I took a stroll through the Marietta National Military Cemetery on Saturday morning. This cemetery, located in the heart of historic Marietta, was created to bury approximately 10,000 Union dead from General Sherman’s Army of the Tennessee. Immediately after the Civil War, the owner of the property, Henry Cole, wanted to use it to co-bury both Union and Confederate dead as a way to help heal the differences. Apparently, that idea didn’t fly. Instead it became a US National Cemetery and now has almost 19,000 graves within its boundaries. The cemetery contains two recipients of the Medal of Honor, as well as several monuments and memorials dedicated to various things. It is worth a visit to see the grounds and the resting place of so many military dead and their families. All of the pictures I took are at their Flickr set, but here are a few notable ones.
The majority of the headstones in the cemetery are what I would consider “normal” military gravestones. However there were a few graves that had been replaced by other styles. These stood out.
During the holiday season, wreaths are placed/allowed-to-be-placed on the headstones.
Rank and organization: Private, Company G, 136th New York Infantry
Place and date: At Peach Tree Creek, Ga., 20 July 1864
Entered service at: Avon, N.Y.
Date of issue: 7 April 1865
Citation: Capture of flag of 31st Mississippi (C.S.A.).
*PHILLIPS, LEE H. (ed. note: The * indicates that Cpl Phillips was killed in action.)
Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, Company E, 2d Battalion, 7 Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.).
Place and date: Korea, 4 November 1950.
Entered service at: Ben Hill, Ga.
Cpl. Phillips was killed in action 27 November 1950.
Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a squad leader of Company E, in action against enemy aggressor forces. Assuming the point position in the attack against a strongly defended and well-entrenched numerically superior enemy force occupying a vital hill position which had been unsuccessfully assaulted on 5 separate occasions by units of the Marine Corps and other friendly forces, Cpl. Phillips fearlessly led his men in a bayonet charge up the precipitous slope under a deadly hail of hostile mortar, small-arms, and machine gun fire. Quickly rallying his squad when it was pinned down by a heavy and accurate mortar barrage, he continued to lead his men through the bombarded area and, although only 5 members were left in the casualty ridden unit, gained the military crest of the hill where he was immediately subjected to an enemy counterattack. Although greatly outnumbered by an estimated enemy squad, Cpl. Phillips boldly engaged the hostile force with handgrenades and rifle fire and, exhorting his gallant group of marines to follow him, stormed forward to completely overwhelm the enemy. With only 3 men now left in his squad, he proceeded to spearhead an assault on the last remaining strongpoint which was defended by 4 of the enemy on a rocky and almost inaccessible portion of the hill position. Using 1 hand to climb up the extremely hazardous precipice, he hurled grenades with the other and, with 2 remaining comrades, succeeded in annihilating the pocket of resistance and in consolidating the position. Immediately subjected to a sharp counterattack by an estimated enemy squad, he skillfully directed the fire of his men and employed his own weapon with deadly effectiveness to repulse the numerically superior hostile force. By his valiant leadership, indomitable fighting spirit and resolute determination in the face of heavy odds, Cpl. Phillips served to inspire all who observed him and was directly responsible for the destruction of the enemy stronghold. His great personal valor reflects the highest credit upon himself and enhances and sustains the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
And of course, these photo strolls are an opportunity to see what pictures come from serendipity.