2014-05-14 / Front Page

Battle of Atlanta wounded came south


This statue in Cuthbert’s Greenwood Cemetery stands watch over 24 marked Confederate soldiers’ graves. An estimated 500 unidentified soldiers are also buried there. This statue in Cuthbert’s Greenwood Cemetery stands watch over 24 marked Confederate soldiers’ graves. An estimated 500 unidentified soldiers are also buried there. The Genealogical Society of Early County will learn how the carnage of the Civil War found its way to Southwest Georgia Thursday.

Karan B. Pittman and Lela B. Phillips, co-authors of “Confederate Hospitals: Cuthbert, Georgia,” will be the featured guests at this week’s meeting Thursday, May 15, 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Early County Museum.

Everyone is invited. Please call 724-7222 or RSVP ecm@earlycountymuseum.com.

The full ravages of the Civil War swept across Georgia in the summer of 1864 when General William T. Sherman led Union forces into Georgia and battled Confederate Generals Johnston and Hood to capture Atlanta and cut off Confederate supply lines.

His forces succeeded. Atlanta was mostly destroyed by fire by September.

Confederate soldiers in great numbers were in need of medical care during and following the battles, and the only place to go was south.

Initially, cities and towns along the rail lines in South Georgia were not keen on establishing hospitals for the wounded and dying.

Cuthbert, especially its college buildings, were one of the cities selected.

Dr. W.L. Nichols came from Covington with the charge of setting up three hospitals in Cuthbert.

Andrew Female College became Hood Hospital and Baptist Female College became the Hospital on the Hill. A third location, referred to as Lumpkin Hospital, or Templar Hospital has yet to have its location confirmed.

The task of triage was performed as trainloads of wounded and sick arrived in Cuthbert.

A saluting statue stands watch over the soldiers’ graves in the Greenwood Cemetery in Cuthbert.

Near the two dozen marked graves is an open space, covered only with grass. It is there where a burial trench awaited the dead, not far from the railroad tracks. So great were they in number that a mass grave proved a necessity, even for those who could be identified.

The two authors came across references to the Confederate hospitals in Cuthbert as they researched historical documents for another publication, “The History of Andrew College: 1854-2004,” and decided to compile a short book on that subject alone.

Pittman is the historian for Randolph County and archivist for Andrew College. Phillips, former Humanities Division chair and professor of English at Andrew College, now devotes her time to collecting and organizing historical data for the county and the college.

Pittman and Phillips are hoping to have the area marked in some way.

“It is only fitting to recognize the soldiers buried there. So many were young and their names not even known. We estimate 500 plus are buried there,” Phillips said.

Light refreshments will be served and books will be available to purchased and signed by authors.

Copies of the book are also available for $10, including shipping, by sending orders to Karan Pittman, c/o Andrew College, Cuthbert, Ga. 39840. The book is also available at Amazon.com.

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