Memorial Day at Spotsylvania Confederate Cemetery

During this Memorial Day weekend, I took a short drive to the Spotsylvania Confederate Cemetery, located about 1/2 mile east of the courthouse. I go there often to visit three grave sites that are close to me. Two are boys from the 11th​ Mississippi Infantry, and one is from the 14th​ North Carolina Infantry. None of the three are related to me, but I know these three young men through research and thus they have become, if not family, then certenly friends. Although the cemetery is always well maintained, I go there to visit my “three friends”, making sure the grass around their graves is neatly trimmed and their state flags, that I purchased to honor their sacrifice, are straight, undamaged and clean.

Each Memorial Day weekend the body that has jurisdiction over the cemetery, The Spotsylvania Ladies Memorial Association, places state flags on the graves and battle flags on the unknows. I wanted to attempt to share my experience of solitude with you through the following photos.

Memorial at the center of the cemetery. (I could not capture the flags without losing perspective of the center piece statue. It is a confederate soldier.) The inscription of the south face of the stature reads:

We have gathered the sacred dust

Of warriors tried and true

Who bore the flag of our Nation’s trust

And fell in the cause ‘thou lost still just’

And died for me and you

The flag on the left is that of our Nations and on the right the first Confederate National flag (both cut from the photo)




I asked God for strength that I might achieve, I was made weak, that I might humbly obey.



I asked for heath that I might do great things, I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.



I asked for riches, that I might be happy, I was given poverty, that I might be wise.



I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men. I was given wisdom, that I might feel the need of God.


North Carolina

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.


South Carolina

I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.


I am among all men, most richly blessed.





Got a beer in my hand and just toasted these brave men may they rest in peace.
If it’s a Miller lite, take a swig for me.
Thank you for your observance and for sharing these photos with us.
Many thanks for the bump David. Very much appreciated. I am working on a post for Private Ethelburt Fairfax ( James Montgomery’s friend that he mentioned in his death letter). Have to get access to the State Library in Richmond to complete it after the Covid19 episode is over. I taked to Starke about additional information I found on Montgomery and his family and he was extremely excited in that he didn’t know it existed. I am also hog tied on that too because of the virus. Will keep you informed.
Fairfax’s Dad was a surgeon that Lee knew personally. More on that to come. Thanks again ..go Rebels
Thanks for posting. Wonderful pictures and story about your three "friends". Brings back great memories when I visited the cemetery last summer.

Here's the picture I took of the statue with both flags in the picture:
View attachment 359998
Thank you for the photo. I am working to improve my photo skills and hope to be as good as you someday. Excellent work !


1st Lieutenant
Dec 26, 2007
Rome, Georgia
I, too, had a Union veteran's grave that I took "under my wing." Ended up moving to Georgia before I could get around to cleaning it up. I did weed-eat around and and kept the area clean.