Monday, May 28 - There's a lot of history surrounding Memorial Day in Natchez. There's a parade that starts in Vidalia, LA and crosses the Mississippi River Bridge to Natchez, MS, with a ceremony later in the morning at the Natchez National Cemetery. The origins of this event go back to the Civil War in 1864, when a commander of the 2nd Mississippi Heavy Artillery, African Descent, received a dispatch to cross the river at Vidalia to support the Union army. Soldiers of African descent had only recently been allowed to serve in the Union army as a result of an Act of Congress in 1863. As a result, local black men, all recently emancipated slaves, enlisted in the Union army at Natchez.
We visited the national cemetery, and found the graves of many Civil War soldiers, who were grouped by state. There were quite a few from midwest states like Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan.