The Yankee invaders came South and burned, raped and stole their way through the land. In the end they even stole the idea of honoring their dead from the South. Logan’s General Order No. 11
HEADQUARTERS GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC
General Orders No.11, WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868
1. The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.
We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, “of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion.” What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.
If other eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us.
Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from hishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation’s gratitude, the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.
2. It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to lend its friendly aid in bringing to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.
3. Department commanders will use efforts to make this order effective.
By order of
JOHN A. LOGAN,
WM. T. COLLINS, A.A.G.
This below taken from the Beginning of the Friendship Cemetery Books at the Columbus-Lowndes Library:
Written in 1979 …….
Friendship Cemetery was founded May 30, 1849 on a five acre parcel owned and operated by the Union Lodge No. 35 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. In 1957, when the Odd Fellows deeded the cemetery to the City of Columbus, it had expanded to its present fifty-five acres. The first recorded burial here was of Mary Elizabeth Sinclair who died July 16, 1849. There are several tombstones bearing earlier dates, but are of persons moved to Friendship from other cemeteries. With the exception of the Civil War years and a period between 1900 and 1918, the records have been fairly well kept and preserved; however, there are many persons buried without gravestones, for others the ravages of time have erased their markers.
Over the past two years many broken and discarded gravestones have been repaired and replaced. On page 335 is a list of names taken from these markers which had not been recorded in the burial books, making it impossible to place them on their proper graves. It has been our endeavor to correlate the information gathered from the tombstones with that recorded in the burial books.
During the Civil War years two portions of the cemetery were set aside for the burial of confederate soldiers. The outline in the burial book indicates the number of confederate dead to be 2, 194; however, in 1934 1,260 marble markers were installed and only 47 of those were inscribed with names. In 1976, with the discovery of an older record book, the names, units and grave numbers of an additional 298 soldiers and one nurse were revealed.
These were added to our known list of confederate dead, and their markers are now installed. The remainder of the markers bear the inscription of “Unknown Confederate Soldier.” In many cases there are discrepancies between the dates on the gravestones and in the burial books. The birth and death dates have been taken from the markers when available, but, if there is a variance of more than a few days, the date from the marker is noted in parentheses.
Both Confederate and Union soldiers who died in the 1862 Battle of Shiloh are buried in Friendship Cemetery at 14th Avenue and Fourth Street.
Friendship Cemetery in Columbus, has been called “Where Flowers Healed A Nation”? On April 25, 1866 the ladies of Columbus, Mississippi decided to decorate both Confederate and Union soldiers’ graves with garlands and bouquets of beautiful flowers. As a direct result of this kind gesture, Americans celebrate what has come to be called MEMORIAL DAY each year.
To prove that this observance began in the South (more than likely Mississippi as noted above not Petersburg) we have this Yankee website that proves this point —-