Mississippi’s forgotten Dead

  My memorial day weekend began with a funeral. It amazes me still how someone’s passing can affect so many lives. I watched as everyone interacted, these people who rarely see each other catching up. All with separate lives to lead yet inexplicably linked by blood, they laughed and cried together as family ought do.

Neglected Confederate graves litter New Salem cemetery

    As the service concluded I made my way to our vehicles and joined the funeral procession. As we made our way to the graveside and concluded the service I began to wonder if there were Confederates buried way out here in the woods.

    In the back corner were several rows of graves obviously older than the others, I decided to take a look.

    It didn’t take long to find what was the object of my little side trip. There were indeed a few Confederate graves in various stages of disrepair. Several almost completely illegible.

Stone without date with apparent age
Simple homeade stones of New Salem cemetery
Graves marked only with stones
A single brick denotes the final resting place of this mississippian

    Seeing the unknown and unremembered dead like this  was hard. There was no way to know who these men were, buried beneath the Mississippi clay.

    Mississippi supplied over 80,000 men during the Civil War. It answered the call to secession and paid a heavy price. Our dead litter the country side, their deeds increasingly forgotten. It’s a shame that such bravery was inevitably rewarded with obscurity.

    Today we walk by these places oblivious to the men who fought and died for our right to simply exist. The young pay little to no attention to their deeds, their songs go unsung. Our educational institutions teach of the evil Southron man and the legacy of his hate.

    As the sun set in this place of contemplation, it occurred to me that we were watching another sunset as a people. The lifestyle, cultural capital, and traditions of our forefathers were all but gone. Very soon there might come a day when we are no more.