Although I was born in Winona, Minnesota and raised in Plainview, Minnesota, I have lived from 1970 to 1999 in Kentucky and since then in Georgia.
CIVIL WAR SECTION
The Cassville (Georgia) Cemetery lies along the road I take to the home of one of my daughters. I have begun transcribing this cemetery but as yet have not yet found a Civil War site where I can submit the information from the Civil War section of the cemetery, even though it contains only one name. Until I find such a site, I will place it here.
The Cassville Cemetery is located immediately off the Cassville-White Road NW where the Shinall Gaines NW road joins it. The Cassville-White Road NW can be accessed on the I-75 Exit Number 296 and terminates on the west end where it joins Cassville Road NW, a loop road beginning and ending approximately two miles apart on old highway 41. From Highway 41 on the north end of Cass Road to the Cass-White Road is 9/10 mile and from there to the cemetery is 4/10 of a mile.
The Civil War section begins where the main road is joined by the side road which turns right and circles the old part of the cemetery. The Civil War section runs along the right side of the main road leading up the hill towards the rear of the cemetery. The old public section is to the front and right. The new public section is to the left and back.
The Civil War section contains these graves, beginning at the bottom of hill near the entrance:
Row 1: 1 large marker inscribed, "30 Unknown Confederate Soldiers," followed by 29 small markers containing no inscriptions.
Row 2: 1 large marker inscribed, "29 Unknown Confederate Soldiers," followed by 28 small markers containing no inscriptions.
Row 3: 1 large marker inscribed, "30 Unknown Confederate Soldiers," followed by 29 small markers containing no inscriptions.
Row 4: 1 large marker inscribed, "27 Unknown Confederate Soldiers," followed by 26 small markers containing no inscriptions.
Row 5: 1 large marker inscribed, "29 Unknown Confederate Soldiers," followed by 28 small markers containing no inscriptions.
Row 6: 1 large marker inscribed, "29 Unknown Confederate Soldiers," followed by 28 small markers containing no inscriptions.
Row 7: 1 large marker inscribed, "29 Unknown Confederate Soldiers," followed by 28 small markers containing no inscriptions.
Row 8: 1 large marker inscribed, "29 Unknown Confederate Soldiers," followed by 28 small markers containing no inscriptions.
Row 9: 1 large marker inscribed, "28 Unknown Confederate Soldiers," followed by 27 small markers containing no inscriptions.
Row 10: 1 large marker inscribed, "28 Unknown Confederate Soldiers," followed by 27 small markers containing no inscriptions.
Row 11: 1 large marker inscribed, "11 Unknown Confederate Soldiers," followed by 10 small markers containing no inscriptions.
Row 12: 1 large marker inscribed, "9 Unknown Confederate Soldiers," followed by 8 small markers containing no inscriptions.
Row 13: 1 large marker inscribed, "9 Unknown Confederate Soldiers," followed by 8 small markers containing no inscriptions.
Row 14: 1 large marker inscribed, "9 Unknown Confederate Soldiers," followed by 8 small markers containing no inscriptions.
Row 15: 1 large marker inscribed, "8 Unknown Confederate Soldiers," followed by 7 small markers containing no inscriptions.
Row 16: 1 large marker inscribed, "7 Unknown Confederate Soldiers," followed by 6 small markers containing no inscriptions.
Row 17: 1 large marker inscribed, "7 Unknown Confederate Soldiers," followed by 6 small markers containing no inscriptions.
Row 18: 1 large marker inscribed, "7 Unknown Confederate Soldiers," followed by 6 small markers containing no inscriptions.
Row 19: 1 large marker inscribed, "8 Unknown Confederate Soldiers," followed by 6 small markers containing no inscriptions and 1 large marker inscribed: "Captain Alex Winn, 22nd Tennessee Inf. C.S.A., July 18, 1864."
There is a huge white obelisk overlooking the Confederate section. Standing near by is a flag pole flying the Confederate flag and there are small Confederate flags gracing each of the soldiers' graves. The following inscriptions appear in ovals on each of the four sides of the obelisk:
Dedicated to the memory of our Southern heroes
by the Ladies Memorial Association of Cassville.
