Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Some Memories for Memorial Day

April.........Alma A. Pelot took this photo April 15, 1861 inside Fort Sumter, South Carolina when the Stars and Bars were raised.  This was where the war started. This US fort is on a spit of land in the harbor of Charleston, and was fired on by the Confederates when the commander refused a summons to surrender.

That was 150 years ago, so this is the Sesquicentennial.

May......... Decoration Day

The US holiday of Memorial Day can be and is traced to an order of General  John Logan. He came with the Army of the Cumberland up through Georgia, along with General Sherman.

But the idea can be traced a little further back, before he thought of it,  to Confederate widows decorating the graves of the fallen, thus the tradition of Decoration Day.

There were a quarter million Confederate dead, and rather more than that from the Northern States. These remain the lion's share of American veterans killed in all the wars.

Here is some film from way back to see the living. We are familiar with the black and white photos, but these are some very early films. First a Confederate veterans gathering from 1914. You won't be able to hear the music since it is a silent film.

Then this next one, an extraordinary 11 second clip, is believed to be from June 25, 1863, and shows the Army of Northern Virginia on the march through Maryland, a narrow State, to the fateful Battle of Gettysburg within the week, in Pennsylvania.

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