Southern Legacy
Part 1

May 09, 2019 by jw

This blog post is meant to be educational and to shed light on small, rural towns in the deep South that are still run by families whose ancestors helped develop the areas, were wealthy, and had political connections. Those ancestors were slaveholders. The southern mentality has never died and the Confederacy is treated like a heritage not as a terroristic traitor. The tradition and wanton flaunting of the Confederacy in these towns is disrespectful to African-Americans. Schools and virtually all the counties in Georgia are named after Confederate, racist politicians who owned slaves. In no other part of the U.S. would a school named after a person in the Nazi regime be allowed. Jewish people would not stand for it and they definitely wouldn't attend the school. Yet, here, schools named after Jefferson Davis (the Confederacy President), Robert Toombs (Senator, slaveowner, and organizer of the Confederacy), and many others exist. The African slave holocaust to America & in America lasted almost two-hundred and fifty years. And another one-hundred plus fighting for rights and being terrorized. Displays such as these belong in a history museum, not in the public domain but will probably exist, forever, in the South.

Nestled between two Baptist churches in the old, historic downtown, a non-descript cemetery sits. Officially, it's called the McMillan Burial Ground. It's named after a Scottish-American, Malcolm McMillan, an early settler of this part of southeast Georgia. He was born in Laurel Hill, Scotland County, North Carolina from Scottish Highlander parents. The area, then, was a pinewoods area filled with potential and dangers from the fertile soil to the Native Americans that fought to keep their land. At first glance, the cemetery looks ordinary, somewhat unkempt, and plain. But upon closer inspection it is anything but ordinary. This is a cemetery that was originally dedicated to burying Confederate soldiers who died enroute to hospitals, in southeastern Georgia, as the Confederates retreated from Union soldiers in 1864. Caravans going through the area stopped and buried soldiers in this cemetery. The original wooden markers with the names have all been lost to the elements, vandalism and history, hence the Unknown designation.

*If you're on a desktop, hover over each image, below, and click to enlarge.

All images shot and edited on an iPhone by Project McRae.

Why is this cemetery able to flaunt its obvious treacherous and traitor legacy, you ask? In one short answer - because this is the deep south. After the Civil War and Reconstruction the same people who were wealthy before the war, slaveholders, and had the mentality that slaves were not human and should not be granted rights, those individuals were put back in charge of the South.

These same Scottish families, generations later, still run these towns. If you look at the surnames of all the local politicians in this area and the state level politicians you will see the same surnames that were listed as people who founded these areas, were wealthy slaveholders, and/or politicians with a true southern mentality. People still believe their southern ancestors fought admirably and fought for a cause. In reality that cause was not noble nor right - to keep their way of life and economy of generating huge sums of money through slavery.

In 1996, a lot of these huge monuments were dedicated to the cemetery by the Sons of the Confederacy. In a huge ceremony, some of the stones with inscriptions and poems were laid to great fan-fare of the town residents that gathered. That was twenty-three years ago. The mindset still has not changed after one-hundred and fifty-four years.