28 August 2016

Charles Monroe Huff, Retired Navy

100_4228Charles M. Huff was born 27 September 1879 in Haddock, Jones County, Georgia to Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Huff.  Before he was 21 years old, Charles was a member of the United States Navy.  The August 1900 U.S. Federal census shows Charles was stationed at San Jose de Lagouay of the Philippine Islands.  He was part of Company C, 11th Cavalry Regiment, occupied as a blacksmith.

It seems Charles waited until after his naval career to start a family.  He married Fannie Mae Stevens about 1925, and the couple was in Irwinton, Wilkinson County, Georgia for the 1930 census.  Charles was a machinist at the kaolin mine.

Charles was still a resident of Wilkinson County, when he died in July of 1934, but he died in Bibb County.  A portion of his obituary from the 20 July 1934 edition of the Macon Telegraph (full article at GenealogyBank) reads:

Retired Navy Machinist of McIntyre Succumbs Here

Charles Monroe Huff, 54, of McIntyre, died in a local hospital at 6:25 p.m. yesterday.

Mr. Huff…was a retired chief machinist mate, with 20 years of service in the United States navy.  He was a member of the American Legion at Gordon…

Charles left behind a wife, Fannie Mae (Stevens), who was 15 years his junior.  And there were two daughters, Mary and Patsy.  Charles was also survived by his mothers and five siblings:  Lula, Lewis, Whitine, Sam, and Ed.

Charles was laid to rest in the Holly Ridge section of Rose Hill Cemetery.  His widow purchased the single burial plot the day after Charles died.  According to FindAGrave, there is a Fannie M. Stevens Huff resting at Brunswick Memorial Park in Glynn County, Georgia.

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16 August 2016

Ambrose Baber Died from the Effects of His Own Medicine (Tombstone Tuesday)

deathofdrambrosebaber1846In the Spring of 1846, Dr. Baber confidently copied the dosage information from Ellis' Formulary before the prescription was sent off to the druggist.  George Payne, prominent druggist of the time in Macon, Georgia, thought something wasn't quite right.  He filled the prescription, but attached a "beware" note to the vial before giving it to the patient.  When the doctor later called on his patient, a Mr. Jarrell, he was a bit aggravated the medicine hadn't been taken as prescribed.  Jarrell showed Baber the note of caution.  Dr. Baber took some of the medicine to prove its safety to his patient.  Then Dr. Ambrose Baber was no more.

drababer1824Even as late as 1907, more than 60 years after his shocking death, articles were written in the local paper about Dr. Baber.  This is one of many posted at the time of his death.  Issued Wednesday, 11 March 1846, Macon Weekly Telegraph (via GenealogyBank).

DEATH OF DOCT. BABER.
It is with feelings of the deepest sorrow that we are called upon to record the death of Doct. AMBROSE BABER of this city.  We know that this sad news will fill with pain the hearts of a numerous body of admiring friends not only in this community but throughout the State.

This sudden and unexpected stroke has cast a gloom over the whole community.  Doct. Baber was up to the hour he fell in the enjoyment of his usual health and in attendance on the calls of his profession -- but the hand which has so often ministered to the sufferings of others is now cold in death -- the heart which has so often felt for their afflictions has ceased to beat forever.  The scenes of his triumphs and fame witnessed his own fall; he expired about 9 o'clock on Sunday morning last in the chamber of one of his sick patients.  He met death at a moment's warning, in the full possession of all his faculties, and without a murmur resigned his spirit to his God.

In his death what a striking illustration is there given of the uncertainty of life; of the futility of all human calculations; and of the fleeting and perishing nature of all sublunary things.  Like flowers cast upon the unreturning waves which are borne to the wide ocean where they sink and are seen no more forever.

"Earthly things
Are but the transient pageants of an hour;
And earthly pride is like the passing flower
That springs to tall, and blossoms but to die."

