Decoration Day, 2018

Saturday, May 5, 2018, Stones River National Battlefield

On May 1, 1865, newly freed African Americans, soldiers, and white citizens of Charleston, South Carolina gathered at the Washington Race Course & Jockey Club to decorate the graves of Union soldiers buried there and celebrate the end of a conflict that gave our nation, “a new birth of freedom.”

This first Decoration Day sparked a tradition in African American communities across the nation, including Murfreesboro’s Cemetery Community, of simultaneously celebrating freedom while honoring the sacrifices that purchased it.