This portrait of Private Edwin Jemison is one of the most iconic images of the war. Though he was descended from two of the founding families of Georgia, his branch of the family moved to Louisiana before the war. When secession came, Jemison enlisted in the 2nd Louisiana Infantry as a 16-year-old.
The 2nd Louisiana was sent to Virginia, where it came under the command of John Bankhead Magruder. The regiment saw limited action at Dam Number One in the opening movements of the Peninsula Campaign of 1862, but was not engaged again until the last of the Seven Days battles. There, at Malvern Hill on July 1, 1862, 17-year-old Private Jemison was killed in action.
With family roots in Milledgeville, Georgia, it was presumed that his remains were returned to the family plot there, and indeed, there is a gravestone for him there, as well as a more substantial monument to his memory (Memory Hill Cemetery).
Two researchers, however -- Alexandra Filipowski and Hugh T. Harrington -- have concluded that Private Jemison’s remains are buried elsewhere, namely at Malvern Hill where he was killed. This, based mainly on a contemporary obituary that mentions his burial at Malvern Hill, and the lack of any documentation that Jemison’s body was relocated to Milledgeville. You can read those researchers’ convincing argument in this America’s Civil War article from 2004.
When I think of Milledgeville, I think of Sherman’s troops ransacking the then state courthouse, and I think of Flannery O’Connor, one of my favorite authors. If Jemison is buried at Memory Hill, then he’s in good company.