Doct. Baber was a native of Rockingham county, Virginia: and after completing his education emigrated early in life to this State, where he has resided, with the exception of a short absence in Europe, ever since.  He served as Surgeon in the Army under Gen. Jackson, in the Seminole campaign.  On repeated occasions he has been a prominent member of one of the political parties of this State: and although differing with him in opinion, his most ardent admirers cannot cherish more sincerely the recollection of his private virtues than the writer of this article.  Doct. Baber has several times represented this county in both branches of the legislature, where he was an influential and efficient member.  In 1841 he was appointed by Gen. Harrison minister to the Court of Turin in the Kingdom of Sardinia, in which capacity he remained until the spring of 1844, when he returned to this city and resumed the practice of his profession.  As a husband and father his devotion and affection were unbounded.  Gifted with a strong mind which was also cultivated well; unchanging in his friendships; with warm and generous feelings; with a high sense of honor and love for all that was noble and elevated in sentiment and practice, he has passed through all the stages of a life far advanced in years with the esteem of all who knew him.

He has left a wife and three children of tender years to mourn his loss.  Our deepest sympathies are with his bereaved and stricken household; with the orphans and the widow. -- But we will not invade the sanctity of their sorrow by attempting to off any words of consolation here.  No human speech can alleviate their anguish or assuage their unspeakable grief.  That solace must come from on high, from the author of every good and perfect gift -- from the father of the fatherless and the widow's stay; and to Him in humble resignation and adoring faith, we are sure they will turn for that consolation which can alone bind up the bleeding heart or assuage the poignancy of grief like theirs.

His funeral will take place from the Episcopal Church this morning at 10 o'clock, and his friends are respectfully invited to attend at that hour without further notice.  His remains will be interred in Rose Hill Cemetery.  Sit tibi terra levis.

Rose Hill Cemetery - June 2009 014"May the earth rest lightly on you." That's what that final Latin phrase translates to – I like it.

If Ambrose Baber is in your family tree, or you just want to know a bit more about him, keep reading.

He was born in September.  Some say 1792, others say 1793.  The first is inscribed on his tombstone.  Edward Ambrose Baber (his full name) was a son of Thomas, who "served on the American side during the War for Independence," and Sarah Oglesby Baber.  He was also a twin to Edward Hardin Baber.  The same first name was a bit much for Ambrose, so he dropped it for adulthood.

Ambrose was a veteran of the War of 1812.  He participated in the Battle of Bladensburg, and was severely wounded.  A friend, Henry St. George Tucker, carried him off the battlefield.  Though Ambrose felt the effects of his wound for the rest of his life, he did somehow recover.  He later named his first son after the friend who saved him.

Dr. Baber received his early medical training in Virginia.  From 1815 to 1817, however, he attended the Medical College at Philadelphia.  After this training, he relocated to Georgia and began his own medical practice.  He first settled in Dublin, Laurens County.  He then moved to Hartford in Pulaski County, where he joined troops fighting in the Seminole War.  His next stop was Marion in Twiggs County.  There, it seems, Dr. Baber would have been content, but a friend (Oliver Hillhouse Prince) requested his help in laying out the new town of Macon in Bibb County.  Ambrose acquiesced, and was residing in Macon by 1824.

It is about here where R. B. Flanders, in his biographical article about Ambrose Baber for the September 1938 Georgia Historical Quarterly, writes:

In contrast with so many members of his profession, this physician did not devote any time to cotton production and plantation management, but attended to his professional duties.  Books were purchased, subscriptions to medical journals were entered, and he sought in every way possible to add to his store of knowledge.

Rose Hill Cemetery - June 2009 022Soon after relocating to Macon, Dr. Baber founded the Constantine Chapter, No. 4, Lodge 34, of the Masonic Order – the organization which he had joined while in Marion.  He obtained the degree of Royal Arch Mason before leaving Twiggs County.  After founding the Constantine Chapter, he became the Worshipful Master of the Lodge and High Priest of the Chapter.  About 1831-1832, he was named Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Georgia.

As alluded to previously, Dr. Baber's medical practice never suffered because of his "extracurricular" activities.  In 1825 he was appointed to the Board of Examiners for the Medical Department of the University of Georgia, and ten years later to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the same.

That same year, Dr. Baber figured heavily in an endeavor that would lead to the founding of Christ Episcopal Church in Macon.  In March of the next year, Ambrose Baber fought in a duel, killing his opponent.

Then there was politics.  Though a personal friend, whose opinion Baber sought, advised against him entering the political arena, the already respected community leader could not say "no." Ambrose Baber was elected Georgia State Senator from Bibb County in 1827, 1831, 1835, 1838, and 1839.

