Monday, July 09, 2007

history and a great river meet

RICHMOND: Eight major Civil War battles were fought within the city and in the surrounding countryside. The Hollywood Cemetery, perched high above the banks of the James River, holds the remains of Jefferson Davis and eight Confederate generals. Visiting Hollywood early one early chilly Sunday morning, we were greeted by 78-year-old Betty Allen, our guide. Betty knows this place intimately; she even pointed out where she will be buried some day. More than 1,800 Civil War combatants are buried in Hollywood.

Perhaps the most striking memorial to the Confederate dead is the massive pyramid of 6-foot stones, built without mortar, that rises 55 feet above the remains of the 16,000 Confederate soldiers buried at Oakwood Cemetery. The soldiers are buried separately from the officers. The carnage and the emotional ties that these many reminders evoke of the Civil War make
Richmond a poignant place.

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