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Columbus is basically the town I live in (we live on the outskirts in another small little town), and it has its flaws, but it is a pretty city. We have a bunch of antebellum homes and gardens, beautiful views from the Tombigbee River, etc..

Here's a few of those homes (these are the ones open to the public):



The reason Columbus has so many antebellum homes is because during the Civil War, Columbus served as a hospital town. Thousands of soldiers died, and they are buried in Friendship Cemetary (Said to be haunted). Here's a couple of pics of it:





The ladies in our town decided to get together and place flowers on the Union and Confederate soldiers' graves on May 29, 1866. Towns nearby heard about it and did the same. A famous poet (Francis Miles Finch) was in the area and witnessed it, and he wrote a poem called The Blue and The Gray about it.

This poem was very popular, and everyone heard about the ladies placing the flowers on the graves. Placing flowers on the graves spread everywhere around the country. It became known as Memorial Day, and that's how it started.

Other than being the birthplace of Tennessee Williams (which is the 4th house down on the pic of the homes - it's a museum and welcome center today), this is about the only thing our little town is known for. :)

Here's the poem for those interested:

The Blue And The Gray
Francis Miles Finch (1827-1907)

By the flow of the inland river,
Whence the fleets of iron have fled,
Where the blades of the grave-grass quiver,
Asleep are the ranks of the dead:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day;
Under the one, the Blue,
Under the other, the Gray
These in the robings of glory,
Those in the gloom of defeat,
All with the battle-blood gory,
In the dusk of eternity meet:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgement-day
Under the laurel, the Blue,
Under the willow, the Gray.

From the silence of sorrowful hours
The desolate mourners go,
Lovingly laden with flowers
Alike for the friend and the foe;
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgement-day;
Under the roses, the Blue,
Under the lilies, the Gray.

So with an equal splendor,
The morning sun-rays fall,
With a touch impartially tender,
On the blossoms blooming for all:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day;
Broidered with gold, the Blue,
Mellowed with gold, the Gray.

So, when the summer calleth,
On forest and field of grain,
With an equal murmur falleth
The cooling drip of the rain:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment -day,
Wet with the rain, the Blue
Wet with the rain, the Gray.

Sadly, but not with upbraiding,
The generous deed was done,
In the storm of the years that are fading
No braver battle was won:
Under the sod adn the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day;
Under the blossoms, the Blue,
Under the garlands, the Gray

No more shall the war cry sever,
Or the winding rivers be red;
They banish our anger forever
When they laurel the graves of our dead!
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day,
Love and tears for the Blue,
Tears and love for the Gray
 
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