Scenic USA - Mississippi

Natchez City Cemetery

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Natchez City Cemetery - Natchez, Mississippi

Photo by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Photography

   Much has been written about America's Civil War, or what Southerners would eventually call, the War Between the States. Information and in-depth stories of important battles, turning points, famous leaders and statistics dominate novels, documentaries, websites and battlefield ground storyboards. But what is often glossed over is the loss of life and war's aftermath. Nearly two percent of the American population, Cemetery Scenes - Natchez, Mississippi an estimated 620,000 men, lost their lives in the Civil War. Memorial Day reminds us of how strong differences of opinion, religion zeal and nationalism sometimes lead to war.
   Experiencing heavy losses on each side, thousands and thousands Civil War casualties brought grieving families to their loved one's gravesite. The custom of a special Memorial Day celebration has been claimed by at least two dozen southern areas. Only the state of Virginia's Confederate Memorial Day coincides with America's traditional Memorial Day. Other states consider days from January through June as Confederate Memorial Days. Southern women's groups were decorating graves before the Civil War's end, but most spontaneous and planned gatherings, to honor the dead, began in 1866. This special day is part of the healing process, a reconciliation and coming together to honor those who gave their all.
   Near the main gate of the Natchez City Cemetery, a special section was set aside for the Confederate dead. While Confederate graves are scattered throughout the cemetery, two large plots were for Confederate veterans. Confederate flags are allowed to be displayed on graves Cemetery Scenes - Natchez, Mississippi during Confederate Memorial day in April and America's traditional Memorial Day. Established in 1822, well before the Civil War, people from all walks of life are buried in this 100 acre tract overlooking the Mississippi River.
   Following the Civil War, the U.S. government purchased property nearby the Natchez City Cemetery to establish the Natchez National Cemetery. The 11 acre cemetery was one of 21 national cemeteries established to properly inter the Civil War dead. Original burials in the Natchez National Cemetery included Union soldiers who died while under care at a nearby military hospital. The U.S. government transferred remains of soldiers buried in and near Vidalia, Louisiana (across the Mississippi River from Natchez) and numerous other sites within a 50-mile radius of Natchez. By 1871, the cemetery held the remains of 3086 Union men, with only 253 identified.

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