theme song

(Churchyard with graves) (between 1862 and 1869; LOC: https://www.loc.gov/item/cwp2003005862/PP/)

both sides now: “Under the sod and the dew, Waiting the judgment day;—”

On September 17, 1867 a national cemetery at Antietam was dedicated; dead Confederates were excluded, at least partly because of the rancor of war. 150 years ago this month a magazine included a poem that celebrated a somewhat different attitude. The poet was Francis Miles Finch: “Perhaps his best known poem, “The Blue and the Gray”, written in remembrance of the dead of the American Civil War, was inspired by a women’s memorial association in Columbus, Mississippi, who on April 25, 1866 tended the graves of Confederate and Union soldiers, treating the dead as equals despite the lingering rancor of the war.”

From The Atlantic Monthly, VOL. XX.—SEPTEMBER, 1867.—NO. CXIX.:




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They sleep in lonely southern graves (1867; LOC: https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200001415/?q=lonely+southern+grave)

although well-decorated in Columbus, Mississippi

“A contrast! Federal buried, rebel unburied, where they fell at the Battle of Antietam”

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Meanwhile in the land of the living (100 years ago) veterans of the American Civil War reportedly marched in London.

NY Times 9-23-1917(LOC: https://www.loc.gov/item/sn78004456/1917-09-23/ed-1/?q=september+23+1917)

veterans in London

NY Tribune 9-23-1917(LOC: https://www.loc.gov/item/sn83030214/1917-09-23/ed-1/?q=september+23+1917)

London bridge

All of the images are from the Library of Congress, although none are from Columbus, Mississippi: stereograph; sheet music; Alexander Gardner’s contrast at Antietam – the photo “from nature” is said to show “a man looking at the grave of 1st Lt. John A. Clark, Company D, 7th Michigan Infantry. A dead rebel soldier lies next to it.”; veterans from the September 23, 1917 issue of The New-York Times; at the Y.M.C.A. from the September 23, 1917 issue of the ; Charleston – the Confederate monument is in the background.
Fallen of the mighty conflict--graves of Confederate soldiers, Charleston, S. Carolina (1903; LOC: https://www.loc.gov/item/91705340/)

Confederate graves, Charleston in 1903

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