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Work Begins Preserving Okolona Cemetery History

Posted by Steve Rogers | July 15, 2012 / 03:53pm | Local News, Faith & Family, Education
OKOLONA, Miss. (WCBI) - Volunteers are bleaching the 800 headstones in Okolona's Confederate cemetery - preparing for the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Okolona in February 2014.

The project began Saturday, the same day headstones were placed on two previously unmarked Confederate graves in Tupelo

The Sons of Confederate Veterans  dedicated the headstones in the Battle of Harrisburg National Park to mark the 148th anniversary of the battle.

In Okolona, Martha Gordon says that when the Okolona Cemetery Restoration and Re-enactment Project is completed, the cemetery will have a flag for every state represented by a soldier buried there.

A fence that once surrounded the cemetery has been located and efforts are being made to install it once again. Thirteen flags will line the fence; 12 of those flags will represent the states of which the soldiers are from and the 13th will represent the unknown soldiers buried in the cemetery.

"This is a historic site in that there are over 800 graves here of Confederate war dead. And it's long overdue for an overhaul. It's important that we preserve our history, especially here in Chickasaw county and our future generation," explained Larry Davis, a member of the committee coordinating the restoration.

Plans for the re-enactment of the Battle of Okolona are set for Feb. 22, 2014. The confederate cemetery is known to be the largest in Northeast Mississippi.

The graves include those of many soldiers shot at the Battle of Shiloh and brought by train to the hospital in Okolona.
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