The Sleepy Side Of Guyton Essay, Research Paper
The Sleepy Side of Guyton
An aging cemetery is a place of finality, death, and ending of life to many people. To some people a cemetery is a place to get away from the distractions and noise of everyday life. It is a place to go and reflect on past and present events. Though the inhabitants cannot audibly speak from the silent graves, many heard stories arise.
Entering the Guyton Cemetery, one finds a well-traced path. This path has obviously been walked upon many times. Many car tracks, bicycle tire prints, and footprints line the dark sandy path. Many small, smooth pebbles lie scattered throughout, and weeds grow in between. The long dirt road winds continuously throughout the entire cemetery, dividing it into sections. There are many stories here and some are lost forever.
The very first section of this cemetery is a place where the African Americans are buried. In this old cemetery, blacks and whites are not buried amongst each other, but in separate sections. There is an old rusted iron fence, which separates the burial grounds of these two races. If one follows the worn path through the first section, silk flowers, cracked urns, and broken tombstones meet the wondering eyes. Some of the graves are old, and weather and time have slowly erased the legibility of the precious carved words.
It is believed that these old graves are inhabited by the remains of the slaves, who lived in the eighteen hundreds. Many descendants of these slaves visit the graves and mourn the unjust treatment that was given to their ancestors. As one follows the path, a stone vault and newer graves soon appear.
The pathway then twists to the burial grounds of the unknown Confederate soldiers. Twenty-six of the Confederate unknown are buried here. These soldiers died in the Guyton General Hospital during the Civil War. Many soldiers never returned home from the Civil War. Many wives were widowed and many children were left without fathers. The confusion and unending wondering felt by these soldiers wives is an unbearable feeling.
A crisscross pattern of red and brown brick line the wall that surrounds the simple graves, seeming to protect them from harm. A bleached white monument is erected in the middle of the grass, paying tribute to the men who gave up their lives for the freedom of their country. Across the brick archway of the wall stretches a recently draped Confederate flag. As the peaceful flag sways in time with the wind, it crackles and ripples. The red of the flag is quite visible in this quiet place and reminds people of the blood the soldiers shed for a cause they so passionately believe in. As the flag blows in the wind, it points people further down the path.
The path then winds its way to a section of the cemetery that houses the graves of many children. Walking through this section, one cannot help but wonder what it was that caused such young, innocent children to be laid to rest so early in life. Many years have caused the inscriptions to disappear. One can barely read the inscriptions and many tombstones are cracked. However, Little Maud , Nov. 18, 1891 to Dec. 30,1892, Not Dead But Sleeping legible. Little Maud s brother, Little Deizel, Asleep in Jesus, lies beside his sister. These stones mark a family who suffered the loss of two infants, within a single year. What agony and unbearable pain they must have felt during this time. It is evident from the numerous graves that many families during the turn of the century endured this pain. Delicate, marble angels rest perched on the young children s graves. Did their parents gain a comfort knowing that an angel kept watch over their children? The once white angels look comforting and serene as they continue to watch over the sleeping children.
The slaves, Confederate soldiers, and sleeping children all lie resting for eternity. The Guyton Cemetery is a place of peace and rest for the residents here and all that visit. The inhabitants, though gone, still illustrate the life and history of the community through the stories that they tell. The stories and history that arise here are lessons to the present citizens of Guyton as well as to future generations.