The Georgia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans is continuing with an aggressive effort to restore Confederate monuments and historical markers around the state, as well as erecting additional ones.
One of the monuments that has been restored thanks to these efforts is the Confederate Lt. General Leonidas Polk Monumenton located at Pine Mountain in Cobb County.
Polk Monument Before Restoration
Polk Monument After RestorationSaturday June 21, 2011 saw the 147th anniversary of the death of Bishop and Confederate Lt. General Leonidas Polk commemorated by members of the Georgia Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans and interested citizens.The spot General Polk fell on June 14, 1864 , was marked by a marble shaft. In the century since the shaft was completed and dedicated, it has suffered from time, pollution and even vandalism.
Subscribed on the monument is the following:IN MEMORY OF LIEUT. GEN. LEONIDAS POLKWho fell on this spot. June 14, 1864Folding his arms across his breast, he stood gazing on the scene below, turning himself around as if to take a farewell view. Thus standing a cannon shot from the enemy’s guns crashed through his breast, and opened a wide door through which his spirit took its flight to join his comrades on the other shore. Surely the earth never opened her arms to allow the head of a braver man to rest upon her bosom. Surely the light never pushed back to make brighter the road that leads to the lamb. And surely the gates of heaven never opened wider to allow a more manly spirit to enter therein. Erected by J. Gid and Mary J. Morris. 1902“The monument was restored by historical conservation and restoration experts who have been entrusted with much the work at the Arlington National Cemetery” stated Martin O’Toole of the General Leonidas Polk Camp of Smyrna, Sons of Confederate Veterans. O’Toole further explained, “The funds used for this restoration project came from the Sons of Confederate Veterans specialty auto tag license fees of which a portion of the fees goes back to the non-profit organization to help fund these types of projects. Our specialty tags are available to anyone in the State just by requesting one at your local tag office. The Sons of Confederate Veterans are erecting and restoring monuments, replacing and marking Confederate tombstones through-out the State.”
Georgia Division Commander, Jack Bridwell, remarked, “We are stepping up our efforts as part of the commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the War Between the States, the 150th anniversary of one of the most defining periods in our nation’s history. We are looking forward to the completion of a number of similar projects over the next several months .”On June 14, 1864, General Polk, who also served as an Episcopal Bishop, placed several religious tracts in his coat pocket and traveled to Pine Mountain in Cobb County, Georgia (near Kennesaw) to meet Generals William Hardee and Joseph Johnston, his commander. The observation position was exposed and only the day before General Patrick Cleburne had been forced to make a speedy retirement when he was fired upon. On this day, the infamous Union General William T. Sherman looked up and spotted the group of officers surveying his lines. He ordered artillery to fire upon them. Johnston and Hardee escaped unharmed, but a solid 3 inch shell struck General Polk in the chest, killing him instantly. “The Fighting Bishop” Polk was enormously popular both as a General and as a spiritual leader in the Confederate Army and his death was felt across the South. In 1902, the marker of marble was erected on the very spot where General Polk fell. Among those attending the dedication of the marker were many of Polk’s veterans and General William Phillips, commander of Phillip’s Legion.Interviews with SCV historians and spokesmen, as well as living history presentations, may be arranged by phone at 1-866-SCV-in-GA or online at www.GeorgiaSCV.org.