The Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau | 117 Third Street South | P.O. Box 789 | Columbus, MS 39703 | 662.329.1191 | 800.327.2686
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Decoration Day

During the Civil War, Columbus served as a hospital town where more than 3,000 wounded soldiers – many from the Battle of Shiloh – were brought for recovery. Thousands more suffered mortal wounds and were laid to rest in the town’s Friendship Cemetery. 

 

In 1866, a group of women from Columbus gathered to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers.  These women made no distinction between Confederate and Union soldiers and, thus, began the nation’s healing process following a divisive Civil War. 

 

A newspaper excerpt from April 26, 1866, recounted the deed, saying: “We are glad to see that no distinction was made between our own Confederate dead and Federal soldiers who slept their last sleep by them. It proved the exalted, unselfish tone of the female character. Confederate and Federal – once enemies, now friends – receiving their tribute of respect.”

 

Judge F.M. Finch, a poet from New York who happened to be in Columbus that day, immortalized the gesture in a poem called “The Blue and the Gray.”  

 

Decoration Day became our nation’s first Memorial Day observance and Columbus is proud to be remembered as the city “where flowers healed a nation.”

Whitehall (c. 1843)

Whitehall (c. 1843)

Open by appointment. Circa 1843 NATIONAL REGISTER HISTORIC DISTRICT   This pillared mansion was built near the street, although the property extended over an entire city block; it includes gardens,…

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Upcoming Events

Society of Mississippi Archivists Conference

26 Apr 2017

The biennial conference of the Society of Mississippi Archivists will be held April 26-28 at…
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Mississippi University for Women Piano Students’ Recital

28 Apr 2017

Mississippi University for Women presents a Piano Students' Recital Friday, April 28, at 7:30 p.m., in Poindexter Hall,…
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Columbus Arts Council Gallery April exhibit

28 Apr 2017

Throughout April, the CAC Gallery exhibit "FLASH POINT," features the work of Melissa Morgan.   A…
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Click here for the Complete List of Upcoming Events.
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