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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Columbus in Lowndes County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
 

Confederate Decoration Day

 
 
Confederate Decoration Day Marker image. Click for full size.
By Davis Darryl Hartness, August 13, 2007
1. Confederate Decoration Day Marker
Inscription. Began here, April 25, 1866, with first annual placing of flowers on graves of Blue and Gray. Idea originated at meeting in Twelve Gables home of Miss Matt Morton.
 
Erected 1957 by Mississippi Historical Commission.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Mississippi State Historical Marker Program marker series.
 
Location. 33° 29.56′ N, 88° 25.816′ W. Marker is in Columbus, Mississippi, in Lowndes County. Marker is on 3rd Street South near 3rd Avenue South. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Columbus MS 39701, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. St. Paul's Episcopal Church (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Columbus Mississippi Blues (about 500 feet away); The Tennessee Williams Visitors Center (about 700 feet away); First Home of Tennessee Williams (about 700 feet away); Columbus (approx. 0.2 miles away); Robinson Road (approx. 0.2 miles away); First Methodist Church (approx. mile away); First Christian Church (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbus.
 
Regarding Confederate Decoration Day. The legend goes that in 1866 a group of women
Confederate Decoration Day Marker image. Click for full size.
By Davis Darryl Hartness, July 2, 2008
2. Confederate Decoration Day Marker
from Columbus, Mississippi, went to the local cemetery to decorate Confederate graves. They noticed some graves in the corner of the cemetery that were unadorned. After they placed flowers on those markers, someone pointed out that those were Yankee graves. One of the women responded “We are sure there are mothers, sister, wives, or sweethearts who are mourning these dead men, so we are going to honor them also.”

Many of the Southern States adopted their own dates of remembrance for their beloved Confederate Soldiers. Several of those dates revolve around a specific event in Southern history. Mississippi honors its Confederate heroes on the last Monday in April.
 
Also see . . .  The Library of Congress - Today in History: May 30. When a women's memorial association in Columbus, Mississippi, decorated the graves of both Confederate and Union soldiers on April 25, 1866, this act of generosity and reconciliation prompted an editorial piece, published by Horace Greeley's New York Tribune, and a poem by Francis Miles Finch, "The Blue and the Grey," published in the Atlantic Monthly. The practice of strewing flowers on soldiers' graves soon became popular throughout the reunited nation. (Submitted on June 26, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.) 
 
Additional comments.
Confederate Decoration Day Marker image. Click for full size.
By Davis Darryl Hartness, August 26, 2007
3. Confederate Decoration Day Marker
This monument is in Friendship Cemetery. The inscription reads “Site of first Decoration Day, Columbus, Miss. April 25, 1866. Erected by John foster Society of C. A. R., 1932.” C.A.R. are initials for Children of the American Revolution.

1. The Blue And The Gray
Francis Miles Finch (1827-1907)
Inspired by this event in Columbus, MS.

By the flow of the inland river,
Whence the fleets of iron have fled,
Where the blades of the grave-grass quiver,
Asleep are the ranks of the dead:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day;
Under the one, the Blue,
Under the other, the Gray

These in the robings of glory,
Those in the gloom of defeat,
All with the battle-blood gory,
In the dusk of eternity meet:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgement-day
Under the laurel, the Blue,
Under the willow, the Gray.

From the silence of sorrowful hours
The desolate mourners go,
Lovingly laden with flowers
Alike for the friend and the foe;
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgement-day;
Under the roses, the Blue,
Under the lilies, the Gray.

So with an equal splendor,
The morning sun-rays fall,
With a touch impartially tender,
On the blossoms blooming for all:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day;
Broidered with gold, the Blue,
Mellowed with gold, the Gray.

So, when
Twelve Gables Sign image. Click for full size.
By Davis Darryl Hartness, July 2, 2008
4. Twelve Gables Sign
This is the home where the ladies actually held their meeting for Decoration Day
the summer calleth,
On forest and field of grain,
With an equal murmur falleth
The cooling drip of the rain:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment -day,
Wet with the rain, the Blue
Wet with the rain, the Gray.

Sadly, but not with upbraiding,
The generous deed was done,
In the storm of the years that are fading
No braver battle was won:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day;
Under the blossoms, the Blue,
Under the garlands, the Gray

No more shall the war cry sever,
Or the winding rivers be red;
They banish our anger forever
When they laurel the graves of our dead!
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day,
Love and tears for the Blue,
Tears and love for the Gray.
    — Submitted June 26, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.

2. Memorial Day
President Obama paid tribute to Columbus, Mississippi and Decoration Day in his 2010 Memorial Day Speech. He spoke of a group of women who visited the graves of Confederate soldiers on April 25, 1866 and placed flowers on their graves. They realized that no one had visited the Union soldiers and placed
Twelve Gables Home image. Click for full size.
By Davis Darryl Hartness, July 2, 2008
5. Twelve Gables Home
Acutal Twelve Gables Home
flowers on their graves also.
    — Submitted April 11, 2013, by Davis Darryl Hartness of Columbus, Mississippi.

 
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesNotable EventsWar, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 26, 2008, by Davis Darryl Hartness of Columbus, Mississippi. This page has been viewed 3,630 times since then and 101 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on June 26, 2008, by Davis Darryl Hartness of Columbus, Mississippi.   2. submitted on July 2, 2008, by Davis Darryl Hartness of Columbus, Mississippi.   3. submitted on June 29, 2008, by Davis Darryl Hartness of Columbus, Mississippi.   4, 5. submitted on July 2, 2008, by Davis Darryl Hartness of Columbus, Mississippi. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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