Dr. Baber had a fondness for, and felt a duty to protect, state and national history.  From Flanders' article:

A most valuable service was [Baber's] introduction of a resolution providing for the appointment of a person to go to London to copy the colonial records of Georgia, the appropriation of $4,000 for expenses, and the solicitation of the support of the President of the United States in the enterprise.  While the resolution failed to pass at the time, it was later acted upon, and Baber deserves full credit for his work in the collection and preservation of the historical records of the State.

Let's talk about education.  Baber "was one of the organizers and trustees of Montpelier Institute, an academy located in Macon, and served as its supporter and financial backer for years." His daughter Lucy Marian attended the school.

Baber was also a driving force behind bringing the railroad to Macon.  Flanders wrote the following:

The economic necessities of the State would have resulted in the construction of a road between Macon and Savannah had Baber never lived, but the yeoman's labor he rendered in performing the "spade work" accounts largely for its early success…Over forty years later one man testified that Baber's arguments in 1830 had converted him. "Dr. Baber, I positively know is entitled to the paternity of the Macon and Savannah Railroad," he wrote.  Baber had discussed the matter with him, observing that "the true road to individual and national wealth was the successful tillage of the earth, abundant crops, cheap and easy transportation of them to market for home consumption or exportation.  That would stimulate industry and foster our commerce." With such views he advised the building of the railroad.

Dr. Baber believed in books.  He thoroughly enjoyed reading and discussion.  This led to the Macon Lyceum and Library Society, of which the doctor was president.

Original image by Tim Kemp (Timkemp) via Wikimedia Commons.Baber was a large landowner.  At one time, he owned more than 2,500 acres across five Georgia counties.  This included the family's summer home – called Hamilton – in Habersham County.  The home the family occupied on Walnut Street in Macon (built about 1829-1830) stands today, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.  The property was converted to a medical clinic around 1919.  Baber was also on record as the owner of nineteen slaves.

Still another interest of Baber's was banking.  I won't go into too many specifics, because I honestly find them a bit confusing.  I will note, however, Baber was the president of the Insurance Bank of Columbus, Georgia.  The headquarters were in Macon.

In 1841, Baber reluctantly accepted the undesirable appointment of ChargĂ© d'Affaires to Sardinia.  Flanders described the few years the doctor and his family spent on the Italian island as "altogether unpleasant." And I'm not sure it would even be considered a successful trip for the United States.  Dr. Baber was recalled, and the family returned to Macon in 1844.

Baber resumed his medical practice, though his desire was to retire and permanently relocate to the summer home in Habersham County.  If he had done so, he might have lived longer than his fifty-two or fifty-three years.  Though highly respected and seemingly well-liked, I believe it was a touch of arrogance that stood in the way of his retirement and hastened his death.

Immediate Family

Dr. Ambrose Baber married Mary Eliza Sweet 16 June 1829.  Mary, of Savannah, Georgia, was born 16 June 1810 a daughter of George Dunbar Sweet and Rachel Ross Porcher.  She was just 19 at the time of her marriage to Ambrose (he was 36), and Mrs. Sweet did not approve of the union.  Mary, who supposedly suffered from tuberculosis, was well cared for by Dr. Baber and lived to the age of 84.

Rose Hill Cemetery - June 2009 017Ambrose and Mary had five children:  Floride Calhoun (b. 1830), Henry St. George (b. 1831), George Francis Burleigh (b. 1833), Lucy Marian (b. 1836), and Ella Hunter (b. 1839).  Floride Calhoun and Henry St. George died as infants.  Burleigh was a Naval Officer lost at sea about 1854-1855.  Lucy Marian went on to marry Joseph W. Blackshear, touted by the Hargrett Rare Book & Manuscript Library of the University of Georgia as a "teacher, accountant, and Civil War soldier of Macon." Joseph was a son of Joseph Blackshear and Elizabeth C. Paul.  Ella, the last daughter of Ambrose and Mary, lived to the age of 90, but I know little else about her.

It might be interesting to note (I found it so) that four of the children of Joseph and Lucy Marian were not ready to give up the well-known Baber name.  Ella, Paul, Birdie, and Minnie all took as their surname "Baber-Blackshear."

Research Note:  R. B. Flanders wrote a fabulous, all encompassing article on Ambrose Baber for the Georgia Historical Quarterly in 1938.  His article, source for a large portion of this article, is available at jstor.org --

Flanders, R. B. "AMBROSE BABER." The Georgia Historical Quarterly 22, no. 3 (1938): 209-48. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40576567.

