Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mini- FIELD Trip to CONFEDERATE Soldiers Cemetery in COLUMBIA, SC

Entrance to Cemetery of Soldiers

My little boy had a half-day of school yesterday , so I decided to take him on a mini-field trip to a local cemetery in Columbia, South Carolina...the oldest cemetery here, and show him one of the oldest Confederate soldiers cemetery in the United States.
I had seen this cemetery when I drove through a few days ago, my mother is buried in this graveyard  ( it is a large graveyard with many acres of different cemeterys ),further down and I was planting pansies back there.I would say it is never very pleasant to go to a graveyard anyway, but Elmwood cemetery is beautiful as far as cemeterys can be. Huge old oak trees, many are live oaks, beautiful old antique monuments , and if I did not have my mother buried there , I would probably appreciate the surroundings even more.
It is in downtown Columbia, with the river running down aways beside it. Anyway, I took my little boy with me and on the way there I tried to explain to him about the civil war, Abraham Lincoln, Sherman burning most of Columbia down, and about the soldiers who died in the we were the losing side of the war. I also told him this was on the National  Registry of Historic Places , trying to whip up some excitement in him in the backseat.

Then I told him I would get him a Happy meal at McDonald's when we were through.
That was the first smile I got out of him on the way there.

What I was surprised at was how small it was. We parked and got out to look around and take some pictures, it was an overcast...windy day.
Above is the entrance arbor above that says, " Confederate Soldiers 1861-1865 ". This graveyard was made during the civil war and used then and afterwords for the remaining civil war veterans.

This was the neat old granite memorial dedicated to the soldiers that says " This memorial is dedicated to confederate soldiers buried in unmarked graves in this cemetery. Some known by name , others by initials, twenty-five known but to God. " 
As history tells, the original records of the fallen soldiers was sent to a downtown church, that Sherman burnt down, and subsequently , all the original records of who all these men were and how they died was forever lost.

It was nice when people used to credit more to God on public markers than they do now , like they did on this one.

 The front view with the small grave markers

The markers barely reach to my knees, and there is a glorious gigantic oak beside the front of the graveyard, there is also a small platform behind me that they do memorial services once a year on.

That's my little boy running through, I think he expected to see guns or soldier's hats or something. He is also running because it was chilly but he WOULDN'T listen to his mom about bringing his jacket !

Most of the markers appear to be made of marble, which with time gets soft from the elements, so the inscriptions are hard to make out. If you are a civil war buff though, I'll bet you can figure out some of the regiments and what some of the initials mean. I am assuming troop numbers or rank or something.

One marker

One after another

We saw a few with small confederate flags in front.

He is still running around, but we decide to go check out the large monument in the center.

This seem to impress him the most, plus all the daddy long leg spiders everywhere.

Case in point, photo taken by my son

A large marble obelisk style monument in the center.
This is a large center monument  that the Ladies Memorial Association collected money from various towns in South Carolina to be able to purchase and erect for the fallen soldiers in 1899.

A large granite monument to the far right field of the cemetery.

This appears to be a monument erected by the Confederate women ( United Daughters of the Confederacy ) in honor of the soldiers who did not die in battle but went to a final years, or retirement home , and then passed away. Their names are all on here.

It kept getting breezier, and more overcast...and I was blocking a street as they are only one car width lanes through her, so we had to go.
I expected this to be much larger, but it only had 189 veterans buried there. So I would say this is a small graveyard , there is also one in Charleston, SC of civil war soldiers. I am including a link to the Elmwood cemetery graves of important soldiers that are marked here .Important graves of soldiers.
  You can find this little graveyard, open 365 days a year...daylight hours only and you can google Elmwood Cemetery Columbia, SC and get directions from wherever you are.
We hopped in the car and headed on our way to McDonalds...I was thinking how sad these young men died in the war, nameless markers...and my little boy was requesting a milkshake with his happy meal.
Such is life.

I hope you have a blessed day,

" Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me. " Psalm 138:7