January 25, 2021

Confederate Flags at Old Yellow Dirt Cemetery

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)


  1. Scott Jackson says

    In the future, please get the name of our organization correct. There is no “Son’s of the Confederacy” it is the SCV- “Son’s of Confederate Veterans”. We are all descendants of Confederate Veterans and represent them all.

  2. Ernest Everett Blevins says

    Georgia Power does own the property surrounding the cemetery; however, the cemetery itself is private property owned by Yellow Dirt Road Church. Check the county property records on line parcel number 043 0029. Seems to me this would be a case of trespassing and theft of flags. The flags were placed with knoweldge and concent of descendants in the cemetery.

    Ernest Everett Blevins
    Division Historian
    Sons of Confederate Veteans

  3. Laura (Webb) Doss says

    I was raised to be proud of my southern heritage and respect my elders and that is what i intend to do! The Confederate flag in which J.P. Shellnutt fought under evokes NOT anger or hate for anyone. Just the opposite. It makes me very proud that my great-great-great grandfather fought in a war and gave himself so unselfishly for my freedom and yours!
    The Confederate flag has always evoked an overwhelming flood of emotions some good and some bad.
    In order to understand what the flag is representing to us you really have to take a step back and look at the “big picture” which is our Confederate Veterans graves.
    There isn’t any hate intended toward anyone what so ever.
    The flags repersent the upmost respect for our veteran family members who served under that very flag. We wish to show them the respect and honor we feel they deserve.
    It is very hurtful and malicious for someone to carelessly and thoughtlessly remove that “respect” (flag).
    Would you dare to approach a solider who has fought in battle for your freedom and remove their medal of honor? I WOULD HOPE NOT!
    This was in no way ment to be something negative. Someone has seriously disrespected our veterans and it is unexcusable.
    This was ment to be something beautiful, uplifting, and respectiful for our veterans. It is the very least we can do to show our appreciation for their service.
    Now Plant Wansley has turned this beautiful ceramony into a very negative experience. When and how has it come to this! That you can’t pay homage to your confederate veteran family member without running the risk of offending someone.
    For those of you who are interested to know the truth of the matter about the cemetery IT DOES NOT belong to Georgia Power!
    Georgia Power owns the church and land that lies in land lot #166. This was purchased from R.J. Webb in 1971 by Georgia Power.
    Now as for the Yellow Dirt Cemetery that lies in Land lot#165 I repeat it DOES NOT belong to Georgia Power! They have no interest in it what so ever. Therefore the rules and regulation that Georgia Power inforce in their plant DOES NOT apply to the cemetery that they DO NOT OWN!
    I pray that Georgia Power will see the era of their ways and do every thing in there power to make this right by the Veterans that also fought for their freedom!

    • Billy Bearden says

      Well spoken Miss Laura !

      I am amazed Georgia Power has publically gone on record as hating American Veterans and admitted freely to committing numerous crimes. Reckon Konswallo Monroe is feeling bulletproof in her ivory tower. Bad news sunshine, and monitor this real close, jail cells fit all kinds, my dear misled Monroe, regardless of what ivory tower they reside currently. 🙂

      Miss Laura, please ask the Heard Citizen editor to give you my email address and contact me asap We got stuff underway and it’s gonna be real big, like you to be part of it.

      Thank you and God Bless our American Veterans!

    • Michael Houman says

      Miss Laura,
      You are not alone mam. I had lost the digital copy of this picture and I am going to put it up as my picture on facebook for Veterans Day. This gentleman is my Great Grandfather and I will display it proudly. My Grandfather is Lee Hendrix and my Grandmother is Dora Shellnutt Hendrix. I will support whatever cause that comes up to protect Veterans as our whole family consists of Veterans from all generations, including myself. God bless and keep you.

  4. Thomas W. Highsmith says

    Sue those deep pockets, georgia code 44-9-40 gives only the county’s Superior Court the right to grant access to landlocked property. Georgia Power is guilty of theft, trespass and violating the Constitution Rights of those visiting private property by “enforcing the behavior” of those on private property.

  5. If you were born and raised in the South you need to stand up against anyone who degrades the Confederate Flag! Ga Power doesn’t walk on water and should be held accountable for their criminal actions!

  6. I understand why Blacks hate anything to do with the Civil War, but what they should be hating is the slavery, not the war. They should be GLAD for the war, because it gave them their independence. I have 5 great great uncles who fought in the Civil War, and two never came home. Don’t tell me that I can’t place a Confederate flag on any one of their graves! Yes, slavery was an issue in the war, but even more important was the issue of State’s rights, the issue of big government, which we are still arguing about today. Every Confederate soldier’s grave deserves a Confederate flag, not because of race, but because they fought for a cause that they believed in, right or wrong, they still deserve their family’s respect.

    Georgia Power, you don’t own the cemetery, and you have no say so as to what each ancestor’s descendant puts on their grave. You need to refence the cemetery to include it’s entirety.

  7. Leigh Ann Rhodes says

    According to Safe Horizon, “Human trafficking, also described as modern-day slavery or involuntary servitude, affects an estimated 700,000 to 2 million people around the globe every year. Of this number, thousands of victims land in the United States .”

    If you are truly concerned with slavery, why not join the fight to free the slaves of TODAY.

  8. His point was not to offend the SCV in all a likeliness.. Also, in all likeliness it wasn’t to say that the land is public .. Judging by the context of the writing, it’s clear he’s very aggravated such as I would be over GA Power unlawfully removing Confederate flags from a cemetery, from the graves of Confederate soilders… Give the man a break. Why lash out at him when GA Power Company (A Southern Company) is the thief and vandal.

    • CSV … Not SCV.. My appoligiies .. Althought I shouldn’t appoligize at all given I’m the direct ancestor of multiple Confederate veterans … The “CSV” is an organization that does great things don’t get me wrong… But it isn’t God either.

  9. Mrs. Doss,

    The words you spoke hit a cord with me. I never looked that the Confederate flag as a symbol of pride for fighting a war that they believed in. I’m black man that has a new founded respect for the Confederate flag. Please continue to speak out and be proud of the confederate flag.

    Respect goes a long way. May the Lord bless you.

    • This is not really about the flag at all its more about white people who use the flag to hide there hate for the. Black Man when it come back to hit u in your face u laugh now but cry later ur kids will pay for the crime s of this so call ancestor s of youll the white Man rule over earth is up

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