Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Catawba Tribe

Here's a link to "Patriot Chiefs and Loyal Braves" by Mr. Steven Pony Hill. It's a fascinating history of the Catawba Indians of the Apalachicola Valley, with emphasis on Jackson and Calhoun counties. (I had no idea that most "mulattos" listed in the 1860 Jackson County census were Catawbas). The section on navigating the color line in the late 19th and early 20th century is especially poignant.  It's all worth a read:
http://sciway3.net/clark/freemoors/NativeAmericans.html

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Confederate Monument and Cemetery ....in Westchester County, NY!


I was amazed to learn recently that there is a large Confederate monument, surrounded by a ring of graves of Confederate army veterans, located only about ten minutes from my house in suburban Westchester County, New York.  The granite obelisk in the picture above is quite large, maybe 50 feet tall (one newspaper says 60 feet on top of a top foot base), and stand in the Mount Hope Cemetery in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.  It is quite prominent - by far the largest and tallest monument in the hillside cemetery and plainly visible from Saw Mill River Road below.  It is certainly congruous enough not to attract the attention of passing drivers. I've been by it many times and never noticed it.  On inspection, however, it is impressive, very well maintainted and the surrounding circle of graves are well marked, most with unit names, and well preserved.  Interestingly, on my visit, the graves were each flanked by a small United States flag.  
The monument was erected in 1897 and reads on one side: "Sacred to the Memory of the Heroic Dead of the Confederate Veterans Camp of New York."  Supposedly, this is the only such monument and dedicated cemetery section north of the Mason-Dixon line, excluding, I suppose the prison camp cemeteries. 
I plan to research and perhaps write about the story behind this monument, its dedication (that drew some opposition, but not much), the individuals buried around it and its preservation.