A few weeks ago, my husband and I visited
A block or so from Battery Park, we saw a group of smartly-dressed folk gathering with Confederate flags. Some wore dress suits and hats while others sported Confederate uniforms. Our guide told us they were celebrating Confederate Memorial Day. In South Carolina, the day occurs annually on May 10. In other states it is held on other days, generally in the spring. Regardless of timing, it is held as a day to honor the memory of southerners who died during the Civil War. The day was especially chosen for Stonewall Jackson who died May 10, 1863 after being wounded at Chancellorsville.
From the 1880’s until his death in 1926, my husband’s great-grandfather and his family lived in
Just before we arrived at the Magnolia Cemetery Office to pick up a map, we passed by the start of another large gathering of folk, coming to celebrate Confederate Memorial Day. A tent had been erected and chairs lined up. Scores of graves surrounding the tent were marked with Confederate flags. The event would soon start.
We proceeded to Great-Grandfather’s gravesite. Not far away, was the burial site of the men of had died on the H.L. Hunley, the first submarine to sink a ship in wartime. In the resulting explosion the Hunley also sank and remained at the bottom of the Charleston Harbor for 131 years. (See this link for a brief history and some incredible photos of Charleston.) The men from the Hunley were interred in Magnolia Cemetery in 2004.
Through the years there has been a lot of controversy over Confederate Memorial Day, particularly when it became a state holiday in South Carolina. Still, it is a day to honor those who died in battle fighting for a cause they believed in. A day to remember the Civil War and the history that made America.
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From the comments received for this post, I’ll hold a drawing for a lovely hand-crocheted bookmark. Drawing to be held Saturday evening, May 28th. Be sure to leave a link with an e-mail address where you can be reached.
Posted by Debra Maher.
Please visit my blog at debmaher.com