Myrtle Hill
Confederate Women
One of the most beautiful cemeteries in the nation sits atop Myrtle Hill at the confluence of the Etowah and Oostanaula Rivers. Offering an unimpeded view of downtown Rome, Georgia, to the northeast, the Etowah Valley to the east, and the Appalachian foothills to the south, the cemetery boasts spectacular vistas and historic significance which combine to make it one of the most unique in the world, and a "must see" stop on the Blue and Gray Trail.

In a corner of the cemetery is a monument to General Sevier, future governor of Tennessee, who killed about 120 Cherokees on or near the site of the cemetery in 1793. The encounter was the end of an almost unbelievable chain of events that began with an unauthorized U.S. Military raid on a treaty negotiation where both whites and Cherokee were killed. Sevier had gotten a friend off of charges that he murdered a Cherokee during the raid, although the charge was well substantiated, and his arrest had been personally ordered by President George Washington. Ridge, a local Cherokee, and others retaliated with an attack on Knoxville and Sevier responded by raiding Head of Coosa, on the site of present-day Rome.

After "The Trail of Tears," the new city of Rome began discussing a cemetery and Thomas A. Alexander and Daniel S. Printup began a search. The hill, known for its crepe myrtle trees, was an early candidate. The land was purchased from Shorter College founder Alfred Shorter. In 1857 the cemetery opened. The first grave, which is still standing, is no longer legible.

In August of 1914, during Wilson's presidency, Ellen died from chronic nephritis. The eyes of the nation turned to this plot on Myrtle Hill for the burial of the first lady... During the graveside service, rain poured down on the crowded cemetery..."
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During the Civil War almost 400 men were buried in the cemetery, most of whom lived in the county. Their graves, at the base of the hill near the entrance, form a silent tribute to the men, both Union and Confederate, who made the ultimate sacrifice during "The Late Unpleasantness". The statue the citizens of Rome erected in honor of Nathan Bedford Forrest, who defeated a larger group of Union soldiers sent to raid the city, is now on display here.

Ellen Axon Wilson, first wife of President Woodrow Wilson, a native of the city, is buried here. She is the only first lady to be buried in the state.

Perhaps the most unusual burial in the cemetery occurred after the First World War. Charles Graves, an infantryman in the American Expeditionary Force was killed near the French-German border in 1918. Selected at random, his body was to be buried in Arlington Cemetery beside the "Unknown Soldier." His mother had a different idea and had him buried in a small cemetery outside of Rome. After she died his body was disinterred and placed in Myrtle Hill. 34 magnolia trees were planted around the grave of the original "known soldier" to represent the 34 county residents who died during World War I.

Myrtle Hill is "layered" by the roads that circle the hill. At the top of the hill is a marble monument honoring the men of the Confederacy. Nearby is an arch identifying to cemetery. A number of African-American graves are located on the southwest side, dating to times when it was common for blacks and whites to be buried in separate cemeteries. Myrtle Hill is one of the seven hills that gave the city it's name.

Location: Broad and Mrytle Streets.
Directions: Take I-75 Exit 290 (GA 20) west for 2.3 miles. Bear right on a ramp to U.S. 41. Follow signs to Rome for the next 21.8 miles, finally merging into U. S. 27 (the Martha Berry Highway). Travel 1 mile to Broad Street. Continue on Broad until you cross the Etowah River. Myrtle Hill is on the right
Additional information:
Hours:Daily, 8:00am-6:00pm
Date added: November 16, 2003
Last update: December 6, 2003

Other Attractions in Rome
Rome Depot
Clock Tower
Chieftains Musuem / Major Ridge Home
Rome Area History Museum
The Martha Berry Museum
Oak Hill
Fort Norton
Noble Brothers Foundry

Cemetery Listing
Marietta National Cemetery
Alta Vista (Altavista) Cemetery
Marietta Confederate Cemetery
Jonesboro Confederate Cemetery
Oakland Cemetery
Cassville Cemetery
Dalton Cemetery (West Hill)
Resaca Cemetery
Bonaventure Cemetery
Christ Church (Christ Episcopal Church)
Midway Cemetery

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