There is really only one time tested method.
First you need a wall below your frost line with a footer at the bottom. Usually the footing is twice as wide as the wall will be thick. 8 inch wall, 16 inch wide footer, by 12 inches deep. Good enough for a porch.
Then you fill the void and use a compactor, some thing you can tamp it down with ,until you are level with the top of the wall. Use water to help in the compaction, it settles the soil.
Then put a 6 mill piece of plastic over that.
Third is to build a 4 inch cap with 4 inch wire mesh lying in the concrete. This will help with any structure of the cap. It will not be as likely to break.
Then finally install your stone on top, the sides whatever you need. It will last longer than you think in GA.
The last thing is to sit around and enjoy your hard work...show it off if necessary.
These are the basics we use as professionals. Wood has no place with stone, the only other thing you could do is some drainage around the stoop(porch), but that depends on grades of the yard.
Have fun and good luck.