Question of the Week: 5/29-6/4/23

Do you have any Memorial Day traditions with a Civil War connection?

9 Responses to Question of the Week: 5/29-6/4/23

  1. My mother’s family placed flowers for many years at the grave in Mobile, AL, of Cpl. Middleton D, Rosson, 8th AL, who died of wounds in November 1862. Now this tradition has been lost by subsequent generations.

  2. Beginning last year, I have a new Memorial Day “tradition” – spending the afternoon at the nearby Saint Gaudens National Historic Site with Dartmouth College students who are taking Professor Bob Bonner’s Civil War class this spring, along with some other students from two other spring-term history courses and their professors. This year several of the students will be interpreting the re-castings of the 54th Massachusetts and Admiral Farragut Memorials and the “Standing Lincoln” statue at the Site, as well as the sculptor’s Sherman Memorial.

  3. No traditions. But about twenty years ago, I spent Memorial Day at the Manassas battlefield and was witness to a powerful tribute.

  4. I grew up in a small town in the Mid-Hudson Valley about 75 miles north of New York City. In the 1950s and ’60s the town held a Memorial Day parade in which virtually everyone was involved from Cub Scouts and Brownies to the most elderly veterans. We marched from the village to the cemetery for a wreath-laying at the Civil War memorial. The memorial listed the names of 32 men from the town who had lost their lives in the Civil War serving the Union. It was a very small town with no more than 2,500 residents in 1860. We then resumed the march stopping at a separate memorial to the 156th Infantry Regiment at the busy intersection of two roads. Three companies of the 156th were raised in the town. One company of the 120th was also from the town and many others enlisted in the 80th NY (20th NY militia) and other units. Finally we returned to the village for the main address which always included many references to the Civil War.

  5. We visit the graves of Maj. Stephen Decatur Carpenter (19th U.S. Infantry, KIA at Stones River) and Maj. William Pitcher (4th Maine Infantry, KIA at Fredericksburg) to pay our respects to these two heroes. They are buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery in Bangor, Maine. We called upon them this morning.

  6. We visited the cemetery where our nephew is buried. There was a nice ceremony for branches of the military service. Taps was played, which I believe was originally done in the civil war. We had a very low fly by of a Coast Guard Helicopter. It was so close that the men inside were easily visible. Most of the crowd was waving at them and we could see the service member in the large open door waving back. I told my wife that is where the person operating a heavy machine gun would sit and that if we were hostile we would all be dead.

  7. I believe we just started a new one this year. My son is a Boy Scout and since we moved to a place a bit closer to Gettysburg, his Troop received an invitation to place flags on the graves in the Soldier’s National Cemetery. It was wonderful and moving to be a small part of helping do that. I hope to make this a yearly tradition moving forward.

  8. More often than not, my family and I go to Gettysburg and visit the grave of an ancestor in the National Cemetery (Corp. John Van Alstyne, Co. A, 150th New York; killed July 3, 1863 at Culp’s Hill).

    In any case, I always reserve some time on Memorial Day to read some of Walt Whitman’s reflections about the war.

Please leave a comment and join the discussion!

%d bloggers like this: