Midway Cemetery
County:Liberty
City:Midway
Type:Cemetery
Cemetery at Midway, Georgia
Midway Cemetery,
Midway, Georgia
Started in 1754 by the Puritans who settled the community of Midway, the Midway Cemetery is a traditional walled cemetery of the time. Within these walls the story of the small community between the Ogeechee and Altamaha Rivers comes to life in the graves of the men and women buried here. Probably the most famous person in the cemetery is James Screven, a hero of the American Revolution who was honored by having a county named after him. He was an early Radical leader from St. John's Parish.

During the first English advance into the state of Georgia in 1778, Screven advanced to Midway with 21 Georgia militia in support of local settlers who had formed a line at Midway Church. The Committee of Safety had temporarily promoted him to general so that he would be in command of the men at Midway. Screven advanced the line to a low ridge just over a mile south of the city then began to scout in front of the line. He ran into enemy troops, and was mortally wounded during the encounter. He died three days later a British prisoner-of-war.

General Daniel Stewart is also buried within the walls of the cemetery. Stewart served in the Revolution as a boy, under such famous leaders as Francis Marion ("The Swamp Fox") and Thomas Sumter. He went on to distinguish himself during the Indian Wars that followed the Revolutionary War.

Cemetery at Midway, Georgia
Grave of John Elliot family,
Midway Cemetery
Midway, Georgia
Elliot was a Patriot who led the provincial congress and served a term as U. S. Senator
The wall around the cemetery is made of brick, covered by plaster of Paris for protection. It was built in 1813, and a crack in the wall on the northeast corner is a testament to the ghost story associated with the cemetery. It seems that slaves were used to build the wall, and a bitter argument erupted between two of them. During the fight one of the slaves was killed and buried beneath the wall by the other slave. He told his master that the murdered slave had run-off. As the wall was completed it immediately developed a crack where the slave had been buried. A number of times attempts were made to repair the crack, but each time the crack reappeared. Finally, the ground around the crack was dug up and the slave's bones were discovered and removed.. Still, each time the wall is repaired the crack reappears.

Georgia governor Nathan Brownson is purported to be buried in the cemetery. One of three physicians to serve as governor, Brownson was elected after the fall of Augusta in January, 1781. The state he ruled had no major towns under Patriot control and he was constantly armed in case of an attack by the British. His government-in-exile was a major thorn in the British side, for Britain wanted to claim control of the state. Americans pointed to Governor Brownson's administration to prove otherwise. Although Brownson only served 4 and 1/2 months his term in office is generally viewed as a success because he confiscated Tory property and sold it to buy food and supplies for the Georgia militia and people of the state. His distinguished career also included serving in the Continental Congress.

A brochure that contains a walking tour of the cemetery is available from the Midway Museum. This walking tour, which takes about an hour, features information on individuals buried in Midway Cemetery as well as stories about the graveyard and unusual gravestones and epitaphs.


Location: Midway Georgia on U. S. 17
Directions: From Savannah: Take I-95 South to exit 87 (U. S. 17 / Coastal Highway ). The ramp loops around to Highway 17. Turn left and go for 10.7 miles to Midway Museum. Turn left into the museum parking lot.

From Brunsick:Take I-95 North to exit 76. At the end of the ramp turn left and travel 3.7 miles to U. S. 17. Turn right and travel <.1 miles to the Midway Museum parking. Turn right and park.
Additional information:
Midway Cemetery is supported by donations. You may give money to support the Church and cemetery in the museum, or put it in a donation box outside Midway Church.

Address:
Midway Church and Society
P.O. Box 202
Midway, Georgia 31320
Date added: February 28, 2004
Last update: February 29, 2004


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