Echoes of the Past
“To the 3000 soldiers in this cemetery, from every Southern State, who fell on Georgia soil, in defense of Georgia rights and Georgia homes.”
–Inscription on a monument in Marietta Confederate Cemetery
In September of 1863, Dr. William H. Miller, a Confederate surgeon from Kentucky, became the first person to be buried in the Marietta Confederate Cemetery. The cemetery was established as a gift to the town from Jane Glover, the wife of Marietta’s first mayor, John Glover. A few days after Dr. Miller’s burial, 20 soldiers were buried in the cemetery after being killed in a train collision just north of Marietta. Unfortunately, these weren’t the last souls to be put to rest in the Marietta Confederate Cemetery.
During the Civil War, Confederate soldiers who died in the battles of the Atlanta Campaign, including Chickamauga, Kolb’s Farm, and Kennesaw Mountain, as well as soldiers who died in nearby hospitals, were put to rest in Marietta. After the war, hundreds of more soldiers who died elsewhere were recovered and reburied in Marietta. As the final resting place of over 3000 soldiers, the Marietta Confederate Cemetery is the largest Confederate cemetery south of Richmond, Virginia. Due to the importance of the city, this cemetery became the first place in the south where the Confederate flag was allowed to fly.
Despite its historic significance, the cemetery fell into disrepair. The Ladies Memorial Association owned and maintained the cemetery for many years before the state of Georgia took over the deeds. By 1902, the wooden markers of each grave had deteriorated and many names were lost. It’s thanks to the efforts of local Marietta citizens and group, including the Marietta Confederate Cemetery Foundation, that the cemetery has been restored in recent years.
The grounds are carefully maintained and benches and statues have been added to the site. Today, citizens can take a walking tour of the cemetery to pay respects to the past.