06 August 2016

Appleton P. Collins, Macon City Physician

100_4225Appleton P. Collins was born November 1835 in Macon, Georgia to Charles Collins and Sophia Rossetter.  Appleton graduated from medical school right before the Civil War broke out.  He enlisted 17 May 1861 into Company B of the 2nd Battalion, Georgia Infantry.  Dr. Collins was discharged from that company 1 September 1862 when he was approved to be an assistant surgeon for the Confederate States Army.  His six-page compiled service record file may be viewed online at Fold3.

After the war, Dr. Collins was appointed City Physician for his home town of Macon.  Richard W. Iobst, in Civil War Macon, details the work of the young doctor (1999, Mercer University Press. Pgs. 437 & 438):

The City Council directed Dr. A. P. Collins, the City Physician, to organize a smallpox hospital in July [1865].  With his own money Collins bought suitable furniture including bunks, mattresses, bedding, and cooking utensils to serve a hospital of sixty beds, reporting "The hospital supplies did not cost the city one farthing not even hauling to the hospital." Colonel White, then Commandant of the Post, had allowed Collins the use of an army ambulance to carry smallpox cases from the city to the hospital.  Collins, under the authority of the Mayor and City Council, employed three hospital attendants...By December, through careful management, Collins and his staff had spent only $60 of public money to purchase provisions.  Only two cords of wood were provided by the city because, Collins explained, "I have managed to surmount it [the scarcity of wood] by making the convalescent patients and attendants go to the rear of the hospital and cut old logs and brush." After being forced to turn over the ambulance to the Freedmens Bureau on 27 November Collins used his own team to carry smallpox cases out of Macon to the hospital free of charge to the city.

Since the hospital was organized Collins had admitted and treated about 300 smallpox cases, 275 Blacks and twenty-five whites, treating all of these with medicine, food, nursing, and bedding, and had not received pay or compensation for one third of those he cared for...

Appleton P. Collins married Susan Campbell, daughter of Edward Dorr Tracy, Jr., 15 October 1879.  Dr. Collins was almost 44 years of age, and Susie was just 21.  The couple would have two daughters, the youngest born just a few years before the doctor's death.  This daughter, Sophia Rossetter Collins, would live to be 103 years old.

tracy-steele-collins

Dr. Appleton P. Collins died 8 December 1886, just days after his 51st birthday.  The following is from 9 December 1886 Macon Telegraph (full obituary available online at GenealogyBank).

DEATH OF DR. COLLINS

Another Prominent Citizen of Macon Passes Quietly Away.
The death of Dr. Appleton P. Collins occurred yesterday morning at his residence on Madison street at 3:30 o'clock.

His death was not wholly unexpected.  For several weeks he had been confined to his bed by a partial stroke of paralysis, and though everything was done that medical skill and loving, watchful care could do, all hope for his recovery fled a few days ago.

Dr. Collins was fifty-one years old on Sunday, November 28th, and was born in Macon.  His school days were spent here, and though he did not receive a collegiate education, his unusually bright and active mind gave him an advantage that made him the peer of many who had gone through all the books.

When the war broke out he had just graduated with distinction from the Medical College of New Orleans.  The Macon Volunteers, of which he was a member, left Macon for Virginia, and he followed them two weeks later to join them at Norfolk.  A year later he was assigned to one of the hospitals at Richmond as surgeon.

After the war he returned to Macon and was made city physician at a time when the great small-pox epidemic prevailed.  At one time he had about 1,000 cases under his care.  When his term expired he concluded to retire from the practice of medicine, having a sufficiency to live upon.  He made two trips to Europe and extended his travels to the Holy Land, in which he took a great interest.

…About six years ago he married Miss Susie Tracey, who survives him with two children.

His funeral takes place this afternoon from Christ Church, and he will be buried with Masonic honors.

One final note:  Appleton P. Collins' last will and testament is available in the Georgia Wills and Probate Records database at Ancestry.

