The Lawton Cemetery in Screven County, Georgia

This year on January 4, Sugar and I went on a day trip to locate the Lawton Cemetery in Screven County, Georgia.  We found it at the end of a dead-end (pardon the pun) road in rural country.  We had passed by that road once before on our way to north Georgia.  I hadn’t noticed the road sign, but Eagle-Eye Sugar had.  He told me later that he reads just about all the signs along the roadways as he’s driving, which now makes it perfectly clear to me why he’s almost rear-ended so many cars.  To his credit he’s never hit anyone.

So.  We packed some cheese and some bread and a couple beers, and we hit the road.  It was a gray, overcast day, and when we found the cemetery, our moods began to match the day.  We had envisioned that we would find a plantation home site, maybe some brick piers where a house once stood, maybe even a lone chimney, standing watch like a sentinel over the old Lawton property.  Nope.

The narrow dirt road ended in a wooded area.  What we found was a cemetery enclosed by a 4′ chainlink fence.  There was a drive-through gate along with a walk-through gate that carried a sign that said “Grave diggers please remove all dirt and excess trash after each funeral.”  There were some names and phone numbers of contact people, but that was all.  No sign for the cemetery itself.  It looked sad.  We drank a beer.

We got out and wandered through the cemetery and took pictures of all the Lawtons.  Some of the headstones were broken.  Some were unreadable since the passage of time had all but erased the inscriptions.  The saddest one was someone named Marion Lawton, who was killed in World War I.  His stone was inscribed:

Rest soldier rest

Thy warfare o’er

As we walked around the cemetery, we became more aware of the sounds and sights of the day.  In the distance, we could see the river as it wound its way through the countryside.  Cattle lowed in the fields that surrounded three sides of the cemetery, and birds hopped through the underbrush, looking for food.  Trees grew randomly through the cemetery, making it a shady, restful spot.  An enormous cedar tree held court as it watched over the graves.

Sugar remarked that he thought this was a black cemetery.  I don’t know how he knows these things, but he does, and when I got home, I checked for Marion Lawton.  I found his draft registration for World War I, and indeed he was black.  Reading his physical description in the old records made me sad for this young man killed in a war so far from home.

Rest, soldier, rest.

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6 Responses to “The Lawton Cemetery in Screven County, Georgia”

  1. Simba Says:

    He gave his all for a country that had allowed his ancestors to be oppressed. One can ask no more of anyone. Rest well Marion!


  2. kari Says:



  3. ruthrawls Says:

    My grandfather Packett was in WWI, so searching out this information makes all this so personal.


  4. Lawton Place, Savannah, GA « Ruthrawls's Blog Says:

    […] This is the city home of Robert T. Lawton; we attempted to find the remains of <a href=”“>Blockade Place</a>, his Screven County Plantation Habersham & […]


  5. The British Army Crossing & Paris Mill in Screven County GA « Ruthrawls's Blog Says:

    […] an outing into Georgia.  We visited the Lawton Cemetery, and I wrote about that part of the day in an earlier post.  After leaving that cemetery, we drove further on to an area known as […]


  6. Catherine Maner Lawton and Her 1840 Plat | Ruthrawls's Blog Says:

    […] Lawton’s son Robert Themistocles Lawton, who owned Lawton Place in Savannah, Georgia, and Blockade Place in Screven County, […]

    Liked by 1 person

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