Rest in Peace our own Southern Braves.
You loved liberty more than life.
Is it death to fall for freedom's cause?
It is better to have fought and lost
than not to have fought at all.
IDENTIFICATION OF FALLEN SOLDIERS
I have often wondered how the armed forces kept track of the vital statistics of those lost in battle before dog-tags came along. They must have been one of the most practical inventions of all time. See A Short History of Identification Tags
In this cemetery there are 19 rows of unmarked Confederate graves containing 364 soldiers. Only one grave is marked. This is just a tiny cemetery, but I assume it is representative of many others, both in the South and the North. It stands to reason, then, that many families never received any details whatever of their loved ones' deaths or burial locations. Many mistakes of identity were probably made.
I asked my Internet friend and Civil War authority, Dave Frederick about this and he answered:
"Your ideas about identification are correct. It was a civil war custom to carry a piece of paper with vital information in a breast pocket, but it didn't seem to help at all. The care that was taken varied widely. There are something like seventeen thousand Confederate unknown soldiers buried at Gettysburg. The 1863 Union campaign for Chattanooga was marked by the best record keeping of the war. The Confederate Army of the Tennessee was hopelessly outnumbered, but held the strategic ground for months by strategically brilliant cat-and-mouse maneuvers. The armies didn't move very far, or very fast, for months. Clerks were able to establish regular offices and paperwork flows. Seemingly none of them could spell, but it was about as perfect as it could be.
"Your description of the cemetery intrigued me, as 364 is a lot of burials. Did you know that the Confederacy won a token victory near Cassville in Sherman's Atlanta Campaign of 1864?
"The battle was called 'New Hope Church' fought May 25-26, 1864. Sherman ordered Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker to attack with his division the Confederate Army of Tennessee under Gen Joseph E. Johnston. There were 1600 Union casualties and an unknown number of Confederate. Do you suppose Cassville's 364 were the entire Confederate loss? Capt. Winn may have been left behind to die in Cassville (the military term is 'bivouacked') or his family may have ordered the stone later and the date got confused.
"You can get a brief description of the daily action by going to www.americancivilwar.com/statepic and choosing 'Georgia' from the list at the bottom of the home page."
"A GEORGIA VOLUNTEER"
by Mary Ashley Townsend
Far up the lonely mountain-side
My wandering footsteps led;
The moss lay thick beneath my feet,
The pine sighed overhead.
The trace of a dismantled fort
Lay in the forest nave,
And in the shadow near my path
I saw a soldier's grave.
The bramble wrestled with the weed
Upon the lowly mound;~
The simple head-board, rudely writ,
Had rotted to the ground;
I raised it with a reverent hand,
From dust its words to clear,
But time had blotted all but these ~
"A Georgia Volunteer!"
I saw the toad and scaly snake
From tangled covert start,
And hide themselves among the weeds
Above the dead man's heart;
But undisturbed, in sleep profound,
Unheeding, there he lay;
His coffin but the mountain soil,
His shroud Confederate gray.
I heard the Shenandoah roll
Along the vale below,
I saw the Alleghanies rise
Toward the realms of snow.
The "Valley Campaign" rose to mind ~
Its leader's name ~ and then
I knew the sleeper had been one
Of Stonewall Jackson's men.
Yet whence he came, what lip shall say ~
Whose tongue will ever tell
What desolated hearths and hearts
Have been because he fell?
What sad-eyed maiden braids her hair,
Her hair which he held dear?
One lock of which perchance lies with
The Georgia Volunteer!
What mother, with long watching eyes,
And white lips, cold and dumb,
Waits with appalling patience for
Her darling boy to come?
Her boy! whose mountain grave swells up
But one of many a scar,
Cut on the face of our fair land,
By gory-handed war.
What fights he fought, what wounds he wore,
Are all unknown to fame;
Remember, on his holy grave
There is not e'en a name!
That he fought well and bravely too,
And held his country dear,
We know, else he had never been
A Georgia volunteer.
He sleeps ~ what need to question now
If he were wrong or right?
