During the inaugural Memorial Day observances, many Southern women in Georgia decorated graves of Confederate soldiers as well as those of their former enemies who fought for the Union.
“The action of the ladies on this occasion, in burying whatever animosities or ill-feeling may have been engendered in the late war towards those who fought against them, is worthy of all praise and commendation,” wrote one paper.
On May 9, 1866, the Cleveland Daily Leader lauded the Southern women during their first Memorial Day.
“The act was as beautiful as it was unselfish, and will be appreciated in the North.”
The New York Commercial Advertiser, recognizing the magnanimous deeds of the women of Columbus, Georgia, echoed the sentiment. “Let this incident, touching and beautiful as it is, impart to our Washington authorities a lesson in conciliation.”
Read more about this interesting bit of American history at The Conversation.