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05 August 2016

He Never Disgraced the Jacket of Grey: Final Funeral for Gen. Edward D. Tracy

Edward_Dorr_TracyIt's not difficult to find record of Brigadier-General Edward Dorr Tracy, Jr.'s service for the Confederate cause.  So I was a bit reluctant to take the time to make a post about him for the blog.  Conversely, I thought, if my goal is to eventually tell the story of every resident of this silent city, Edward Tracy must be included.  And maybe I'll share something here not everyone knows, or at least is not oft found on the great, wide Internet.  You tell me.

Edward Dorr Tracy, Jr. was born 5 November 1833 in Macon, Georgia to Judge Edward Dorr Tracy of Connecticut and Caroline Campbell.  The son graduated from the University of Georgia in 1851, and in the latter part of that decade moved to Huntsville, Alabama to practice law.  He joined the Confederate Army in 1861 and rose in rank all the way to Brigadier-General.  Edward D. Tracy, Jr. fell at Port Gibson, Mississippi May 1863.  He "fell near the front line, pierced through the breast, and instantly died without uttering a word." [Quote from bio at American Civil War General Officers.]

Richard W. Iobst writes in Civil War Macon (1999, Mercer University Press) about the attempts to get Tracy's body back home:

"William Angelo Steele wrote his sister Ellen, Tracy's widow, that he tried to bring her husband's body through the lines in early June 1863.  However, the fighting was so intense in that part of Mississippi, that Tracy was taken to the home of a local jurist, Judge Baldwin, dressed, and given a proper burial in Port Gibson in the Baldwin Lot…

In late July, 1863, Tracy's sword was sent to his wife by J. Woodson Smith.  The Tracy and Johnston Families attempted to have Tracy's body returned from Port Gibson through the highest levels of the Confederate War Department, but were unsuccessful…

100_4226Three long years would pass before the body of Brig. Gen. Edward Dorr Tracy, Jr. would be returned to Macon.  In fact, he was reinterred at Rose Hill Cemetery just nine days after the third anniversary of his death.  The final funeral was reported on by Harry J. Neville for the 11 May 1866 Macon Telegraph (full article may be viewed online at GenealogyBank):

The Funeral Honors to General Tracy.
Yesterday our whole population seemed to vie in paying tribute of respect to the remains of the lamented General E. D. Tracy, who fell at Port Gibson.  From an early hour until the procession had passed beyond the city limits, nearly every store was closed – many of our prominent merchants taking part in the ceremonies.

The body, in the original metallic casket in which it had been buried nearly three years ago, covered with a strong oaken box, was placed in state in the large hall in the Passenger Depot, to the left of the entrance.  This box, thought not draped with martial colors, was profusely decorated with immortelles, wreaths and boquets [sic] – among which the magnolia was prominent.

MagnoliaBloom2Near the head we noticed the following inscription, written by some loving hand:

"We placed him as rest, in his cold narrow bed,
And grieved o'er the marble we placed at his head,
As the proudest tribute our sad hearts could pay.
He never disgraced the jacket of grey."

While at the foot these lines might have been read:

"There is a tear for all who die --
A mourner o'er the humblest grave,
But nations swell the funeral cry,
And triumph weeps above the brave."

It was at first proposed to use the ordinary hearse for such occasions; but it having been proposed to obtain the fine new wagon of the National Express Company, it was readily secured, and under the efficient superintendence of Wm. H. Ross, Esq., and a committee of gentlemen, it was soon appropriately draped with black and white, and with its four fine horses, presented a fitting appearance.

At 11 o'clock precisely, the body was placed within the funeral car – the pall bearers being composed of alternate members of the Macon Volunteers and the Fire Department, to the number of six.

…The Volunteers, of which the deceased was a member, acted as escort of honor to the cortege,…

The procession was a long and most imposing one, and on the whole route, the people of every sex and condition lined the sidewalks, and by their sad looks evidenced that the heart of the whole community pulsated with grief on the occasion.

Though the old band of the Macon Volunteers was out, not a martial note broke the deep hush of the city.

Arrived at the Cemetery, the funeral services were read by the Rev. David Wills, of the Presbyterian Church – of which the lamented deceased had long been a member – and at the conclusion of the impressive service, all that was mortal of Edward D. Tracy was forever hid from mortal ken, to slumber amid the solitudes of Oak Ridge, till the final reveille shall summon the sleeper forth…

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22 July 2016

Helping Georgia's Blind and Serving the Confederate Soldier

solidarity-blindFrom it's inception in 1851 to his death thirty years later, Dr. James Mercer Green was attached to the Georgia Academy for the Blind.  He co-founded the project and was on the board of trustees as president and medical director.  The following article, which was one of many to come, kicked off the idea and fund raising for the cause.  (Full article transcribed by Margie A. Daniels for USGenNet.org.)

