CONFEDERATES BURIED AT WAYNESVILLE
The life of
George Washington (G. W.) Nichols, born in Bulloch County, Georgia, was felt
throughout the south. Fighting with the 61st Georgia Regiment, in Northern
Virginia under General Robert E. Lee, and wounded twice, he brought back many
memories of those battles. While
living out his life in Wayne County near Jesup after the Civil War, he recorded
those memories in a book for posterity.
One of Private G. W. Nichols' contribution involved Waynesville, now Brantley County. He wrote in 1899 that "about 40 confederate veterans" of the Southern Confederacy were buried at Waynesville, and that their burial place was "not being cared for."
At that time, pine trees had grown around the cemetery, and large oaks roots had penetrated the graves. Brave Confederate soldiers were sleeping in a neglected and abandoned cemetery. The festooning moss, hung low and tangled with underbrush, surrounded the entire area. The whole area was one of sad neglect. Periodically, throughout the years, some civic minded local individual would recognize the sad condition of this cemetery and it would cleaned of brush, weeds, and trees, once again.
G. W. Nichols proposed that a suitable stone be erected for
the confederate veterans and that the graves
be enclosed "by erecting a neat galvanized fence."
He reported that the burial ground was on the Wiggins estate and that
information concerning the location be obtained from W. M. Wiggins and Jasper
Highsmith, "both of whom lived in Waynesville during the War of the
Later it was
reported in the Jesup Sentinel that G. W. Nichols and J. R. Roberson had
erected a fence around the burial ground of the veterans, and they had suggested the Wayne
Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy erect grave markers.
It was reported by Mrs. A. J. Gordon of Jesup, who was a native of
Waynesville, that the burial ground was near the site of the Waynesville Baptist
Church, on the north side of the railway.
In 1906 the
Daughters of the Confederacy honored the confederate compatriots of Waynesville erecting a memorial
in the Brantley Enterprise on April 5, 1928 was the following story:
"At Waynesville, about sixteen miles from Nahunta, the County seat
of Brantley County is a historic Confederate Cemetery.
Here was fought a fierce battle during the Civil War.
The brave lads in gray that fell that day were buried in the trenches
where they fell. Crude wooden
head-markers were placed around the graves.
These markers have crumbled away, and this sacred site is "a
cemetery of unknown confederate soldiers."
In the center of the cemetery is a plain marble shaft bearing the simple
“Erected 1906 To Our Confederate Dead, Jesup Chapter U. D. C., 1861-1865.”