What was it like to live in a flood-prone, antebellum southern river town?
Tombstones tell part of the story. While Cahawba and Dallas County were affluent prior to the War Between the States, its economy as a river port brought diversity and disease. Many inhabitants died of yellow fever.
This gravestone in Cahawba's "New" Cemetery marks the resting place of a young child. Although vandals broke many monuments, the artistry of the town's two stone carvers can still be seen. This cemetery dates to the 1850s.
Other cemeteries here include one that was used for slaves and later freedmen.
Still another burial ground memorializes Union prisoners who died at Cahawba Federal Prison. Their bodies were later moved, but names and regiments are listed on the markers.