He knows, ere this, whose cause was just
In God the Father's sight.
He wields no warlike weapons now,
Returns no foeman's thrust ~
Who but a coward would revile
An honest soldier's dust?
Roll, Shenandoah, proudly roll,
Adown thy rocky glen,
Above thee lies the grave of one
Of Stonewall Jackson's men.
Beneath the cedar and the pine,
In solitude austere.
Unknown, unnamed, forgotten, lies
A Georgia Volunteer!
Thanks to Kathy Watson, webmaster:
"Poetry and Music of the War Between the States"
WHO WERE THESE MEN?
Researcher Grandpa Dave Goes to Work
(Webmaster Barbara says: "Learn at the knee of the master!")
I thought I'd find what I could about the 364 unknown Confederate burials in the Cassville cemetery. It is a difficult proposition because there is so little information to start with, but even if it doesn't help bring back the identities of those men, it might help show exactly what civil war information an ordinary person can, and cannot, find:
I went first to the National Park Service, Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System; Soldier Search function at: http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/Personz_Detail.cfm?PER_NBR=5522094 and entered the known information from the single Cassville tombstone:
First Name: Alex
Last Name: Winn
Number or Ordinal: 22
Nothing came up, so I left off the first name. searched again, and got J. Winn, a private in Company A. I left the "Unit:" blank, searched again and got an A.S. Winn who was a private in Company D of the 22nd Tennessee Cavalry (also called Barteau's Tennessee Cavalry. He was also known as Robert Winn. Next, I entered only the Surname: Winn; Side: Confederacy and State: Tennessee and picked out three more possible soldiers from a long list of Winns from Tennessee. Alex. J. Winn started as a sergeant an ended as a private in Company B of the 34th Tennessee Infantry. A different Alex Winn started in the 20th Tennessee Infantry as a private in Company D and ended as an adjutant. Next, I left out the information "State:". A man called Alexander Winn was a Quartermaster Captain or the Confederate States Army. In other words, this Alex Winn was appointed to the rank of Captain in the general staff of the Army by Pres. Jefferson Davis, to fill an opening in the Quartermaster Corps. His home state would not have been included in the "search" cues. A quartermaster usually served a brigade, or was at the division staff level, but could have served a single regiment at times. I tried altering the spelling to "Wynn", but found no other useful information. Finally I brought up the entire roster of the 22nd Tennessee Infantry, and polled over 1350 names twenty at a time. The information on Captain Alexander Winn, CSA was the only file that didn't contradict the tombstone; but it didn't necessarily match, either.
Next I went to the Regiment listing at the same site. The history of the 22nd Tennessee Infantry is at:
It was apparently organized in the summer of 1861 as Freeman's Regiment, consisting of men from the city of Memphis and Hardeman, Carroll, Gibson, & Dyer counties. Colonel Thomas J. Freeman commanded. It went into active service in August 1861 and was in the battles at Belmont and Shiloh. In June of 1862 the 22nd Tennessee Infantry was merged with the 12th Tennessee Infantry.
So I went to the history of the 12th Tennessee Infantry at:
This regiment was organized in May 1861 primarily from men in Gibson and Dyer counties of Tennessee, and had fought at Belmont and Shiloh with the 22nd regiment. After the merger, the regiment had 737 men, but over half appeared to be detached from the regiment. It lost 32 men at Richmond, about 164 at Murfreesborough, and became too few in numbers. The 47th Tennessee Infantry was merged into the 12th/22nd in October 1862. The reconstituted regiment lost 87 men at Chickamauga and by December 1863 only had 373 men.
Going back to the soldier "Search" function, I found that J.R.P. Winn served in the 12th (Consolidated)Tennessee Infantry as a Private in Co. A, then was in Co. C as James Winn, and finally was listed as H.J. Winn in Companies A and C. I am satisfied that they are different spellings of the same man's name. He served the entire time as a private……..so the only match to the Cassville tombstone were his last name and the regiment.
