This weekend, at various locations across North Carolina, Confederate Memorial Day was commemorated. I know of at least three ceremonies that took place within two hours of my home on either Saturday or Sunday. My wife and I usually attend the ceremony at Oakdale Cemetery in Wilmington. She is a member of the Cape Fear Chapter #3, United Daughters of the Confederacy, which sponsors this particular ceremony each year. For those not familiar with Wilmington, Oakdale is the prototypical old southern cemetery. The ceremony is always held at the Confederate memorial in the cemetery where many unnamed soldiers are buried. From the monument you can see the grave of Captain Joseph Price, the third and final captain of the ironclad CSS Neuse. Many other prominent folks are buried in the cemetery, including Major General W.H.C. Whiting, Commander of the Cape Fear District and focus of my wife's research. For us, Confederate Memorial Day is a chance to go and visit the graves of our respective heroes, and see a lot of folks that we normally don't see except for at these types of events. I also dress out and fall in with the honor guard each year, which is a Confederate Marine Corps unit based in Wilmington.
Photo of me and Dr. Chris Fonvielle at a previous CMD ceremony at Oakdale
All intentions were to go this year, but the fates conspired against us. My stepdaughter has been sick all weekend and we knew she would rebel if we tried to pry her out of the bed. It is also the end of the semester and I had final exams and other assignments to grade for the three classes I teach at the community college. Plus, when we got up this morning the weather was terrible - windy, slightly rainy, and chilly. By this afternoon the sun had come out, but the wind and temps had not improved, so Confederate Memorial Day went by the wayside this year. On the positive side, I got all my grading done, I didn't have to clean a musket when I got home, and we can always visit the Captain and the General later. Sure, I missed seeing old friends and doing my part for the Lost Cause (which I don't mind doing from time to time), but there's always next year.