Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A bit about Confederate Memorial Day

For 134 years, the state of Georgia has recognized confederate soldiers who fought during America's Civil War. While not able to document who initiated this idea, legends state the roots of Confederate Memorial Day are in Georgia as well.

In 1865, Decoration Day was first held in Kingston, Georgia, while the Federal troops were still in residence. Ladies placed flowers on both confederate and federal forces graves.

Another legend recalls Mrs. Charles J Williams, grieving widow of Colonel Charles Williams, in Columbus, Georgia, visiting her husband's grave. He was a member of the Army of Virginia in the First GA Regulars, and died in 1862. Accompanied by her daughter who would place flowers on the unmarked fallen soldiers' graves, Mrs. Williams mourned her loss. After death also summoned her young daughter, she took on the task of placing flowers on the graves of the confederate soldiers.

After the war, Mrs. Williams was instrumental in the battle to have confederate soldiers remembered. She is credited with saying there needed to be a special day for "paying honor to those who died defending the life, honor and happiness of the Southern women."

In 1874, the Georgia Legislature passed a law declaring April 26 as Confederate Memorial Day. April 26th is also noted as the day the Civil War ended for Geoagia as General Joseph E Johnston surrendered to General William Sherman in North Carolina.

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