I turned to the Georgia Civil War Map of Battles at: http://americancivilwar.com/statepic/georgia.html
Some of the most intense fighting of the war happened in your area of Georgia, and I agree with your conclusion that the battle called "Adairsville" on May 17, 1864 was the nearest to the Cassville Cemetery. On May 15, 1864 Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's army retreated southward from the battle of Resaca, leaving cavalry to fight a rear guard action against a Union army under Gen. W.T. Sherman in hot pursuit. The account said there was skirmishing all day on the seventeenth. The singular purpose of skirmishing was to force the enemy to reposition by causing peripheral casualties. If both armies were moving, the casualties were usually about evenly spread between them; but if one was stopped, that army usually had higher numbers of dead and wounded. The report continued "………and into the early evening, Maj. Gen. O.O. Howard's IV Corps ran into entrenched infantry of Lt. Gen. William J. Hardee's corps, while advancing, about two miles north of Adairsville. The 44th Illinois and 24th Wisconsin (under the command of Maj. Arthur MacArthur, father of Douglas) attacked Cheatham's Division at Robert Saxon (the Octagon House) and incurred heavy losses." Night fell, and both sides repositioned and reinforced for a major battle the next day. In the morning Confederate General Johnson didn't like the lay of the land, and withdrew southward, ending up positioning his Army near New Hope Church.
To have any idea what the battle description was actually saying, more information was needed. I remembered the "Chattanooga Campaign Confederate Order of Battle" was listed on one of the most extensive civil war history websites, and found it at:
When it was organized in early 1863, the Army of Tennessee (Confederate) was primarily made up of four Corps (Longstreet's, Hardee's, Breckenridge's, and Wheeler's). The cavalry that fought the rear guard action was probably Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler's Cavalry Corps consisting of fifty-one regiments. Surely some of them were
elsewhere, and it is doubtful that the entire corps was employed in skirmishing. However, when one looks over the list of regiments and commanders, some very famous names appear. The less recognizable regiments that are left were primarily from Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia. The surviving men who originally made the 22nd Tennessee Infantry did not appear to be present at Adairville. The 12/47 Tennessee Infantry was in Hardee's Corps for the Chattanooga-Chickamauga campaign, but it was in Hindman's Division rather than Cheatham's.
I was getting lost. To understand what the report actually said, I needed to go back to the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System for some detail information. The first information I sought on the CWSS was about the whole string of skirmishes, major and minor battles from May 15 to June 1, 1864. The history was recorded primarily by Union army accounts. I surmised that being in unfamiliar country and moving rapidly; they were not as accurate as one might expect, but eventually caught up on reporting their own casualties. Here is what I gathered:
|Near Kingston||May 18-19||Bartow||UNK||UNK|
|Near Cassville||May 19||Bartow||UNK||UNK|
|Advance on Dallas||May 22-25||Bartow-Paulding||UNK||UNK|
|New Hope Church||May 25-26||Paulding||1,600|| UNK|
|Pumpkin Vine Creek||May 25-June 5||Paulding||UNK||UNK|
|Allatoona Hills||May 25-June 5||~||UNK||UNK|
|Pickett's Mills/New Hope||May 27||Paulding||1,600||500|
The second thing I sought was whether the description "Robert Saxon (the Octagon house) might have referred to an octagonal house owned by, or referenced to, a local Robert Saxon; or whether Robert Saxon was a Confederate officer who was instantly recognizable to the CSA general staff. I found "R.C. Saxon", a First Lieutenant and Adjutant with a general CSA appointment like Alexander Winn's; who certainly fit the supposition.
The third item was the histories of the Union's 44th Regiment, Illinois Infantry and 24th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry. Both units are credited with participating in every action listed above. Both had long battle histories, but had unusually heavy casualties for even their service. They definitely had losses high enough to mirror the high number of burials at Cassville cemetery.
Finally, I went to the Tennessee Genweb site and searched for "22nd Tennessee Infantry". It returned:
At that site is an excellent history of the regiment giving all of the officers, and their specific assignments. There is a corresponding one for the 12th Tennessee Infantry, but the high degree of information fades rapidly after 1863. It was still listed as an active unit at the surrender, but was so reduced that it was combined with several other regiments for the post-war paperwork. I was satisfied that there was not a Capt. Alex Winn in the 22nd.