5 April 1851, Georgia Citizen

THE BLIND IN GEORGIA

We are happy to learn that an effort is now making for the commencement of an Institution for the education of the blind youth of our State, and that a meeting for the purpose of encouraging and sustaining this effort, will be held on Monday evening next, at half-past seven o'clock, at the Methodist Church.  An address will be delivered on this occasion by Walter S. Fortescue, a graduate of the Pennsylvania Institution for the Blind, and more recently a graduate of the University of that State, at the close of which, preparatory measures for the establishment of an institution of this character will doubtless be taken by the citizens.  When it is remembered that the Legislatures of more than two-thirds of the States have already made ample arrangements for the education of their blind, it is to us a matter of surprise that Georgia, occupying so prominent a position in the Union as she does, should have so long remained indifferent to the to the [sic] educational interests of this class of her youth…

When Dr. Green's life and commitment to the academy was complete upon his death in 1881, a lengthy obituary (of which a portion I shared yesterday) was printed in the local newspaper.  Regarding the work of Dr. Green and the Georgia Academy for the Blind, this is what was said (in part):

He was the first to suggest the idea of establishing the Georgia Academy for the Blind, located at Macon, and of whose board of directors he was the first and only president.  One of the officers of the institution, entirely familiar with its history, thus writes:  "Dr. Green was a man whose benevolent instincts were largely developed.  He ever regarded human suffering and infirmity with compassionate feeling.  Institutions designed for the amelioration of the sufferings of these classes of our fellow creatures, received a large measure of his study and interest.  He kept himself informed as to their specail [sic] work, and was a zealous advocate of their cause.  This was notably the case as to the Georgia Academy for the Blind…Although at that time actively engaged in the prosecution of his profession, and encumbered with a large practice, he found time to exert all the influence he had, enlisting his numerous friends by personal appeals and solicitations in behalf of the enterprise…He was made a member of the board of temporary trustees, and when the enterprise culminated in a chartered State charity, he was named with N. C. Munroe, A. H. Chappell, John B. Lamar, E. B. Weed, R. A. Smith and E. Graves as corporators, and when the board was organized on June 23, 1852, he was selected as the president, which office he held continuously until his death, a period of nearly thirty years.  In his office as trustee and president of the board he ever held a just appreciation of the proposed design of the institution, and gave his earnest support to all measures designed specifically to promote the same, and finding his highest gratification in its advancement and success in this particular respect.

"During this period he was from his universally acknowledged fitness for the position by a unanimous vote of his associates appointed attending physician of the academy, and in that position fully merited and retained, throughout this long period, the entire confidence of the trustees and officers charged with the internal management of the establishment.  To the duties of this office, always varied and often perplexing, he gave the most unremitting and assiduous attention, and they were discharged not only with scrupulous fidelity, but with the highest skill.  He had the highest regard for his responsibilities in the offices he held; and in the discharge of the various duties they imposed, he displayed eminent qualifications and fitness, great zeal, activity and talent.  His connection with the Academy for the Blind will be long and gratefully remembered by its friends and the people of the State, and the loss they have sustained in the death of one of their earliest, most constant and devoted friends, will be keenly felt and sincerely deplored."

The remembrance continues by speaking of the next useful contribution to his community made by Dr. Green:

…When the tocsin of war sounded and his fellow-citizens were summoned to the field in defense of right and country, although in feeble health and over age, he cheerfully abandoned the comforts of home and repaired to the scene of conflict, ministering to the wants of the sick and wounded, and continued faithful in this work to the end of the strife, at all times regardless of his own interest…

 Field hospital via Flickr Commons.Dr. Green was much involved in the promotion of Georgia's secession from the Union.  And it seems, that from the very start of the war, he desired to be involved with the Confederate hospitals and helping the sick, wounded, and dying.  He wrote the following to Howell Cobb early in the war:  [Civil War Macon by Richard W. Iobst.  Pub. 1999, Mercer University Press.  Pg. 107.]

"I feel convinced that it is in my power to [be] of great service to hundreds of our poor sick & dying soldiers who are too often treated as if they were paupers instead of the owners of the medicines & supplies so munificently sent from Georgia for their relief."

