|Confederates sleep at Cedar Grove|
|Wednesday, April 20, 2011|
151 soldiers of the South rest in Lebanon cemetery
By KEN BECK
By the time it came to a halt four years later, 620,000 Americans had given their lives in the conflict between the 11 states of the Confederacy (South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee) and the Union.
The sesquicentennial commemoration of the Civil War, which continues the next four years, will end where the war began with the raising of the American flag at Fort Sumter in April 2015. By that date more than a million visitors will have toured the fort and other sites related to the war near Charleston Harbor.
Millions more will have visited other Civil War battlefields from Gettysburg in Pennsylvania to such places in Tennessee as Shiloh, Missionary Ridge, Chickamauga, Franklin and Stones River in Murfreesboro.
Wilson County sent hundreds of its own men to serve in the War Between the States, most notably Cumberland Law School graduate, local lawyer and politician Robert H. Hatton.
In the midst of Lebanon’s Cedar Grove Cemetery, past Gate 2 and down an asphalt lane to the southeast intersection of Barry and Golladay stands the 18-feet-tall Confederate Monument. Dedicated July 27, 1899, the memorial bears the names of more than 100 soldiers. Atop the marker stands an infantryman with his rifle at parade rest.
“A.K. Miller was at least one of the ones who conceived the idea, just to honor and remember the dead already out there at that point in time. We think only nine people are buried here (near the monument) because there are only nine markers,” said Martin Frost of the Gen. Hatton Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, referring to the area known as the Confederate Privilege. “It took about 16 years to raise the funds from when they started with the idea until the time it was dedicated in 1899.”
Frost, a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the Robert H. Hatton Camp #723, assists with candlelight tours of Lebanon’s Cedar Grove Cemetery, where he portrays Hatton, a role he took on in 1998. Frost hopes another candlelight tour will be held in the fall.
One hundred and fifty-one Confederate soldiers lay at rest at Cedar Grove. Many of them served in the 7th Tennessee Infantry.
On the north side of the Confederate Monument is written: Sacred to the memory of Confederate soldiers who sleep in this cemetery, and to their surviving comrades who shall rest here, immortal heroes. Your unparalleled courage, your blood, your patriotism have bequeathed to all generations an example of sublime heroism and to your country an eternity of fame.
The Confederacy without an army, navy or government, 600,000 volunteers sustained the assault of 2,778,304 men, supported by the strongest government in the world for four years its destruction rendered necessary a public debt of $2,708,393,885.00. The sacrifice of 349,944 lives and 1,366,443 pensioners.