11 February 2010

Wild Horses, Ruins, and a Revolutionary War Soldier

Cumberland Island. Georgia’s largest barrier island. Dungeness Ruins. Thomas Carnegie Family. Marriage site of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Jr. and Carolyn Bessette.

Last week, my daughter Kimberly and I boarded the ferry in St. Marys, Georgia, for a 45 minute ride to Cumberland Island. I had 2 goals to accomplish on this trip. First, I wanted to see some of the 150 or so feral horses that live on the island. Second, there was a cemetery located on the southern portion of the island I wanted to visit.

Just a short distance from the dock, we saw the first horse. Unfortunately this was the only horse we saw during our 4 hour visit.

A short distance from the Dungeness Ruins, I saw a wooden sign pointing to the direction of the cemetery. The Greene-Miller Cemetery is probably one of the smallest cemeteries I have ever visited.

I found a stone for a Charles Jackson. The inscription stated he was born in Newton, Massechusetts (sic) 23 April 1767. He was educated at Harvard College and was a Commissioned Officer in the American Revolutionary War. And for several years was a Counsellor at Law who died on the 25th Oct 1801 at the Mansion of Phineas Miller EsqR Cumberland Island.

Hmm, born in 1767 and a commissioned officer in the Revolutionary War. Even if he participated in the war toward the end, I thought he still was a little too young to be an officer. A little research needed to be done.

Charles Jackson was the fifth son of Michael and Ruth (Parker) Jackson. He was a fifer in Captain John Wiley’s Company(at age 10). Like his brothers, he served in his father’s regiment from 1777-1783 (8th Regiment, Massachusetts Line). He was commissioned as an ensign on 4 February 1783.

He graduated from Harvard in 1788 with his AB and his A.M. in 1796.

After the Revolutionary War, Charles served as the U.S. District Attorney for Georgia from 1797 until his death in 1801.

The Massachusetts Historical Society has 3 cartons of the Jackson family papers. Carton 2 contains information about Charles, mostly concerning his service as the District Attorney. He supposedly had a lengthy obituary published in The Columbian Centennial. I will have to obtain a copy of it as I am curious about his cause of death.

General Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee also died on Cumberland Island and was originally buried in the Greene-Miller Cemetery, but that is another story.

@ 2010, copyright Yolanda Campbell Lifter.  All rights reserved.

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