Dr. Green was in control of the Macon hospitals by 1863.  Specifically, at least at some point, he was Chief Surgeon of the Floyd House Hospital.

The Georgia Academy for the Blind was even converted to a hospital at the persuasion of Dr. Green after Macon was inundated with hundreds more soldier patients after the Battle of Chickamauga.  By the close of 1863, Dr. Green was very pleased with how the Macon hospitals were being run.

There were challenges, tough ones, of course.  But even a year more into the war, when trying desperately to find more beds for needy soldiers, Dr. Green retains his passion and writes this:

"What shall be done with these men shall our brave sick & wounded lie on the floor or be turned into the streets – every one almost will answer no."

And later this:

"It is disgusting…to see the contemptuous indifference & even hatred that many of these wealthy foreigners & yankees & some disloyal men of Southern birth have to everything concerning the soldiers, hospitals &c.  I desire most sincerely to be able to learn some of these men their duties to the Govt. that protects them."

Through all this, the hospitals of Macon were still given high marks.

[Note:  If you have any interest in the history of Macon, or the Civil War and how it may have effected a city such, I encourage you to read the aforementioned Civil War Macon: The History of a Confederate City by Richard W. Iobst.  From inside front flap:  "Richard W. Iobst has produced an encyclopedic account of Macon, Georgia, during the years 1859-1865." – I personally find it to be an invaluable resource.]

21 July 2016

A Cenotaph More Durable than Marble: James Mercer Green, M.D. (1815-1881)

Photo by James Allen.Where do I begin with James Mercer Green? Often, in older newspaper articles commenting on the life of a person recently deceased, you will see the word useful used to describe said individual.  We don't use the word in the same way as much anymore.  What I interpret that term to mean in that context, is the recently deceased individual gave more to their community than they took.  That their life made other lives better.  It doesn't have to be in some grand way, necessarily, it simply means the community benefited from their presence in it.

Useful, based on the research I've conducted, truly describes the life of Dr. James Mercer Green.  And in his case, there are, some might say, a couple of grand examples.  Before we get to those larger examples, let's go over the "basics."

James Mercer Green was born 15 November 1815 in Georgia (maybe Milledgeville?) to Dr. William Montgomery Green and his second wife, Jane McKonkey.  It may or may not be important to note, I'm not sure Dr. William Green was a physician, though I have seen him described as such.  He was an educator, having been the Director of Mathematics and Languages at Franklin College (UGA) in Athens, Georgia.  Dr. William Green also opened academies in Milledgeville, Baldwin County.

Less than a month after his thirteenth birthday, the mother of James Mercer Green died.  Yet he pressed on, and graduated from Jefferson Medical College at Philadelphia in 1837.  Dr. James M. Green would follow that vocation for the rest of his life.

When Dr. James Mercer Green died 13 June 1881 in Macon, a funeral notice in the local newspaper described him as "the oldest practitioner in the city." Some twenty years earlier, when pushing for Dr. Green to get a position at a military hospital, wealthy Maconite John B. Lamar described him as "the best physician we have in Macon, as he is the only physician who attends me, when I am sick." [Civil War Macon by Richard W. Iobst.  Pub. 1999, Mercer University Press.  Pg. 96.]

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
10 July 1881 -- pg. 1 [Entire article available online at GenealogyBank.]

Obituary.
On the 13th day of June, 1881, James Mercer Green, M.D., for years one of the most prominent, useful, distinguished and highly esteemed citizens of Macon, passed from time to eternity.  He was the son of William Green, M.D., a native of Ireland, and graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, who, driven from his native land, on account of his intense love of freedom and of country (having participated in the rebellion of Lord Edward Fitzgerald,) like numbers of his illustrious fellow exiles, found on these shores a warm welcome and generous appreciation…Dr. James Mercer Green was born on the 15th of November, 1815, and like his brothers, the late Drs. Thomas F. and H. K, Green, was educated by his father, who was not only a faithful, but highly competent instructor of youth.  He taught his pupils to think and to study, and their after career reflected the highest credit upon his fidelity and skill.  Thus equipped, the subject of this sketch entered upon the study of his chosen profession, and having completed his preparatory course to the satisfaction of the late Benj. A. White, of Milledgeville, matriculated at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, where he graduated as doctor of medicine in the year 1837.  Immediately upon his graduation he returned to Macon, which had been his home since 1831, and entered upon the practice of his profession, in connection with his brother, Dr. H. K. Green.  Almost from the commencement, they had a varied and extensive practice, and rapidly rose to prominence, in a community that could boast of quite a number of able and accomplished practitioners.  After many years, when this professional connection was dissolved, Dr. J. Mercer Green continued active practice on his own account, and notwithstanding his numerous and exacting professional engagements, he devoted much time and thought to political duties, and for one at least of the great public charities of the State, he was an earnest worker to the day of his death.  Like his eldest brother, Dr. Thomas Fitzgerald Green, who for more than thirty years was connected in controlling capacity with the State lunatic asylum, he had a warm sympathy for and an ardent desire to minister to the wants of the afflicted of his race…

