Confederate Memorial Day
|Confederate Memorial Day|
|Also called||Confederate Heroes Day|
|First time||April 26, 1866|
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. 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. The war officially ended with the signing of Presidential Proclamation 157 on August 20, 1866.
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.
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. 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.
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- "Confederate Memorial Day parade on Main Street" [Wauchula, Florida] (Black & white photoprint). Tallahassee, Fla.: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory. 1912. RC21281. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
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- Ruiz, Myra (May 11, 2015). "Historians Explain Reason for Observing Confederate Memorial Day". WYFF-TV. Greenville, S.C. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
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