in Atlanta, Georgia. He had been ill for several days and had just returned from a Confederate Veterans Reunion in North Carolina just ten days earlier. His wife had preceded him in death seven years earlier. He was survived by several grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Several obituaries and eulogies were published in area newspapers around Calhoun, Atlanta, and Cartersville as many in David’s family were in the newspaper business. Many of the obituaries named David as "General Freeman” and all pointed to his youthful service to the Confederate States of America.
Erected by the Georgia Civil War Commission.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music • War, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is May 16, 1862.
Location. 34° 41.711′ N, 84° 28.985′ W. Marker is in Ellijay, Georgia, in Gilmer County. Marker is at the intersection of Broad Street and South Dalton Street, on the left when traveling west on Broad Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1 Broad Street, Ellijay GA 30540, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Gilmer County (a few steps from this marker); Gilmer County War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Hetzel (approx. 0.9 miles away); Home of Chief Whitepath (approx. 4.7 miles away); Cartecay Methodist Church (approx. 6.4 miles away); Oakland Academy (approx. 6.9 miles away); Ebenezer Baptist Church (approx. 8.9 miles away); The Zell Miller Mountain Parkway (approx. 10.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ellijay.
Also see . . . Freeman Family Genealogy Site about David Bailey Freeman. (Submitted on October 21, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 21, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 21, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 532 times since then and 70 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 21, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.