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Savannah in Chatham County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Duellist's Grave

 
 
Duellist's Grave Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, February 9, 2008
1. Duellist's Grave Marker
Inscription. The epitaph to James Wilde on the nearby tomb is a melancholy reminder of the days of duelling and, particularly, of a tragic affair of honor fought January 16, 1815, on the Carolina side of the river near Savannah. Lieutenant Wilde was shot through the heart in a fourth exchange of fire by Captain Roswell P. Johnson, referred to in the epitaph, in bitterness, as “a man who a short time before would have been friendless but for him.” The duellists were officers in the 8th Regt. U.S. Infantry. The nature of their quarrel is unknown.

Richard Henry Wilde, the poet and statesman, was the brother of the young officer. Lieutenant Wilde had served in the campaign against the Seminoles and his vivid description of Florida suggested to the poet an epic poem, which, like the life of James Wilde, was cut short by the fatal bullet.

The unfinished poem is remembered for the beauty of a single lyric, the opening stanza of which is:

“My life is like the Summer Rose,
          "That opens to the morning sky;
      "But ere the shades of evening close,
                  "Is scattered on the ground - to die.”

 
Erected 1954 by Georgia Historical Commission. (Marker Number 025-22.)
 
Marker series.
Duellist's Grave Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, February 2008
2. Duellist's Grave Marker
This marker is included in the Georgia Historical Society/Commission marker series.
 
Location. 32° 4.499′ N, 81° 5.394′ W. Marker is in Savannah, Georgia, in Chatham County. Marker can be reached from E. Oglethorpe Ave.. Touch for map. The marker is located in the Colonial Park Cemetery. Marker is in this post office area: Savannah GA 31401, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Archibald Bulloch (here, next to this marker); James Johnston (a few steps from this marker); Joseph Vallence Bevan (1798-1830) (a few steps from this marker); William Scarbrough (within shouting distance of this marker); Edward Greene Malbone (1777-1807) (within shouting distance of this marker); Button Gwinnett (within shouting distance of this marker); Major John Berrien (1759-1815) (within shouting distance of this marker); Joseph Clay, Patriot (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Savannah.
 
Regarding Duellist's Grave. Duelling came into Georgia with the first settlers from England as an accepted element of the social code. Among the army men who soon came to its shores were unquestionably those who had participated in duels either as principals or seconds. It was an age when few questioned the propriety of settling
Duellist's Grave Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 21, 2005
3. Duellist's Grave Marker
personal affairs of honor at the point of the sword, or with bullets from a brace of pistols.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This link directs you to the marker about Colonial Park Cemetery.
 
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesColonial EraNotable Events
 
Duellist's Grave Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, November 23, 2008
4. Duellist's Grave Marker
Duellist's Grave Marker, and grave as seen in Colonial Park Cemetery, Savannah image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, November 23, 2008
5. Duellist's Grave Marker, and grave as seen in Colonial Park Cemetery, Savannah
Headstone for Lieutenant Wilde near the Duellist's Grave Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, February 2008
6. Headstone for Lieutenant Wilde near the Duellist's Grave Marker
This humble stone records the filial piety fraternal affection and manly virtues of
JAMES WILDE, Esquire
late District Paymaster in the army of the U. S. He fell in a Duel on the 16th of January, 1815, by the hand of a man who, a short time ago, would have been friendless but for him; and expired instantly in his 22d year: dying, as he had lived: with unshaken courage & unblemished reputation. By his untimely death the prop of a Mother's age is broken: The hope and consolation of Sisters is destroyed, the pride of Brothers humbled in the dust and a whole Family, happy until then, overwhelmed with affliction.
Source: Chatham County Ga Archives
History ... Savannah Duels - Chapter XI 1923
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 14, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 2,796 times since then and 56 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on March 31, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   2. submitted on February 14, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   3. submitted on October 6, 2012, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   4, 5. submitted on December 2, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   6. submitted on February 14, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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