|Private Edwin F. Jemison, 2nd Louisiana Infantry|
Jemison was a 16 year old volunteer in Louisiana when the haunting photograph that many consider the best known image of a private soldier of the Confederacy was taken. He never saw his 18th birthday.
Born into a prominent Georgia family, Edwin F. Jemison (who signed his military papers as E.F. Jemison) was a descendant of early Quakers who had founded the town of Wrightsboro, Georgia, and was the great-grandson of a hero of the American Revolution. His family had moved to Louisiana from Georgia during the 1850s and had acquired large holdings in the Monroe area. When President Abraham Lincoln called for hundreds of thousands of volunteers to put down the rebellion in the South, Jemison was among the Southern men and boys who turned out to defend their homeland.
|Grave of Edwin F. Jemison|
Only 17 years old, he was shot down when his regiment stepped out in one of the human waves sent by General Robert E. Lee against Union artillery positions at the Battle of Malvern Hill on July 1, 1862. His sad eyes, however, stare out through the years to remind us of the cost of war thanks to the 150 year old photograph that has been widely reprinted since the war.
A monument to Jemison was placed in the family plot at Memory Hill Cemetery in Milledgeville soon after the war and visitors today can view his grave and read an interpretive panel that tells his tragic story. To learn more, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/jemison.