Posted 1 month ago
Dedicated To All The Brave Who Fell In The Late Conflict 1865 I feel this is the first Civil War Memorial Day Song. Oddly, I asked a few teenagers what Memorial Day is for, and NONE of them knew! I do live in a 90% Spanish Speaking Community, but I would have assumed it was still mentioned in
public school, ---as to WHY they have the day off. Cover says
"STREWING THE FLOWERS OVER THE GRAVES OF NOBLE HEROES".
Memorial day had been mentioned in some history books, including Robert Rosen's "Confederate Charleston," but the story gained national attention when David W. Blight, a professor of American history at Yale, took interest. He discovered a mention of the first Decoration Day in the uncataloged writings of a Union soldier at a Harvard University library.
He contacted the Avery Research Center in Charleston, which helped him find the first newspaper account of the event. An article about the "Martyrs of the Race Course" ( a PRISON CAMP for Union Soldiers during the Civil War) had appeared in the Charleston Daily Courier the day after the ceremony. Blight was intrigued and did more research. He published an account of the day in his book, "Race and Reunion." Soon he gave lectures on the event around the country.
"What's interesting to me is how the memory of this got lost," Blight said. "It is, in effect, the first Memorial Day and it was primarily led by former slaves in Charleston." They dug up all the Union Soldiers bodies buried in a mass grave, and gave each one a proper burial!
Did you know that? Was it taught in school? Not in Chicago Schools I attended; and I never heard it anytime, anywhere in my lifetime--til now.