First Memorial Day
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member electrical_chris
N 32° 48.037 W 079° 57.466
17S E 597582 N 3629663
Historical marker located in Charleston, SC.
Waymark Code: WM17VMR
Location: South Carolina, United States
Date Posted: 04/08/2023
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member BIO-HAZRD
Views: 0

(Front) Hampton Park was once home to the Washington Race Course and Jockey Club. In 1864 this site became an outdoor prison for Union soldiers. Before Charleston fell in Feb. 1865, more than 250 prisoners died and were buried in mass graves. After Confederate evacuation, black ministers and northern missionaries led an effort to reinter bodies and build a fence around a newly established cemetery. Over the entrance workmen inscribed the words “Martyrs of the Racecourse.”

(Reverse) On May 1, 1865 a parade to honor the Union war dead took place here. The event marked the earliest celebration of what became known as “Memorial Day.” The crowd numbered in the thousands, with African American school children from newly formed Freedmen’s Schools leading the parade. They were followed by church leaders, Freedpeople, Unionists, and members of the 54th Mass., 34th, and 104th U.S. Colored Infantries. The dead were later reinterred in Beaufort.
Marker Name: First Memorial Day

Marker Location: City

Type of Marker: Other

Marker number: 10-99

County: Charleston

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electrical_chris visited First Memorial Day 04/08/2023 electrical_chris visited it