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Monday, May 27, 2013

A Day of Remembrance

Memorial Day, originally Decoration Day, was first widely observed at Arlington National Cemetery in 1868. Major General John A. Logan, head of the Grand Army of the Republic - a Union veterans organization, established Decoration Day as a time to decorate the graves of soldiers who died during the Civil War. 

At this first large observance, President James Garfield spoke and more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldier's graves were decorated with flowers. 

After World War I, all those who died in America's wars were honored on Memorial Day and in 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday and is celebrated on the last Monday of May. 

In the families that I research, there are many who served in America's Wars, but only a four, that I know of, died during a war. Those four men died serving in the Confederate Army. One, James S. Pitman, was the husband of Georgia Ann Frances Bryan and the other three were brothers; John Tolbert Regan, James Monroe Regan, and Thomas Span Regan. 

Sons of  John Regan and Martha Davis of Bienville Parish, Louisiana
 John Tolbert Regan, James Monroe Regan, and Thomas Spann Regan
Photographs published with permission - Courtesy of Nancy Collins


U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs | Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs. Memorial Day History
( : accessed 21 May 2013)


© 2013


  1. Diana, this is very sad about Georgia losing all those relatives. She was very brave. Her pictures shows a lovely woman. I wonder what the "Davis" connection is.

    1. Hi Aunt Janet,
      It was sad. I know from old letters that she had a baby girl, but the baby must have died as she didn't show up on any census records and my grandfather wrote that she had no children. Her husband was left for dead on a battlefield. The three young men who died were her half-brother's sons. Their mother was a Davis from Georgia.