Perhaps the most unique artifact of the Civil War is found, not in any museum, but out in the open, braving the elements, on a courthouse lawn attached to a marble base, the "First Cannon Ball Fired at Outbreak of the War Between the States at Fort Sumter, April 12, 1861." An engraving on the base tells the story of the cannon ball: It was "Presented to the UDC by Mrs. Sallie White to whom it was given in 1861 by P.W. Alexander, leading Confederate war correspondent who was present when the ball was fired and knew it to be the first. The first marker stating these facts was erected on this square in 1919." The courthouse has several other memorials to the Civil War, including a marker noting Upson County as the birthplace of famed Gen. John B. Gordon; A Woodmen of the World memorial to the Upson County men who were missing in action in the Civil War; and an Upson County Confederate monument. On April 17, Union cavalry, Wilson's Raiders, surprised 50 Confederates guarding Double Bridges over the Flint in Upson County, and marched to Thomaston where they destroyed three textile factories and a train filled with Confederate stores. Late on the 19th, a train unwittingly arrived from Macon, only to be seized by the Raiders. On the train were newspapers whose news sent cheers roaring through the Yankees. Lee had surrendered to Grant!
Thomaston, a cotton mill town on the Flint River located on a spur off the Macon and Western Railroad, was the location of two Confederate hospitals, the Newsom and Frank Ramsey, and several temporary hospitals. A Confederate cemetery holds 54 soldiers, six unknown, who died in these hospitals. The grave of Dr. Edward A. Flewellen, a noted Confederate surgeon and Medical Director for the Army of Tennessee, is near this spot. The Rock also has a Confederate Cemetery.
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