Since Civil War times Decoration Day (now Memorial Day) has been a time for Americans to honor the sacrifice of fallen service members by decorating their graves with flags and other remembrances. This photo taken on Decoration Day in 1928 shows a group of veterans of the Civil War who have come to honor their fallen comrades. We do not know their names, but they represent the cadre of veterans who turn out every year to perform this solemn duty.
I find the the photo quite intriguing. Oregon had quite a contingent of pro slave owners during the civil war, including a senator (Lane County honors him). Oregon did not want freed slaves within its borders. And here we have a picture, what, ten years after the end of the Great War, the war to end all wars, of vets honoring vets from the Civil War. Did they honor southern sympathizers? Did the Whigs and Democrats get along? Flags were harder to come by then compared to now, but were confederate flags flown?
spinsur on 30th May 2011 @ 11:35am
spinsur, I recall a story that when the Coe flag was first flown in Hood River (July 4, 1861), a Confederate sympathizer cheered but was quickly shouted down. I don't know if by 1928 wounds had healed sufficiently for these GAR soldiers to honor all Civil War dead. Here we are 83 years later wondering how these soldiers felt about an event 63 years before that. Our links with this history become more tenuous every day.
Arthur on 30th May 2011 @ 11:52am
So true, but these folks look to be in their upper sixties, seventies? And at 63 years before them, and with the youth involved in war due to the shortage of "men" they could have been at least very close to the situation if not in it, either back east before coming out west, or stationed at forts in the territory.
spinsur on 30th May 2011 @ 12:05pm
Those guys look like the group I windsurf with over at Bob's Beach in Stevenson.
Waterlou on 30th May 2011 @ 2:14pm
If I remember correctly, Decoration Day was to honor the dead of both sides of the Civil War, and may have being started by the southern states, special day for all attending in this photo, no doubt dressed in their Sunday best.
Jim Gray on 30th May 2011 @ 2:42pm
On the day I walked through your Idlewilde Cemetery, was the first time I really took notice of the initials G.A. R. which was on quite a few of the old stone grave markers. I came home and read about the "Grand Army of the Republic."
It was an organization composed of Union veterans and eventually became a strong political organization.
John Logan, who established Decoration Day, was a member of G.A. R.
l.e. on 30th May 2011 @ 9:30pm
Both Confederate and Unions soldiers were members of the I.O.O.F. and the Masons. Perhaps this allowed a more congenial gathering of Civil War Veterans at the cemetery. I assume the above photo was taken at Idlewilde, which I think was established by either the I.O.O.F. or the Masons.
John Logan was a Mason.
l.e. on 30th May 2011 @ 10:40pm
Yes, there were both Confederate veterans and Union veterans living in Hood River County (Wasco County prior to 1907.) From what I have heard they tended to let that part of their life stay where it was...history. After all it was over and done with for them. Most actually didn't wish to reflect on it much due to the horrors of it all.
Memorial Day was started in the south.
Charlott on 8th June 2011 @ 10:55am
The G.A.R. post in Hood River was the Canby post, named after General Edward Canby, who fought in the Civil War and then was in charge of routing out the Modoc's in southern Oregon and nofrthern California, where he was killed. There were a number of members of the G.A.R. in Hood River. The organization purchased some plots in Idlewilde Cemetery for the use of any Hood River GAR member who died and either had no family or means to be buried. They were eventually used. There were men in Hood River who had served in the Civil War, but were not in the GAR. Many wished the fellowship of past comrades in arms, while others wantied nothing more to do with that terrible period of their lives.
Charlott on 8th June 2011 @ 2:36pm
Civil War veterans buried in Idlewilde Cemetery from 1928 onward include:
Edward Calkins – 1928
Samuel Blythe – 1928
Harmon Leonard – 1928
John Wilson – 1928
George R. Castner – 1929
Thomas Goss – 1930
Halsey Cole – 1932
Reuben Frasier – 1932
Simpson Copple – 1933
James Madison King – 1933
Noah Hardman – 1936
Sanford Smith – 1936
Charles Horace Stranahan – 1944
Charles Slutts – 1945
Jeffrey Bryant on 12th December 2012 @ 9:11pm
The Sunday Oregonian, June 29, 1909 has photos of eight members of Canby Post GAR taken in 1909 and during the Civil War. They include Albert C. Buck, M. P. Isenberg, John A. Wilson, Simpson Copple, Fred Deitz, G. R. Castner, S. F. Blythe, and J. H. Dukes. The link is:
Jeffrey Bryant on 12th February 2013 @ 4:16am
Halsey Cole listed above as a GAR member buried in Idlewilde, lived in Camas Prairie/Glenwood, Klickitat County Washington and was perhaps the only member from across the river.
When he died in White Salmon, he was brought across the river and buried at Idlewilde.
l.e. on 23rd January 2015 @ 8:14am
The 1891 May 16th HR Glacier page 3 has a description of the
G.A.R. program for Memorial Day. They assemble in front of Mrs. Hull's place and march to the cemetery. As soon as the service at the cemetery is concluded everyone will "repair" to the grove near the school to partake of dinner.
L.E. on 8th May 2018 @ 9:22pm