In addition, three Georgians — George Walton, Lyman Hall and Button Gwinnett — were among the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Much of Cobb was Cherokee Indian country at the time of the Revolutionary War, which lasted from 1775 to 1783. John Clark, who would become governor of Georgia after fighting in the Revolution, and another Revolutionary soldier, John Hames, are buried in the National Cemetery in Marietta.
John Collins, who fought in eight battles in just five months of Revolution service, is interred at Mars Hill Presbyterian cemetery in northwest Cobb.
Peter Groover, who originally fought for the British before turning against them, is laid to rest in the Holly Springs cemetery in east Cobb.
John Summers, who fought at Valley Forge, is buried in Smyrna.
“These men were young, they answered the call, and they went out to participate in the Revolution,” said Wayne Brown, who is president of the John Collins chapter of the Sons of the Revolution.
“Today we support them for their service, but to live in that time was hard. To realize your neighbor might have been a Tory (British supporter), it meant their neighbors could have turned them in and they could be imprisoned or hung depending on their level of involvement. During that time, only about one-third of the colonists wanted independence,” Brown said.
“The soldiers who are buried here came here after the Revolutionary War because this area was Indian lands,” Brown said. “After the Revolution, the county opened up and we had land grants. Some soldiers were able to get land through the grants, and some settled here without grants.”
Perhaps the most notable Revolutionary patriot buried in Cobb soil is John Clark.
John Clark was born near Augusta in February 1766 and died in October 1832 By the age of 17, Clark was a captain in the Revolutionary War. Clark later served as a major general in the War of 1812.
After the wars, Clark was the governor of Georgia from 1818 to 1823. After his tenure as governor, President James Monroe gave him the task of protecting forests in Andrew’s Bay, near Panama City Beach, Fla., because trees were used to build ships for the Navy.
During his time as governor he obtained a lot of land from the Creek Indians to add to Georgia and the Creek Indians dubbed him “man always asking for land,” Brown said. He was also the first governor of Georgia to put public money aside for the public school system.
Clark was originally interred in south Georgia, but by 1923, trees were falling on his grave. Members of the Daughters of the American Revolution then brought the remains of Clark and his wife to be buried in Marietta’s National Cemetery.
John Hames is buried near Clark in the National Cemetery. He was born in April 1764 in Virginia and served as a private, captain and then major in the Georgia militia during the Revolution. Hames died in battle during the Civil War in October 1860 in Murray County, Ga., and was laid to rest there before being re-interred in 1911 at Marietta’s National Cemetery.
John Collins was born in Maryland in 1760 and served in the South Carolina Militia from May through October 1776.
Collins served diligently in those five months, fighting in more than eight battles and taken prisoner and escaped twice, according to his pension application.
Collins was a private of the North Carolina Militia, a captain of the South Carolina Militia, and a lieutenant of the Virginia troops.
Cobb’s only Sons of the Revolution chapter bears Collins’ name.
He is buried in the Mars Hill Presbyterian cemetery, in what is today northwest Cobb. Collins’ wife, Phebe, and his son, Daniel, and Daniel’s wife, Isabella, are also buried there.
Peter Groover was born around 1762, his exact birthdate is unknown.
Groover was a red coat before he served as a patriot. Groover enlisted with the English army and was a member of Lord Cornwallis’ army, but sympathized with American army and during a battle in Virginia escaped and told Americans he wanted to fight for them.
He then changed his name from Peter Young to Peter Groover.
Groover served in the North Carolina Militia and entered the service as a substitute. His rank steadily increased from private to corporal to sergeant.
After serving for the North Carolina Militia, he moved to Franklin County, Ga., and was a Methodist minister. Groover died in Cobb County in 1841, and his was the earliest known burial in Holly Springs Cemetery in east Cobb. The cemetery today is about a mile south of the Mountain View Library.
The least is known about John Summers, who was born in Virginia in 1750 and served in the North Carolina Militia. His name is listed on the Valley Forge roster from December 1777 to June 1778.
Summers was buried in the Old Gann Family Cemetery, near what is today North Cooper Lake Road in Smyrna. A historical marker nearby references Summers’ final resting place.
“These men put it all on the line and gave us this great gift,” Brown said. “Our goal is to nourish, protect and keep this gift, our republic, our country.”