Confederate Memorial Day

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Not to be confused with Memorial Day.
Confederate Memorial Day
Standard government headstone for unknown Confederate soldier, Beech Grove, Tennessee
Also called Confederate Heroes Day
Observed by
Type Cultural
Frequency Annual
First time April 26, 1866; 150 years ago (1866-04-26)
Related to

Confederate Memorial Day, also called Confederate Heroes Day in Texas, is a public holiday observed by the U.S. states of Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas since end of the American Civil War to remember the estimated 258,000 members of the Confederate States Army, Navy, Marines, and militia who died in the line of duty.[1] The day is also marked by observances in many other states. It is observed on April 26 in most Southern states to recall the surrender of their last major field army at Bennett Place on that date in 1865.[2] The war officially ended with the signing of Presidential Proclamation 157 on August 20, 1866.[3]


The Monument to Confederate Dead, Hollywood, Richmond, Virginia, 1905.

In the spring of 1866 the Ladies Memorial Association of Columbus, Georgia, passed a resolution to set aside one day annually to memorialize the Confederate war dead. Mary Ann Williams, the association secretary, was directed to pen a letter inviting ladies associations in every Southern state to join them in the observance.[4]

Their invitation was written in March 1866 and sent to all of the principal cities in the South, including Atlanta, Macon, Montgomery, Memphis, Richmond, St. Louis, Alexandria, Columbia, and New Orleans. The actual date for the holiday was selected by Elizabeth Rutherford Ellis.[5] She chose April 26, the first anniversary of Confederate General Johnston's surrender to Major-General Sherman at Bennett Place. For many in the South, that date in 1865 marked the end of the civil war.[4]


Confederate Memorial Day observance in front of the Monument to Confederate Dead, Columbia, South Carolina, on May 10, 2012.


In Alabama, Confederate Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday in April.[2] It is a public holiday and state offices are closed.[6]


In Florida, Confederate Memorial Day is observed on April 26.[2] When it falls upon a Sunday, the public holiday will be observed on the following Monday.[7]


In Mississippi, Confederate Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday in April.[2] It is a public holiday and state executives may close their respective offices.[8]

South Carolina[edit]

In South Carolina, Confederate Memorial Day is observed on May 10.[2] If on a Saturday, it shifts to Friday. If Sunday, it will be observed the following Monday.[9]


In Texas, Confederate Heroes Day (also called Confederate Memorial Day) is observed on January 19. It is a public holiday and some state agencies may operate on reduced staff.[10][11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Boyer, Paul S., ed. (2001). The Oxford Companion to United States History. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 132. ISBN 0-19-508209-5. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Woolf, Henry Bosley, ed. (1976). Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary. Springfield, Massachusetts: G. & C. Merriam Co. p. 236. ISBN 0-87779-338-7. OL 5207141M. 
  3. ^ Plante, Trevor K. (Spring 2015). "Ending the Bloodshed: The Last Surrenders of the Civil War". Prologue. Vol. 47 no. 1. Washington, D.C.: NARA. Retrieved December 18, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Lucian Lamar Knight. "Georgia's Landmarks, Memorials, and Legends ...: Under the code duello ...". p. 156. Retrieved January 15, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Lizzie Rutherford (1833-1873) | New Georgia Encyclopedia". 2004. Retrieved January 15, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Confederate Memorial Day still recognized in Alabama and across the South". Alabama Media Group. The Associated Press. April 27, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine". Retrieved January 15, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Confederate Memorial Day". April 27, 2015. Retrieved January 15, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Division of State Human Resources | Department of Administration - State of South Carolina". 2015. Retrieved December 17, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Memorial Day History - Office of Public Affairs". 2015. Retrieved January 15, 2016. 
  11. ^

Further reading[edit]