Saturday, October 16, 2010
Grave of James D. W. Baxter - A Florida Hero at rest in Georgia
A private from Company I, Fourth Florida Infantry, Baxter had been captured in one of the most heroic actions of Florida troops in the entire War Between the States. The Fourth Florida was among the regiments that crossed Stones River under Breckenridge on January 2, 1862, to attack the massed Union artillery on the hills west of the river in a desperate attempt to end the brutal stalemate of the Battle of Stones River or Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The unit had already taken a key grove of cedars in heavy fighting on the battle's opening day.
The effort failed, but the Fourth Florida was the last Confederate regiment to leave the field, fighting heroically to save a battery of Southern guns. By the time the smoke cleared, the regiment had lost 194 of its 458 members, a loss of nearly 40%.
Paroled later in 1863, Baxter returned to service but by the summer of 1864 had fallen severely ill. He died in a Confederate hospital at Macon, Georgia, on September 3, 1864, and was buried in Grave #3, Row #2 of the Confederate Section at Rose Hill Cemetery in downtown Macon, a long way from his Jackson County home. James D.W. Baxter, a hero of Florida, was 32 years old.
You can learn more about his beautiful hometown, the antebellum community of Greenwood by clicking here: www.exploresouthernhistory.com/greenwood.