Samuel Cooper was born up in Maryland somewhere but eventually made his way to Columbus after the war.
The Revolutionary War.
Cooper was born in 1754 and fought the British with the South Carolina Militia. After the war, he moved to Putnam County, Ga., just north of Milledgeville, then he came here in 1827, when he won over 200 acres of land in a lottery. (Who knew the HOPE Scholarship was that old?)
Cooper died in 1841. He's buried in a three-grave plot between his son James and daughter Mary at the corner of Warm Springs Road and Miller Road. It's a nice plot, surrounded by brick pillars holding up a wrought iron fence, with a flagpole flying the American Flag near his headstone.
At the foot of his grave marker are carved his dying words: "Jesus is good."
The cemetery, according to a nearby historic marker, was abandoned for many years but restored in 1989. Problem is, the restoration needs an updating. Decorative trees, crepe myrtles, I think, are overgrown, almost completely blocking the gate to the small plot. Weeds are growing up through the packed gravel ground around the graves and a section of the fencing facing Warm Springs has fallen in, or was kicked in by vandals (who should be shot with a muzzleloader).
Concerned Reader John Day brought this to my attention, writing that he and his son had noticed the sad state of the cemetery and had done what they could to spruce it up. But it needs some serious repair and some regular maintenance. Day thinks a veteran of the war that created this country deserves at least that much respect.
"When our country called, Private Cooper answered that call with a musket. He fought at Brandywine, Germantown and Stony Point without the help of Armor, Rangers, paratroopers, medics or air support, and without proper food, clothing or a comfortable place to bed down," Day wrote. "There are eight veterans organizations, the Columbus Consolidated Government and Fort Benning, home of the Infantry, in the valley. Surely we can honor this hero better."
There is also the Coweta Falls Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, who could certainly have a dog in this fight. And it turns out they do.
I called Dr. Hugh Rodgers, president of the SAR chapter, to ask if his organization might be interested in undertaking some repairs and maintenance at the small cemetery. Well, I learned that the chapter does do some minor maintenance on the site and replaces the flag periodically when it needs it. But the heavy repairs that are needed now are beyond handyman level and not cheap. It will cost about $3,000 to get the place shipshape, he said.
OK, Concerned Patriotic and Generous Readers, get out your checkbooks and fire one off to the Coweta Falls Chapter, SAR, at P.O. Box 685, Columbus, GA 31902. Now! I want to see some serious cash land in that P.O. box before next week.
Unless you just don't love your country. Or Jesus.
We got a really nice note here at the paper from Concerned Reader Steve Gibbon, who you will remember was having terrible erosion problems behind a house he owns on Gurley Drive, and was having trouble getting anything done about it.
"It took extensive repairs but everything was done in a first class manner," he wrote. "I want to thank the city engineer and the public works personnel for the completed project that was very well done."
Thanks, Steve. I'm glad it turned out well. Now, write a check to the SAR.
Seen something that needs attention? Write a check to the SAR, then contact me at 706-571-8570 or email@example.com. In that order.