The Founding of Fitzgerald: The legacy of the Evergreen Cemetery

The city was settled 30 years after the civil war.

Cam Jordan, the deputy administrator of the city of Fitzgerald gives us a tour of  the original section of the Evergreen Cemetery.

The cemetery serves as the final resting place for both Union and Confederate soldiers.

The legacy of the Evergreen Cemetery

P.H. Fitzgerald founded the city of Fitzgerald.

“We’ve had inquiries and people visit from as far away as Ireland. And lot of people come here for genealogical reasons because they can’t figure out why one ancestor ended up in South Georgia when the rest of their family is up North.”

The city was settled 30 years after the civil war.

“Fitzgerald was settled in 1895 by about 2,700 union families that migrated from the Midwest and up North.”

Union veterans in the Midwest suffered through droughts post-war and came south looking relief.

“Georgia under ironically Governor Northen at the time sent several trainloads of feed to the Midwest, and that act of Benevolence gave Fitzgerald the idea that he could set up a colony.”

The city wasn’t incorporated until December 2nd, 1896.

“The cemetery was cut out in the beginning, it was a dedicated part of the community put together by the American Tribune Soldiers Colony Company. It’s probably one of the largest collections of union veteran’s graves in a non-federal cemetery in the country.”

The sentiment of existing together that those Union and Confederate veterans established paved the way for future generations.

“It gives us a sense of unity that we’ve tried to carry through in subsequent years. One good instance is we had one of the most peaceful integrations in the south. That carries back to our founding story about people that are on opposite ends of the spectrum figuring out how to live and work together.”

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