MAGNOLIA CEMETERY TRUST
70 Cunnington Ave.,
Charleston, SC 29405,
Office: Mon.-Fri. 9 A.M. - 4 P.M. (call for current hours)
Location: From I-26: take exit 219B (Meeting St.); turn left at second light;
then turn right at Cunnington Ave. Cemetery is at the end of the block.
Click on the thumbnail for a larger image.
Go to www.mapquest.com for driving
The City of the Silent
This article is from:
Magnolia Cemetery is what Superintendent Beverly Donald calls "the best kept secret in Charleston." To get there, you must drive outside the historic district to an area known as the Charleston Neck. Once you pass the white pillars at the entrance of Magnolia Cemetery and head down its curvy drive, you, too, will be silenced by the quintessentially Southern majesty of this burial ground.
"Planters, politicians, military leaders, bootleggers, whorehouse madams - you name it, anybody from the last 150 years of Charleston's history is out there," says Ted Phillips, author of a soon-to-be published book on Magnolia, City of the Silent. Once a thriving 19th-century rice plantation, the 128-acre cemetery is what Phillips calls a "nice microcosm of Charleston history, of those who were rich and white, since 1850."
|Buried at Magnolia are 2,200 Civil War veterans - a great percentage of the war's
total casualties that includes five Confederate generals and 14 signers of the Ordinance of Secession. "The Confederate connection probably attracts the most people, because there are so many buried here from that era," notes Donald. A special Confederate section contains more than 1,700 graves of the known and unknown. One reads, simply, "Unknown, Three Bodies, Fort Sumter." Here, too, are 84 bodies of South Carolinians who fell at Gettysburg and were reinterred at Magnolia.
Magnolia has always been - and continues to be - a focal point for remembrance of the Confederacy in Charleston. Each
Confederate Memorial Day speakers, wreaths and flags pay homage to what many Charlestonians still refer to as the "Lost Cause Movement." For two nights each October, the Confederate Heritage Trust holds its
Walk, a sellout event that brings to life the some of the people who are buried at Magnolia and the events surrounding their lives. For tickets, contact CSA Galleries.
Massive stone crosses and crumbling brick tombs are set against a backdrop of ancient oaks draped with moss, lagoons trimmed with cattails and the striking marshlands of the Cooper River and its
web-like bridges. The sheen of new granite stands out among stones worn nearly smooth by time, elaborately carved Gothic monuments and hand-wrought fences. There are marble towers draped in rope and rose carvings, small markers declaring, simply, "Infant," and even a striking pyramid tomb made of granite, marble and stained glass.
Monuments mark the graves of five governors, including Thomas Bennett, three U.S. senators and two cabinet members. One of these, the grave of George Alfred Trenholm, is Phillips' favorite. "He was a great and noble man, a pioneer cotton broker who served as secretary of the treasury of the Confederacy, a man upon whom many believe the character Rhett Butler was based. He's under a small marker, with just his initials and the dates of his birth and death."
|The family of Horace L. Hunley, the designer of the submarine, donated the lot for the burial the seven graves of the crew from the Confederate submarine the Hunley, which was lost at sea.
Designed by architect Edward C. Jones in 1850, Magnolia was dubbed the City of the Silent in a poem by
the "Poet Laureate of the Confederacy", Henry Timrod.
note: The article is not accurate.
Timrod was indeed the "Poet Laureate of the Confederacy", and he penned the
Ode Sung on the Occasion of Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead
at Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, S. C., 1867. But it was William Gilmore
Simms, considered the
South Carolina Poet Laureate before the title was official, wrote the poem
the Silent in 1850)
The original plantation farmhouse dates to 1790. It has been renovated and now hosts the cemetery offices. Nearby, a huge live oak bends its heavy limbs to the ground as if kneeling in prayer.
The original gatehouse, receiving tomb and probably many of the mausoleums are part of the original 1850 cemetery structures. Union soldiers, who encamped here before they took Charleston during the Civil War, destroyed the chapel.
Around 35,000 people are buried at Magnolia, which is still a working cemetery. There are about 50 acres available for future plots, so if you'd like to finally be in the good company of the famous and the infamous - statesmen, heroes, poets, artists and philanthropists.
The above article is from:
|See photos of the dedication of stone to Rebecca
Sineath, who was originally buried in Soldiers Ground during the War Between the States. Rebecca had been a laundress for the Confederate soldiers when a typhoid epidemic broke out. When the soldiers were brought to Magnolia for burial, she was laid to rest with them. At a later date, her remains were moved just outside of the Soldiers Ground to make room for more soldiers. The location was recently determined and the Confederate Heritage Trust (of which
Snowden OCR Chapter is a member-organization) furnished the wreaths.
|The very unusual shape of this plot is explained in the
gravestone of Capt. John C. Mitchel. There are many unique and interesting
markers and monuments throughout Magnolia Cemetery.
To read about the Iron Cross dedication in March 2002,
When the first crew of the Hunley was found underneath the Citadel
football stadium, the CHT worked for several years to have them exhumed.
Four of them were removed in the Summer of 1999, and the fifth one was
found under the parking lot in January 2000. The reinterment was held in
the Confederate Soldiers Ground of Magnolia Cemetery in March 2000. The
bodies were laid to their final rest in the Hunley Plot, along side Capt.
Hunley and the second crewmen. The third crew was still aboard the
submarine when it was brought up from the sea in August 2000. Click
here for photos of the Raising of the Hunley Submarine.
Article in Post & Courier March
of Confederate Sailors exhumed from underneath the Citadel's Johnson Hagood