Have just finished reading the past entries in this thread. Like Heather Pollan, I love the Old Greensboro Cemetery and am deeply interested in it. My life began many years ago in a "shotgun" house located on the east bank, almost, of Mile Branch, so named because it was exactly a mile from the courthouse of then-Sumner County, and horse-racing was a popular sport then. My childhood years were largely spent roaming the Old Greensboro area, and even playing hide-and-seek among the tombstones as long as it was daylight. Late afternoon saw a speedy exodus from the "hanging tree" and ghosts who certainly must have roamed at night.
For several years I have been trying to get the Old Greensboro Cemetery placed on the list of Historical Cemeteries of Mississippi. There are several requisites for such a naming, any one of which would assure inclusion of a cemetery on such a list. Relentlessly, I've searched the cemetery area in an effort to find (1)a tomb bearing death date pre-1800,or (2) any artifact -- uniform button, weapon, etc -- proving a battle between Civl War military opponents took place on the grounds. To date, no evidence has arisen.
One of the writers' to this matter mentioned the wretched state of many old stones in this cemetery, and that is so true. Vandals, timber-cutters, time itself has taken a heavy toll. In one family plot, that of the Marshalls' and Yates' families, trees are literally growing up thru the graves. The tombs here were erected in the 1800s and were elaborate steles, now broken, toppled by vandals and winds, and an ornamental gate attached to the fence enclosing this plot has been stolen. Teenage boys vandalized the area many years ago, toppling tall tombs, breaking stones; a timber company cut timber within the cemetery itself. All this has taken place to the sorrow and disappointment of the community.
It's one thing to lament the condition of the cemetery, and another to assess blame for why it's in the shape one finds it now. During the last clean-up day, 2-3 years ago, only a handful of people were on hand to work. It's not the responsibility of any one group of volunteering citizens of the community, and otherwise, to donate their time, effort, sweat to a cause while others who are not physically involved pass judgment on final results. Wealthy, poor, whatever, if each does his/her part much more can be achieved.
The Old Greensboro Cemetery, as has been stated, is still used from time to time by descendants of those already buried there. Many of the graves are well-kept and tended often by people of both races. The Marshall and Yates' graves, referred to above, have not been tended for years, and efforts to contact descendants have been in vain.
Bottom line: Let's ALL help in the effort to clean this historic area and keep it that way.