This week in the Civil War for January 5, 1864
Grand Army of the Republic

Elizabeth Temms


by Renee Murphy

Originally Posted on September 5, 2012 

(WHAS11) -- A national landmark divided.  On one side the Civil War's Union soldiers and on the other, the Confederate soldiers and one civilian, a woman by the name of Elizabeth Temms.

“This cemetery is simply an outdoor museum, a time capsule. Everyone in here has a unique story. Elizabeth Temms story is just a little bit more unique,” said J. Michael Higgs, with the Cave Hill Heritage Foundation.

At Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville sits a tombstone with barely visible markings.  It’s the site of Temms burial.

Temms helped Confederate soldiers avoid a Union ambush on her plantation in Georgia.

“She alerted the confederacy that the union was sitting there and waiting for them so they were able to thwart their attempt and she was then thrown in jail by the Union forces,” said Higgs.

Temms was taken to a prison for the Confederates at 12th and Broadway in Louisville.  

“General Sherman had no compassion when it came to sympathizers to the South. They were all cast in jail and Elizabeth Temms was thrown in an ice house on the prison grounds.” Said Higgs.

The Cemetery wants to restore Temms grave marker, and they explained why it's important to preserve a piece of history that is still divisive to this day.

“History is history and some of it is good and some of it is bad. We simply cannot neglect the fact that the civil war happened. There was a Union, there was a confederacy, this is just a simple part of history.”

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