Jones County, Georgia Government Information Server
Clinton War Days May 4 & 5, 2013 ::
The firing of a cannon in Clinton  

By Debbie Luurie-Smith
     A living history lesson took place in Clinton illustrating life in a bustling community during Civil War times.  The bicentennial celebration of War Days took place May 5 & 6 with the call to colors for the Confederate and Union troops camped in historic Clinton, and the calendar would appear to have rolled backwards when the streets of Clinton and the authentic camps opened to the public.
     Jones County is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year, having been established a year before Clinton was settled in 1808, and the significance of the bicentennial serves to create additional interest in the annual War Days event, which is a fund-raiser for the Old Clinton Historic Society. 
    This year marks the 26th anniversary of the event.  War Days began as part of a spring celebration with a few re-enactors being invited as almost an afterthought to the festival.  The popularity of the re-enactment so enhanced the event that War Days emerged as the center of the activity.  Added attractions for this bicentennial year were two cemetery rambles and guided tour of Clinton.  The cemetery ramble was a new attraction last year guided by local historian Earl Colvin.  The Clinton Cemetery is located next to Clinton United Methodist Church, covers 17 acres, and is the largest 19th century cemetery in the county.  (Link to Cemeteries of Jones County).
     It is believed that burials were made in the cemetery as early as 1810, and Colvin said he has found inscriptions as early as 1812.  Many prominent Jones Countians are buried in the cemetery, including Robert Vines Hardeman, and at least 25 Confederate veterans are buried on the grounds.  Daniel Newnan Smith is the highest ranking officer buried in the cemetery.  He was brigadier general of the Fifth Georgia Militia.  James Madison Gray, the man for whom the county seat was named, and Samuel and Louisa Griswold were also laid to rest in Clinton.  Colvin said the history of the cemetery tells much of the story of Jones County and the families at the heart of its growth. 
     Narration was given for re-enactment of two Civil War battles, the Battle of Sunshine Church that actually took place in Round Oak and the Battle of Griswoldville, which took place on fields near Clinton.  Sons of Confederate Veterans and re-enactors from the southeast gather beneath wind-blown battle flags on grassy fields  in Old Clinton, once again defending it against Sherman's Savannah-bound army.  Grizzled veterans to beardless recruits-both blue and gray- re-enacted the battles as the rattle of musketry and the rolling of thunder canons rattle windows in homes nearby.
     Clinton is located 12 miles northeast of Macon, and one-and-a-half miles southwest of Gray, just one block west of Highway 129.

More information:

Battle Info (History)


Jones County, Georgia Government Information Server