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Visit the intriguing Johnson Square in Savannah GA.

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This lovely square features lush trees and flowers, monuments and sometimes free music. Following are pictures and information for Johnson Square.

Saxaphone player at Johnson SquareThe Colonel William Bull Sundial
In the southern section of Johnson Square in 1933, a sundial in memory of Colonel William Bull of South Carolina was erected by the Society of Colonial Wars. Colonel Bull helped choose the site of Savannah and lay it out.

The sundial consists of four mosaic floor panels embedded in a granite base supporting an ornamental marble shaft with a bronze dial. The dial includes an outer circular border of Roman numerals surrounding a centered eight pointed star. One of the four mosaic floor panels depicts a 1734 map of Savannah by Peter Gordon. The remaining three panels display dedicatory inscriptions.

Colonel William Bull greatly assisted General Oglethorpe in establishing the physical layout of Savannah. Bull surveyed the land in 1733 to form the basic grid pattern of the streets and squares.
Johnson Square in Savannah GANathanial Greene Monument - The 1825 Greene Monument, in the center of the square, is a tribute to General Nathanael Greene (1742-86) of Rhode Island, Revolutionary War hero. Greene was second to Washington, head of the Southern Department, and commander of the Carolina Campaign of 1780-81. He was called the "saviour of the South".

The monument is an obelisk fifty feet tall of white New York marble. The base is 20 feet by 11 feet; the pedestal 8 feet 5 inches by 4 feet 8 3/4 inches. It rises 13 feet, surmounted by a cornice of 1 foot; the needle is 5 feet 4 inches at the base and 4 feet by 2 feet 3 inches at the apex, rising 36 feet.

The pedestal is formed of 12 pieces, each 1 foot 7 inches in height, weighing altogether 56,000 pounds. Two large rectangular bronze tablets were attached in 1886. The tablet on the north side has an inscription.
The tablet on the south side has a bas-relief full-length figure of General Greene.

In 1902, another smaller bronze tablet was attached below the bas-relief on the south side, in the shape of a wreath of laurel tied at the top with a ribbon, with the insignia of the DAR, and an inscription.
 
The cornerstone for this monument was laid by the Marquis de Lafayette in 1825. The original design in the Egyptian Needle format was designed by noted architect William Strickland in 1830.

Big tree at Johnson Square in Savannah GeorgiaHe would later distinguish himself as an architect doing many renowned buildings including the Tennessee State Capital Building. His monument to Greene, however, was not a great success in Savannah. Made of white marble from New York, fifty feet high, the monument was considered too plain as it had no lettering on the monument.

In 1886, in response to chronic complaints, bronze plaques were added and unveiled at a large ceremony with Jefferson Davis as the guest of honor. This would not be the end of the saga for this monument.

In 1901, the Society of the Cincinati of Rhode Island felt that they should see to it that their distinguished member Gen. Greene was properly buried under the monument. When they came to Savannah to do this, local historians or records did not indicate where in fact Gen. Greene had ever been buried. After much searching they found, in one of the brick vaults in Colonial Cemetary, a coffin plate with his name on it. They assumed but could not prove that the remains were those of Greene. The presumed General and his son were reburied under the monument to Greene in Johnson Square.
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