The military knowledge that I use is actually pretty basic stuff that anyone can learn and utilize. I am having fun learning about the 1864 defense of Atlanta; which was a definite turning point in American history. I must confess that I didn't even know it would interest me until I got involved. This information makes it seem even more likely that many of the Cassville graves of Unknown Confederate soldiers are from fighting near Cassville, but from all of the warfare that passed by on May 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19, 1864.
While the fighting was between regular forces and did not involve local militia, there is a strong probability that many of those regular soldiers were local men.
RESPONSE FROM CAPTAIN WINN'S GREAT-GREAT-GRANDAUGHTER
Subject: "A Cemetery in Georgia"
I believe you have found my gg grandpa Winn. What little I have found out about him indicates that he was killed in an ambush at Opossum Trot, Georgia on July 19, 1864. That might be why he was the only one identified, he was buried at a different time then the others by people who knew him. He was in the 20th Tennessee Infantry along with several men with his wife's maiden name Jordan, I assume they were in-laws.
Alexander Randolph Winn was born on June 21, 1830. He married Narcissi Jordan on December 11, 1864. When he died, he left her with six children, the last of whom was born about 19 days after he died.
About half of my information is based on other peoples research, and I haven't been able to back it up yet with official records. Therefor, I apologize for any mistakes.
Thank you for putting this information on line, Linda Peashka
Ps Is there an Opossum Trot any where near this location?
It was a nice surprise to hear from you!
I am forwarding your e-mail to Barbara Timm, who created the web page and lives near Cassville.
I checked a little, and didn't find a specific battle at Opossum Trot, but am sure your information is correct about it. Here is a web page that will tell you where it is, about twenty miles due west of Cassville.
There was a lot of maneuvering and skirmishing leading up to the final large battles for Atlanta, which opened on July 20, 1864. Only the larger or more strategic ones are listed in most histories, but there should be a lot of information to be found with a little digging.
From the webmaster:
I almost didn't publish "A Cemetery In Georgia" because there was only one name among the Confederate soldiers. Now I am so glad I did. Who would have thought that someone would make contact with that one name! This is a lesson to me that no information is too small to present.
By the way, we Georgians call it 'Possum Trot! ~ Barbara
by Reverend H.D.L. Webster
The years creep slowly by, Lorena,
The snow is on the grass again;
The sun's low down the sky, Lorena,
The frost gleams where the flowers have been;
But the heart throbs on as warmly now,
As when the summer days were nigh;
Oh! the sun can never dip so low,
Adown affection's cloudless sky.
A hundred months have passed, Lorena,
Since last I held thy hand in mine;
And felt the pulse beat fast, Lorena ~
Though mine beat faster far than thine;
A hundred months ~ 'twas flowery May,
When up the hilly slope we climbed,
To watch the dying of the day,
And hear the distant church bells chime.
We loved each other then, Lorena.
More than we ever dared to tell;
And what we might have been, Lorena,
Had but our lovings prospered well ~
But then ~ 'tis past; the years are gone,
I'll not call up their shadowy forms;
I'll say to them, "lost years, sleep on!
Sleep on! Nor heed life's pelting storms."
The story of that past, Lorena,
Alas! I care not to repeat;
They touched some tender chords, Lorena,
They lived, but only lived to cheat.
I would not cause e'en one regret
To rankle in your bosom now ~
"For if we try we may forget,"
Were words of thine long years ago.
Yes, those were words of thine, Lorena ~
They are within my memory yet ~
They touched some tender chords, Lorena,
Which thrill and tremble with regret.
'Twas not the woman's heart which spoke ~
Thy heart was always true to me;
A duty stern and piercing broke
The tie that linked my soul to thee.
It matters little now, Lorena,
The past is in the eternal past;
Our hearts will soon lie low, Lorena,
Life's tide is ebbing out so fast.
There is a future, oh, thank God!
Of life this is so small a part ~
'Tis dust to dust beneath the sod,
But there, up there, 'tis heart to heart.