Historian Michael C. Hardy's quest to understand the Confederate army, from the boots up. (Formerly Looking for North Carolina's Civil War)
Monday, July 18, 2011
Adventures and thoughts on a Florida cemetery
Well, as you have probably figured out, I’ve been gone for the past week. We left the Wilmington area and spent a week in Florida. I always have these grand illusions that I’ll post while I am gone, or that I will write something and post it while I am gone, but I never seem to get it done. Maybe I should just say up front that I’ll be gone….
The weekend in the greater Wilmington area was great. I spent Saturday at Fort Fisher, talking to folks and selling a few books. I even got to watch the firing of their new 32-pounder – a real treat. I spent time on the beach, and just wandering around the site. On Sunday, I spoke to the SCV Camp in Whiteville, and even got a picture of the Columbus County Confederate Monument to add to my collection. I also learned of a previous monument at Fort Fisher, one that is no longer there. Thanks, Fort Fisher staff, for that tidbit, for a super lunch, and for taking such good care of me generally!
One of the days we were in Orlando, after visiting the Orange County History Center, we drove over to the Greenwood Cemetery. I’ve been in this cemetery at least once before. There are numerous veterans of the Blue and Gray interred there – you can see a list here – including a few Tar Heels who relocated after the War.
What strikes me as interesting (ok, cemeteries are interesting), is that there are separate, post-war (in some cases, graves from the 20th century) plots for US Civil War soldiers, and CS WBTS soldiers. Yes, there are other veterans scattered across the older parts of the cemetery, and yes, there are non-Civil War soldiers buried in these sections, but I don’t think I have ever come across a cemetery with post-war sections designated for the two different groups. Have you? Chances are there are, and I’ve probably been there, but I surely cannot recall them.
Both sections are surrounded by a small (6-inch ?) wall, with an opening for an entrance. The US section has a GAR monument. The CS does not have a monument, but there is a large CS monument a few blocks away (around Lake Eola). The Confederates are marked with iron crosses. All of the US graves had flags on them. The sections are only a baseball’s throw away from each other.
So those are my adventures in the land of heart and humidity, and I look forward to your comments.