After 140 years, all eight citizens who died during the Hamburg Massacre have been recognized. Their names are listed on a granite memorial, installed in front of the new historical marker.
A public ceremony dedicated the marker and memorial on March 6, 2016 with 100 in attendance, plus newspaper and TV crews, and dignitaries including Lark Jones – North Augusta Mayor, Rev. Dr. Alexander Pope, Jr.- Pastor of First Providence Baptist Church, Brenda Baratto – Executive Director of the Aiken County Historical Museum, and Milledge Murray – a director of the Arts and Heritage Center of North Augusta. Wayne O’Bryant, North Augusta historian, was Master of Ceremonies. Wayne’s ancestor, Needham O’Bryant, lived in Hamburg during these ‘stirring events’.
Each name was read with the placement of a blood red rose.
The ceremony was followed by a tour of the Society Building, a reception at First Providence Baptist Church, and thought-provoking readings by Steven Budiansky – author of The Bloody Shirt, and Jonathan Bryant – Professor of History at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro. The audience freely responded to their ideas, including one comment that the Battle Flag on the cover of The Bloody Shirt might lead some to pass on what was actually an essential book.
Seven names appeared on this original web site in August, 2003. After seeing the white obelisk in front of Lookaway Hall, my neighbor suggested sneaking up there with six more black-painted rocks to supply the missing names. Robert Scott, after returning from a 30 year career in the navy, publicly asked why the hell is that obelisk still up there. Brenda Baratto collected a committee to get a historical marker, although at the time its title was up in the air and we didn’t know where to put it. A decade later, we have a city-supported list of all victims (plus an eighth person wounded during the final fusillade, and found by Wayne O’Bryant to have finally passed).