This past weekend (Saturday, 14 January 2012) I had the great pleasure of visiting Galveston, Texas, for activities to commemorate the 149th anniversary of the Battle of Galveston. The activities (here), including cemetery tours, walking tours of the city, and a reenactment, were sponsored by the wonderful folks at the Galveston Historical Foundation (here).
The day was terrific on several counts: the weather was beautiful; the tours of the cemetery by Mrs. Linda McBee and of the city by Edward Cotham (author of the excellent book, Battle on the Bay: The Civil War Struggle for Galveston) were interesting and very well done; and I got to meet and visit with some very interesting and nice people, especially Civil War blogger (my favorite, by the way!) Andy Hall (his "Dead Confederates" blog can be found here), who is also an expert on Texas maritime history and maritime archaeology. I learned more about blockade runners in a day walking around with Andy that I would have in a year of reading!
You'll see some of my photos from the cemetery and city walking tours below; check out Andy Hall's blog for some beautiful action photographs of the reenactment (here)!
Galveston is home to several historic cemeteries in a four-to-six block square area from 20th and Broadway to 23rd and Broadway, including the Episcopal Cemetery, City Cemetery, what was "Potter's Field," Catholic Cemetery, Hebrew Cemetery, and more. Some of the headstone art is remarkable.
Galveston cemetery expert and historian Linda McBee describes some of the historic personalities buried in Galveston's historic cemeteries.
The sexton's building in the Old Episcopal Cemetery, where the dead were "stored" before being buried in the graveyard:
Marker for a Confederate soldier who died in the hospital in Galveston in March 1862:
Marker for a Galveston baby who died at only 3 days old in 1851:
Civil War blogger Andy Hall adds to Linda McBee's stories while walking the cemetery.
Historian and author Ed Cotham describes Galveston and the Civil War for a group of 40-45 people before we embark on his walking battle tour of the Strand: