After the war, the Midway Society rebuilt the town. The current church, open to tour, was built in 1792 in a New England style and is the second oldest in Georgia. The area experienced prosperity until the War Between the States, when cavalry forces with Union Gen. William T. Sherman invaded the area during his March to the Sea. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick occupied Midway and Sunbury for six weeks, destroying plantations, crops, and the railroad. Kilpatrick used the church as a slaughterhouse and the churchyard as a corral. The church's prized melodeon was used as a meat block. (It has been preserved and today is used as a communion table.) Midway was abandoned after the War and the church stopped holding services. Today, the church is used for special events such as weddings.
The area has produced many famous people who have left their stamp on America. Several of these being Midway ministers: the Reverend Abiel Holmes, father of Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, the author, and grandfather of Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes; the Reverend Jedidiah Morse, father of S.F.B. Morse, inventor of the telegraph; and Dr. I.S.K. Axson, grandfather of the first Mrs. Woodrow Wilson. General Daniel Steward, a member of the congregation, was the great grandfather of President Theodore Roosevelt. Five Georgia counties were named for Midway citizens: Baker, Gwinnett, Hall, Screven, and Stewart.
Midway Museum was built in 1957 in a raised-cottage style typical of those built on the coast in the eighteenth century. It houses many exhibits and materials about Midway's history, including exhibits and information on its Revolutionary War and Civil War periods. The museum's library can be used with permission for researching genealogy.
The beautiful, historic cemetery across the street contains huge live oaks that shade roughly 1,200 graves. Many burials are the final resting grounds of Midway's most distinguished persons, including General James Screven, General Daniel Stewart, and Louis LeConte of Woodmanston Plantation. The 6-foot-high, 18-inch-thick wall encircling the roughly 2-acre cemetery was built in 1813 of English brick, and was used as a corral by Union troops under Sherman. The monument in the center memorializes generals Stewart and Screven.
Directions: I-95 south from Savannah to Exit 76. Go west on GA 38/US 84 approximately 2.2 miles. Turn right on Martin Road. Drive 1.3 miles. to Midway National Historic District. Cemetery is directly ahead across US 17 and museum and church are on right.
Activities: Historical touring, museum. Call for special scheduled events, such as Fourth of July BBQ and re-enactment events.
Facilities: Museum, bookstore, restrooms.
Dates: Closed Mondays. Call ahead for museum hours, which change seasonally. Phone (912) 884-5837.
Fees: A small fee is charged for the museum.
Closest town: Midway.
For more information: Midway Museum, PO Box 195, Midway, GA 31320. Phone (912) 884-5837.
Memory Hill Cemetery
fell mortally wounded in battle before July 22, 1864 while gallantly leading his regiment a in charge on a battery of federal artillery. He was a warded herald southern man and won his rights early by his respected acts of heroism and chivalrous in defense of his native state where ever he and the invading forces who ever regarded her enemies he never failed to strike in her defense.
In 1868 the capitol was moved from Milledgeville to Atlanta. Since 1890 the mansion has been the home of Georgia College presidents. The two lower floors are open to the public.There are guided tours given hourly.
Today it serves as an historic house museum. It is the most noted of the Greek Revival Architecture in Georgia. It is a National Historical Landmark.
In the town plan of 1803 the cemetery was one of four public squares, approximately 20 acres each, later changed to Cemetery Square. The Confederate Monument erected in 1868 here is a plain obelisk marked,
Erected June 3 1909 by the Wayside Home Chapter 1030 U.D.C.
“In honor of our Confederate soldiers whom power could not corrupt. Whom death could not testify. Whom defeat could not dishonor. Those who served the Confederacy”
Reading the inscription around the monument:
“They were men who by the simple manhood of their lives, by their strict adherence to the principles of right. By their sublime courage and unspeakable sacrifices, won to the heroism of death have preserved for us through the gloom of defeat.” “ A priceless heritage of honor. For each single wreck in the war path of right, shall yet be a rock in the temple of right.”
To those who fell, Crossed flags are beneath the inscription
The Wayside Home Chapter #1030 of the U.D.C. in no longer active.
“To our Confederate dead.”
"Erected June1,1907 by
Memorial Association and the surviving confederate veterans. On the back and
are the letters "CSA", topping this is a soldier standing at ease holding
“Crowns of roses fade,
crowns of thorns endure. Calvaries and crucifixions take deepest hold of
humanity. The triumphs of might are transient, they pass and are
The sufferings of right are graven deepest on the chronicle of nations.”
The Monticello Chapter #654 of the U. D. C. is no longer active.
When I photographed this monument restoration work was being done on the CourtHouse and the entire square was fenced off. You might see some wiring in the photo.
went out from Richmond to townships great and small our Southern land is
threatened the Yankees tread our soil. Our boys
rose up to meet the foe and protect our Dixieland. They forced them out of
Sumter, then Jackson made a stand. In many different places our boys fought
valiantly, in summer heat and winter cold with Johnston,
Jackson and Lee. Through many battles won and lost our boys were proud and
brave, for heritage and southern rights, they gave their all to save. Lee
“Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you
should never wish to do less.” Robert E. Lee. Well if we are to die we are
to die like men.” Pat Cleburne, Franklin, Tenn. Dec. 1864