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Tributes paid to fallen Confederates
By ROBERT LEE LONG
Monday, April 26, 2010
HERNANDO - The echoes of a war long past and the sound of "Taps" reverberated past the tall granite obelisks and gravestones at Hernando Memorial Cemetery.
On a weekend marked by deadly tornadoes, a crowd of about 150 gathered at the sprawling cemetery on Sunday to remember those who died in carnage from the turbulent conflict of the War Between the States.
Mississippi, which lost almost one-third of its male population in the war, still recognizes those who died with a special commemoration at one of the county's oldest cemeteries.
State and county offices were closed throughout DeSoto County and Mississippi for Confederate Memorial Day on Monday.
"The South is known as a land of cousins," Sons of Confederate Veterans Past Commander Bobby Mitchell said, noting many in the crowd on hand for the occasion discovered they were distant cousins brought together by a shared love of history. "We've known each other from generation to generation."
Mitchell said many of the soldiers who fought for the Confederacy were simple farm boys who fought to preserve their homes and farms.
"The men who served in the conflict weren't professional soldiers," Mitchell said. "These soldiers didn't have much to do with the political controversies of the time. They were just citizens expressing their vision and hopes."
Mitchell said a much larger crowd was on hand during the dedication of a memorial in 1989 erected in the rear portion of the cemetery honoring soldiers from the era.
He said despite the fact many in the Sons of Confederate Veterans are getting older, younger generations will be left to carry on the work of preserving history.
A group of reenactors in the 17th Mississippi Infantry reenactment unit fired musket volleys into the air and a cannon blast boomed a birthday salute to Confederate President Jefferson Davis and in honor of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
Copyright © 2010 Desoto Times Tribune
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