Lost Limbs Foundation

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Martyrs of the Race Course

In 1864, the Charleston Race Course became a Confederate POW camp. After the war, local freedmen buried 257 Union soldiers who had died there. On May 1, 1865, 10,000 former slaves gathered to give the "Martyrs of the Race Course" a proper funeral. Many historians consider this event to be the first organized Memorial Day in America.
In 1864, the Charleston Race Course became a Confederate POW camp. After the war, local freedmen buried 257 Union soldiers who had died there. 

On May 1, 1865, 10,000 former slaves gathered to give the "Martyrs of the Race Course" a proper funeral. Many historians consider this event to be the first organized Memorial Day in America.