Confederate Heroes’ Day is observed on April 26 annually in many southern U.S. states. The day is set apart to commemorate all the soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the confederacy in the American Civil War. It is a day for ruminating on the sacrifices and achievements of the confederate soldiers who did all they could to stand for what they believed in. These men will forever live in the memories of all southerners for their heroic struggle. We understand why this is so and join the former confederate states to immortalize their lost sons and daughters.
History of Confederate Heroes' Day
Confederate Heroes’ Day, also called Confederate Memorial Day or Confederate Decoration Day, is a state holiday celebrated in the southern U.S. states, to commemorate approximately 260,000 Confederate soldiers who lost their lives in the American Civil War. It was first celebrated in 1866, about 156 years back.
The idea of singling out a day to remember a Georgia branch first conceived the dead Confederate soldiers of the Ladies Memorial Association in 1866. Letters were written from the branch to all other ladies’ associations in the former Confederacy to join in the commemoration. A member of the association — Elizabeth Rutherford Ellis, chose April 26 as the date for the holiday, in honor of the day General Johnston of the Confederacy surrendered to Major General Sherman of the Union, back in 1865, marking the end of the war.
Most states still celebrate it on or near April 26. However, Alabama and Florida celebrate theirs on the fourth Monday in April, while Mississippi celebrates on the last Monday in April. The two Carolina states celebrate theirs on May 10. The major deviations from the April 26 celebration are in Texas, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Texas celebrates theirs on January 19, Kentucky and Tennessee on June 3. States use key events to choose observation days. For example, in 1916, ten states celebrated it on June 3 — the day the then Confederacy president, Jefferson Davis, was born. Other states celebrated it on May 10 — the day Davis was captured by the Union army. The day was first celebrated as a public holiday in 1874 as proclaimed by Georgia legislation. Today, the states of Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina consider the day a public holiday while Florida and North Carolina celebrate it but do not close their offices and banks.
Confederate Heroes' Day timeline
The Ladies Memorial Association of Georgia passes a resolution to designate a day to commemorate Confederate heroes.
The holiday's name is changed to Confederate Memorial Day following the North's observance of Memorial Day.
The holiday is first celebrated as an official holiday.
Ten southern states celebrate the holiday on one day.
"Lee Day" is renamed "Confederate Heroes Day."
Confederate Heroes' Day FAQs
What are the 3 main causes of the Civil War?
They are slavery, sectionalism, and secession.
What is the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day?
Memorial Day remembers those who gave their lives, and Veterans Day honors all who served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Did Confederate soldiers lose citizenship?
No, they did not due to President Lincoln’s Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction.
How to Observe Confederate Heroes' Day
Lay wreaths on graves
Arrange as many flowers as you can get and place them on the graves of the war heroes. This is a beautiful, sentimental way to remember the departed.
Honor the memories of the dead
Honor the memories of the heroes by reminiscing on their sterling achievements and deeds. Tell their stories to others either by posting on social media or organizing a little seminar.
Reiterate the value of peace
Ensure to stress the importance of peaceful coexistence between all Americans today. Our heroes realized its importance and did their best to ensure it.
5 Interesting Facts About The Civil War
The Union army used immigrants
One-third of the Union army were immigrants and of those immigrants, one-tenth were African Americans.
Protest by black Union soldiers
The Black Union soldiers protested against the discrimination between their pay and those of white soldiers by refusing to accept their meager wages for 18 months.
The bloodiest general
Contrary to popular belief that General Grant of the Union army was the most brutal general, Robert Lee of the Confederate army was found to be more brutal as he particularly relished attacks on and by his soldiers.
Highest American casualty record
The number of Americans who died in the civil war is more than those of WWI, WWII, and the Vietnam and Korean Wars combined.
Not entirely nationwide
Not all U.S. states were directly involved in the war — Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, Missouri, and others were called border states.
Why Confederate Heroes' Day is Important
It reminds of honorable struggles
Whether it ended in a loss or not, this day reminds us of the struggles of our heroes' past. It also helps us acknowledge just how dearly they held our nation.
It elaborates on history
There's no better day to tell the history of the country's struggle for unity than this day. We also get to know the key figures during the war.
It promotes unity
One of the reasons we love this holiday is that observers around the southern U.S. states feel more connected to each other and their histories on this day. What is there not to love about this day?
Confederate Heroes' Day dates