…Dr. Green had very exalted but very just views of the character and learning of his profession, and he scrupulously guarded it from practices that had a tendency to lower its dignity and impair confidence in its integrity.  The foundation of all professional excellence is broad, generous and extensive culture, and Dr. Green was a conspicuous example of this truth.  He was well read in history, philosophy and polite literature.  His acquintance [sic] with the best of our English classics was extensive and accurate.

There was nothing that affected the wellbeing of his country in which he did not take an active interest…

In 1846, Dr. Green was united in marriage to the eldest daughter of the late Hon. Oliver H. Prince.  She, after many years of wedded happiness, with two only of their children, is left to cherish his memory and to deplore their loss.  But they are not as those who mourn without hope.  In early life he united with the Episcopal church, and for twenty years was senior warden of Christ Church parish, Macon.  Few men have had the good fortune to leave behind them more pleasing and grateful memories.  A cenotaph more durable than marble is erected in the hearts of those whose sufferings he alleviated and whose maladies he healed.  This feeling descending from them to their posterity will be a precious legacy to his children and their descendants.     A FRIEND.

James Mercer Green, M.D. rests in the Magnolia Ridge section of Rose Hill Cemetery.  Next time, we'll look at a couple of those grand examples that made Dr. Green such a useful individual.

20 July 2016

Yankees Killed Aleck A. Menard?

menard20690phAlexander Ambrose Menard, a well-known druggist about the city of Macon, was born between 1828 and 1830 in Georgia to S. and Victorine Menard.  He joined the Jackson Artillery of Bibb County and is listed on an 1861 muster roll of this, Capt. Dure's Company, at the age of 31.  But it was something that happened after the Civil War that perhaps followed, even hastened, Aleck to his grave. (Image at right by James Allen.)

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
23 March 1881 -- pg. 1 [via GenealogyBank]

Death of A. A. Menard, Esq.
The many friends and acquaintances in Macon of Mr. Aleck Menard were surprised to hear of his death, which occurred yesterday afternoon, very suddenly, about 3:30, at his residence in this city.

Congestion of the brain is thought to have been the immediate cause of his death, produced from the effects of a blow given Mr. Menard on the head shortly after the war.  When he was in Albany, Georgia, and while standing by, having nothing to do with a fight in which Yankee soldiers were engaged four of the soldiers attacked Mr. Menard, one of whom gave him a severe blow with a gun on the head.  Mr. Menard has frequently suffered from the effects of this blow, and his death is supposed to have resulted finally from this, though he has been more or less unwell for several months past.

Mr. Menard was out on the streets Monday, but became indisposed that night, and Tuesday morning grew worse, when about noon he was taken seriously ill, physicians sent for, and he gradually became weaker and, and in the afternoon about 3:30 o'clock calmly died.

Perhaps Mr. Menard was as well known as any man in Macon, where he has followed the drug business long years, and had a retail drug store on Fourth street at the time of his demise.  He was a genial gentleman and will be sadly missed.  He leaves a wife and family.  His sons, Messrs.  Victor and Robert Menard have a large circle of acquaintances.  We understand that the funeral will not be held until the arrival of Mr. Robert Menard from Hot Springs, Arkansas, where he is engaged in business.

I would like to point out, though you probably already noticed, the death year on Mr. Menard's ledger marker pictured above is incorrect.  It should be 1881, not 1885.  Aleck rests in the Central Avenue Division of Rose Hill Cemetery -- A precious memory.

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