Soldiers Cemetery
Eastern Cemetery
Quincy, Florida

"Soldiers Cemetery" - Quincy, Florida, October 2000

As burial places go, this one is so cryptic as to require explication.  Defined by a wrought iron fence the greater part of which appears to have been made at a local smithy, Soldiers Cemetery is a portion of the Eastern Cemetery of the City of Quincy, in Gadsden County, Florida.  Inside the perimeter which runs approximately 50 feet east/west by 116 feet north/south, are only two markers and a centrally located planting featuring a date palm tree.  One marker is situated near the middle of the eastern side of the fence and bears the name and birth and death dates of David R. Roe, a Confederate veteran.  The other marker is located a few feet inside of the only gate, which is situated in the middle of the south side of the fence.  Turned sideways to that entrance it is in the form of a small and ordinary headstone and says simply: "Unknown.  C.S.A.  1861.-65.  That terse marker stands as the only tribute to an unknown number of Confederate Soldiers who died at Quincy during... and possibly after... the War Between the States.
During that long-ago war, Quincy was for a time the site of the headquarters for the District of Middle Florida and South Georgia (which ran from the Apalachicola River to the Suwannee River in Florida, and as far north as Sumter County, Georgia (the county seat is Americus).  Camp Lamar Cobb, where a number of Confederate units from South Georgia and North Florida were organized and "stationed" at various times during the war, was located just south of Quincy.  No railroad connected Florida to Georgia till the last month of the war, but the nearby interconnected Apalachicola, Chattahoochee and Flint River system did continue to provide a substantial transportation connection.  Protected from Union intervention by Confederate artillery batteries commanded from the district headquarters in Quincy, those rivers were plied by steamships throughout the war.  In fact, the history of the political decisions that in mid-1863 brought the Georgian, General Howell Cobb, to command the newly created district that was comprised of parts of the two states, rather clearly indicates that protection of Georgia from within Florida, and particularly protection of that river transportation hub, was at its core.  Cobb's appointment to the post clearly reflected the commercial interests of Columbus, Georgia, an important South Georgia town for which the Chattahoochee was the life's blood... and special exemptions from the new Confederate draft laws were made so that men from South Georgia who would otherwise have been conscripted, were allowed to join new units designated for the protection of this region, as volunteers.

 For a larger view of the letter, click on it.

A Florida railroad from Jacksonville was completed to within two miles of Quincy in 1861.  Though the Jacksonville and Cedar Keys terminuses of that railroad were in Union hands during much of the war, its connection from Quincy to Gainesville within the state was vital to the Confederacy. That connection was only briefly interrupted... during the Federal Florida Campaign of 1864 which was crushed decisively at Olustee.  That battle was fought, literally, on that railroad.  The Confederate forces from Georgia and Florida which fought there were under the command of the Florida general who also just happened also to control that railroad as the only one of its major owners who was a Southerner and remained in the South during the war... General Joseph Finegan.  Though the cattle had to be driven across a short unconnected stretch from near Madison to Valdosta, that railroad was a lifeline that was critical to conveying the vast amounts of Florida beef that did much to sustain both the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of Tennessee during the last year and a half or so of the war, and besides that it enabled the tiny number of thinly stretched Confederate troops within Florida to concentrate quickly to respond anywhere in the main inhabited portion of the state when there was a threat from far-ranging Union forces carried by sea.

More importantly in connection with this cemetery, Quincy was a kind of junction between rail and river where there was a Confederate hospital for ill and injured soldiers from the surrounding area, and for at least the final year or so of the war some recovering battle casualties both from within the state and from more distant areas of the conflict seem to have been treated there as well.  In the all-too-many cases where medical care could not prevail, this plot of hard red clay on the east side of Quincy became the final resting place for an unknown number of Confederate soldiers whose names and other identifying information may have once been recorded and known... but if such record once existed, it has has long since vanished.

The purpose of these pages is twofold: (1) to document and and make known the current condition of this historic site, and (2) to attempt to make known the identities some of the Confederate soldiers who may be buried there.  To learn more, turn the page.

This page was created on 21 October 2000.
Revised 8 November 2000.
Revised 20 April 2003
Fence length corrected 25 July 2005.

Return to:    Florida Confederate Cemeteries