In 1971, Georgia Power purchased property to build Plant Wansley power plant in Heard County.
The Old Yellowdirt Baptist Church, which sits inside the Georgia Power facility, had to sell the church and property to them allowing Georgia Power to build the power plant.
The Old Yellowdirt Cemetery, consisting of two acres in size located behind the church, was never sold to them. The cemetery still belongs to the Yellowdirt community.
In 1972, Georgia Power put a chain-link fence around only one acre of the cemetery to keep their employees from harming the cemetery during the construction of Plant Wansley.
My grandfather, R.J. Webb, Deacon of the Church, wrote a letter to Mr. Wade Manning of Georgia Power April 12, 1972 asking why they only fenced in one acre and not the two acres that belongs to Yellowdirt Church Community.
Mr. J.D. Perkins, Superintendent of land acquisitions, wrote my grandfather stating the error and that they would re-fence the cemetery to include the two acres instead of the one.
In the past, The Sons of the Confederacy placed head markers at each grave of the civil war veterans in the old Yellowdirt Cemetery. In recent weeks, the Sons of the Confederacy placed a flag on each one of the veteran’s graves and one being my Great Grandfather J.P. Shelnutt.
In recent weeks, we have learned that Georgia Power authority gave an employee or employees orders to remove the flags off the graves of these Civil War Veterans.
I do understand that Georgia Power has a rule of no Confederate Flags are allowed on the property, however it is public knowledge that Georgia Power does not own my grandfather nor any of the other deceased in the Old Yellowdirt Cemetery.
I believe that many are offended that someone would take off an item of a grave that cannot speak nor can it do any harm.
I also believe that the greater wrong is someone would disturb graves and property that does not belong to them.
If Georgia Power believes they do indeed own the property, I would ask that they please present the deed to me.
I want to give special thanks to The Sons of the Confederacy for placing the flags back on the graves and having a special service on October 8th. If anyone needs a place to bury a loved one, there are free plots in the Old Yellowdirt Cemetery.
-Walter Webb, Great Grandson of J.P. Shelnutt (Civil War Veteran)