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Letting Go of Tonight

Headstones for Charles (1849-1909) and Alida S. (1853-1935) Edmondston and their son in Bonaventure Cemetery, 330 Bonaventure Road, Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia. Their son, Charles (1880–1914), died at the age of 33.

John Mullryne’s plantation, with its tree-lined avenues, once occupied this 160-acre site. Mullryne was an English colonel who was granted the land in the 1760s. He named it “Bonaventure,” which is Italian for “good fortune.” Peter Wiltberger purchased Bonaventure in 1846 and his son William turned it into Evergreen Cemetery 22 years later. The haunting, picturesque scenery led one statue, called “Bird Girl,” to appear on the cover of John Berendt’s novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1994).

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The Changing of Times

Headstone for “Red Bone” Johnson in Beauvoir Confederate Cemetery, 2244 Beach Boulevard, Biloxi, Harrison County, Mississippi. Johnson served in Company I, 31st Alabama. The 31st Alabama was garrisoned at Vicksburg and later joined the Confederate Army of the Tennessee, fought in the Atlanta Campaign, and marched with John Bell Hood into Tennessee in 1864.

The Jefferson Davis Soldiers Home opened on the grounds of Beauvoir Mansion, one-time home of former Confederate President Jefferson Davis, in 1903 and operated until the 1950s. It was home to around 1,800 Civil War veterans and widows of Confederate soldiers. Roughly 780 of them are buried in the cemetery located on the property.

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Cries of the Past

Headstone for J. H. Jackson (unk-1916) in Beauvoir Confederate Cemetery, 2244 Beach Boulevard, Biloxi, Harrison County, Mississippi. Jackson served in Co A, Ward’s Battery, an Alabama light artillery unit.

The Jefferson Davis Soldiers Home opened on the grounds of Beauvoir Mansion, one-time home of former Confederate President Jefferson Davis, in 1903 and operated until the 1950s. It was home to around 1,800 Civil War veterans and widows of Confederate soldiers. Roughly 780 of them are buried in the cemetery located on the property.

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Miles and Miles

Stephen W. Miles (1795-1859) was a violinist with pretensions of greatness. Bit by bit, he purchased over a thousand acres of bottom land along the Mississippi River and made a small fortune. Eventually, he built a mausoleum on a bluff in Eagle Cliff Cemetery in rural Monroe County, Illinois, where he could see his land “for miles and miles.” Completed in 1858, the mausoleum cost $25,000 and was made from Italian marble. It contained 56 burial vaults. Unfortunately, Miles’ son went bankrupt and lost his father’s estate.

Sometime during the 1950s, vandals desecrated the tomb, stole jewelry, and damaged the bodies of the Miles family. In the 1960s, a Satanic cult burned the rest of their remains in a bizarre attempt to resurrect them from the dead. Today, the grand mausoleum sits empty, but it is marred by graffiti and widely believed to be haunted by the angry spirits of the Miles family.

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The Pale Haunt Departure

Monument to the Pierre Frederic Mairet family in Hillside Memorial Cemetery, 723 N Main Street, Central Square, Oswego County, New York. James Roosevelt established Hillside in 1822 as Village Cemetery and became Hillside during the Civil War. Buried here are Pierre Frederic (1824-1886) and Louise (1830-1887) Mairet, their daughter Emma A. (1860-1891), and three infant sons.

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