Local News

August 5, 2012

Cemetery tour to be part of Spring Place Festival

— The 15th annual Spring Place Community Festival is set for Saturday, Aug. 18, at the Old Spring Place Methodist Church beginning at 8 a.m. Themed “The Civil War Comes to Spring Place,” the event is designed to both educate visitors about the rich history of the community and raise funds for the continued preservation of the church, the oldest building designed for public use remaining in Murray County.

The Spring Place Ruritan Club and the Whitfield-Murray Historical Society are co-sponsors of the festival.

In addition to a flea market, a bake sale, an auction, book sales, concessions, vendors, a raffle and other events, a special display is planned to highlight Spring Place residents who were part of the Civil War. Maps and artifacts are also included in this display.

To complement the theme of the festival, the sponsors have combined forces with the William Luffman Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) to offer special “Civil War” tours of the historic Spring Place Cemetery on Tibbs Bridge Road west of Highway 225. The cemetery dates back to the town’s earliest days of frontier settlement with burials dating back to the 1840s — just a short time after the Trail of Tears.

Spring Place was then the largest town in Murray County and became the county seat which it remained until the 20th century. As such, it was a center of government and business and was the place area men went to enlist in Confederate service during the Civil War. Returning veterans later rebuilt the town which had suffered greatly during the conflict — raids, deserters, loss of life, labor shortages, etc. Between 75 and 100 former soldiers were eventually buried at Spring Place.

While some lie in unmarked graves, Lt. Col. William Luffman, Murray’s highest ranking officer of the war and namesake of the SCV camp, is one of the prominent burials at Spring Place. Others include Maj. Tom Polk Edmondson, who was killed in battle in Murray County, just before the war’s end. Others include Drs. William Anderson, Samuel Dwight and E.H.L. Keister. Dwight was a kinsman of famed Confederate Gen. Benjamin Wofford, while Keister was a first generation American from Europe. Also interred at Spring Place are Asberry Hill (an ancestor of television’s “Facts of Life” star Lisa Welchel); Sgt. L.F. Peeples, who later served as county sheriff; and Monteville Roberts, who has scores of descendants in North Georgia today.

There’s even one Union soldier who died during one of the raids on Spring Place from wounds received earlier. Although he has a marker, he remains Spring Place’s “unknown soldier.”

Members of the SCV will be at the cemetery from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on the 18th to take visitors on a Civil War tour of the Spring Place cemetery. The cost is $3 per person, $5 for a couple, and $1 for youth ages 6-16. Those under 6 are free.

Proceeds from the tours will go toward the continuing efforts of both the SCV and the historical society to preserve the Civil War past of Murray County. For more information, call Jim Luffman at (706) 695-2046, Tim Howard at (706) 695-2740 or Milton Clarke at Little Rome.


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