Confederate graves damaged at North Georgia cemetery

A reward is being offered after vandals damaged Confederate headstones at a North Georgia cemetery, officials said.

A flagpole also was damaged at the Nathan Anderson Cemetery in Ringgold, according to a report in

An official with the local Sons of Confederate Veterans chapter said he told police about the damage, according to the report. Authorities said the incident happened overnight April 21-22.

"They messed up the Confederate flagpole," Ronald Eslinger said. "Somebody come up there and tore the latch off the pole and stole the flag.

“They broke monuments, turned over some stuff, and stole stick flags from graves. Around the flagpole is where they did all the damage.”

Two gravestones were broken and others were kicked over, according to police reports.

Eslinger said he found pieces of small flags on the ground throughout the cemetery leading to a nearby motel.

“It looked like they dropped them as they were going to the motel," said Eslinger, whose organization is offering the $500 reward for information about the incident.

“It takes a sorry person to desecrate a grave.”

Ringgold Police Chief Dan Bilbrey declined to discuss the incident Monday with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The original portion of the cemetery was dedicated in 1842, according to website information. Cherokees, slaves and Confederate soldiers who lived in Ringgold or died in nearby battles or Civil War hospitals are among those buried there.

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