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At a Georgia Graveyard, Reflections on a Divided Nation

Atlanta

Sylvester Cemetery clings to a steep, magnolia- and oak-covered hillside east of downtown Atlanta, on ground where Federal and Confederate troops fought a desperate battle in the last summer of the Civil War, 156 years ago this week. The oldest graves, some from before the war, are at the peak of the hill. This is a collection of interconnected family plots, many swept clear of leaves, revealing the reddish Georgia ground below. More than a few of the headstones bear the surname Terry. That is my mother’s family.

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