Decoration Day Honored U.S. Civil War Veterans; Later Became Memorial Day

I posted this last year, but think it deserves posting again.

On May 5, 1868, Major General John A. Logan, the head of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans, declared Decoration Day as a time for the nation to honor the U.S. Civil War dead. Logan declared that the day should be observed on May 30 and that the soldiers’ graves be decorated with flowers.

Oney F. Sweet, Civil War Veteran

Oney F. Sweet, Civil War Veteran

The veterans’ organization held the first observance that year at Arlington National Cemetery. Various Washington officials presided over the event, including General and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant. By the end of the 19th century, communities throughout the country staged Decoration Day festivities.

Civil War veteran Oney F. Sweet — featured in What the Private Saw: The Civil War Letters & Diaries of Oney Foster Sweet — marched in many Decoration Day parades.

His son, Oney Fred Sweet, wrote a poem about the parades; the poem appeared in The National Tribune on May 24, 1906.

Decoration Day.

There’s the chirp of birds in the pinetree tops
And there’s morning dew in the grass.
The streets lined with those who’ve come
To watch the procession pass.
There’s the grand old Flag that floats ahead,
There’s children with flowers of May
There’s daddy hobbling with the “boys”—
’Tis Decoration Day.
No wonder that garden and field and wood
Have given their fairest blooms;
No wonder the petals and leaves leap high
Beside the soldiers’ tombs.
No wonder the village band plays sweet
As they wind along their way;
No wonder the skies are blue above—
’Tis Decoration Day.
But there’s sort of a look in daddy’s face
And the “boys” that go halting by,
As though their thoughts were drifting on
To another earth and sky.
For their minds are back to the youthful time
When they marched as boys away
And they’re pondering ’bout where they’ll all be
Next Decoration Day.

Following World War I, the day became known as Memorial Day in honor of those who had died in all U.S. wars. In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day as a national holiday, which is now celebrated on the last Monday in May.

What the Private Saw: The Civil War Letters & Diaries of Oney Foster SweetThis information and poem are excerpted from the recently released book, What the Private Saw: The Civil War Letters & Diaries of Oney Foster Sweet.

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Updated: Resources for Authors, Editors & Indie Publishers

I have updated my web page Resources for Authors, Editors & Indie Publishers.

Larry Edwards explaining "What Editors Do" National Authors' Day.

Larry Edwards explaining “What Editors Do” on National Authors’ Day.

It includes my latest presentation “Using Social Media for Promoting Your Book: The Why, Where, When and How” — this is an introductory overview, with links to a broader array of more specific and detailed information.

I have also added more links related to Book Marketing and Forums, Discussion Groups.

I hope you find information useful. If there are things you’d like to see added to the page, please let me know.

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Using Social Media for Promoting Your Book

I will be speaking at the San Diego Writers & Editors Guild meeting on Monday, May 23, 2016.

Topic: Using Social Media for Promoting Your Book: The Why, Where, When and How

sdweg_MAY_FLYER_Edwards

Profile:

Larry Edwards is an award-winning author, editor, and publisher, and an accomplished LarryEdwardsmarketer of several books, including Dare I Call It Murder: A Memoir of Violent Loss. Published in 2013, the memoir has been an Amazon best-seller in two categories — memoir and true-crime. Through his marketing efforts, his book has received 177 Amazon reader reviewers (106 being 5-star ratings) and has sold nearly 10,000 copies.

In his presentation, Larry will discuss the most effective Social Media platforms as marketing tools for developing a following of readers, how often an author should post, what is effective material to post, and how to develop a mailing list (and whether a mailing list is even necessary). He will also share the do’s and don’ts of using Social Media.

Larry serves as a freelance manuscript editor through Polishing Your Prose, and has edited a number of award-winning books. As a publishing consultant, he guides authors through the publishing process for paperback and hardcover books, as well as ebooks. Under his publishing arm, Wigeon Publishing, he edited and produced Murder Survivor’s Handbook: Real-Life Stories, Tips & Resources by Connie Saindon. The book received a prestigious Gold Award in the 2015 Benjamin Franklin book awards competition sponsored by the Independent Book Publishers Association.

More information at:

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Mother’s Day and the U.S. Civil War

Polishing Your Prose

With Mother’s Day just a few days away, I began to wonder about the history of the day purported to honor mothers. Did it exist during the U.S. Civil War? If it did, Oney F. Sweet never mentioned it.

It turns out that the underpinnings of Mother’s Day predate the Civil War. This according to Katharine Lane Antolini, assistant professor of history and gender studies at West Virginia Wesleyan College. She is the author of Memorializing Motherhood: Anna Jarvis and the Struggle for Control of Mother’s Day (West Virginia University Press, 2014), and she gives presentations about the history of Mother’s Day and the roles women played during the Civil War.

In the 1850s, Ann Reeves Jarvis, a women’s organizer in Virginia, held Mother’s Day work clubs to improve sanitary conditions and try to lower infant mortality. During the Civil War the groups also tended to wounded soldiers, Union and…

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Violent Loss Network – May 1, 2016

Useful information in the latest Violent Loss Newsletter from Connie Saindon and the Violent Loss Network . . .

Survivors of Violent Loss

Violent Loss Newsletter, May 1, 2016

News you can use … (scroll down to see all)

Contents will vary somewhat month to month. As we close out this month, our contents include:

  • Resource of the Month—VACC: Victim Assistance Coordinating Council.
  • Topic of the Month: The Early Response
  • Question of the Month: How did you find out about your loved one’s death?     Tips?
  • News: Meet MSH Team Eleven-Plus          
  • Book Resource:All the Wrong Places: A Life Lost and Found by Philip Connors, author of Fire Season


celeste web

RESOURCE OF THE MONTH

Celeste Hunter received the Victim Advocate Award at the Annual Candlelight Tribute held during National Crime Victims Week by the VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATINGCOUNCIL. VACC  is a San Diego-based nonprofit umbrella organization composed of crime victims and a broad presentation of service providers vitally involved in various aspects of crime victim assistance. Its website is designed to provide…

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Question of the Week: April 18-24, 2016

Civil War: an “Irrepressible Conflict” or product of “Blundering Generation”?

Emerging Civil War

Question-Header

For this week’s Question of the Week, Phill Greenwalt asks: Do you think the Civil War was an “Irrepressible Conflict” or the product of “a Blundering Generation”?

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Pay Them Gratitude and Respect: Remembering the Civil War’s Prisoners of War

The Gettysburg Compiler

By Elizabeth Smith ’17

On Friday, April 8, President Barack Obama issued a proclamation in which he designated April 9 as National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day. “We salute the selfless service members throughout our history who gave their own liberty to ensure ours,” the president declared, “and we renew our commitment to remaining a Nation worthy of their extraordinary sacrifices.”

10448786_800669723279245_4262014867699204442_n A very small part of the National Cemetery located on site at Andersonville National Historic Site. Photo taken by author. For the American Civil War, the prisoner of war story is often summed up in one word: Andersonville. The mythos surrounding this infamous prison site has, for many, become the determining factor to understanding the Civil War prisoner-of-war story, but the story is far more complex than one place. At the beginning of the war, a prisoner exchange system had to be set up in order to exchange…

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