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Confederate Memorial Day in the United States

Confederate Memorial Day is a state holiday in some states in the United States. It gives people a chance to honor and remember the Confederate soldiers who died or were wounded during the American Civil War during the 1860s.

US Confederate soldiers' cemetery at Appomattox Courthouse national park in Virginia.
US Confederate soldiers' cemetery at Appomattox Courthouse national park in Virginia.
©bigstockphoto.com/BackyardProductions

Observe Confederate Memorial Day

A range of events are organized on and around Confederate Memorial Day. The Main Library of the University of Georgia marks the occasion by publicly displaying the original Constitution of the Confederate States of America.

Other observances include:

  • Ceremonies to place flags and wreaths on the graves of Confederate soldiers and memorials to them.
  • Church services.
  • Re-enactments (in historical costume) of battles and events from the Civil War.
  • Displays of Civil War relics.

However, this type of observance is controversial, as some see it as glorifying a culture and way of life that could only exist because of the work carried out by slaves.

Public Life

Confederate Memorial Day is a state holiday in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia on the fourth Monday in April. In Mississippi it is observed on the last Monday in April. In South Carolina and North Carolina it falls on May 10.

Confederate Memorial Day is known as Confederate Heroes Day in Texas. It is held on January 19 each year. Only one day off is given to workers if it coincides with Martin Luther King Day.

In these areas, state offices are generally closed. However, Confederate Memorial Day is not a federal holiday and federal offices may be open. Some schools in states like Georgia are also open. Stores and other businesses may be open or closed according to local custom. Public transit services may operate to their normal or reduced schedules. There may be some minor road closures or congestion around war memorials or important battlegrounds.

About Confederate Memorial Day

Between 1861 and 1865, there was a war between the Union and the Confederate States of America. As slavery disappeared from the northern states, but remained viable in the south, two very different ways of life arose in these sections, according to the US Department of the Interior’s National Park Service. Compromises regarding slavery, especially its extension to the new western territories, became more difficult to achieve. Social, political and economic power was at stake for both the north and the south.

The divisions began in 1860 when Abraham Lincoln, who opposed the expansion of slavery, was elected as president of the United States. Seven states in the south declared their secession from the United States before he took office. Southern states maintained various concerns regarding political ideals, property and homes, protection for their families, and economic loss.

The actual war started on April 12, 1861, at Fort Sumter in South Carolina. The last cease-fire was signed at Fort Towson, Oklahoma, on June 23, 1865, although the naval forces on the CSS Shenandoah did not surrender until November 4, 1865 in Liverpool, Great Britain. It is estimated that more than 600,000 soldiers died during the American Civil War and that about 260,000 of these were Confederates. In addition, an unknown number of civilians died in the hostilities.

Those who died fighting for the Confederate States during the American Civil War are remembered on other dates in some states. In Arkansas and Texas, there are joint celebrations of the birthdays of Robert E. Lee (a general in the Confederate army) and Martin Luther King on the third Monday in January. In Texas, this is sometimes known as Confederate Heroes Day. In Kentucky, Louisiana and Tennessee, the birthday of Jefferson Davis (the only President of the Confederate States of America) on June 3, 1808, is observed.

In North and South Carolina, May 10 marks the anniversaries of the death of Thomas Jonathan 'Stonewall' Jackson (a general in the Confederate army) in 1863 and the capture of Jefferson Davis in 1865. In Pennsylvania, the organization known as the Sons of Confederate Veterans commemorates those who died while fighting for the Confederates.  In Virginia, the lives of Confederate soldiers are honored on Memorial Day on the last Monday in May. Confederate Memorial Day was first observed in a number of areas in or just after 1866.

Confederate Memorial Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday TypeWhere It is Observed
TueJan 192010Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTexas
MonApr 262010Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA
MonApr 262010Confederate Memorial DayState holidayMississippi
MonMay 102010Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNorth Carolina, South Carolina
WedJan 192011Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTexas
MonApr 252011Confederate Memorial DayState holidayMississippi
MonApr 252011Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA
TueMay 102011Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNorth Carolina, South Carolina
ThuJan 192012Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTexas
MonApr 232012Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA
MonApr 302012Confederate Memorial DayState holidayMississippi
ThuMay 102012Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNorth Carolina, South Carolina
SatJan 192013Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTexas
MonApr 222013Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA
MonApr 292013Confederate Memorial DayState holidayMississippi
FriMay 102013Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNorth Carolina, South Carolina
SunJan 192014Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTexas
SatApr 262014Confederate Memorial DayLocal observanceFlorida
MonApr 282014Confederate Memorial DayState holidayMississippi
MonApr 282014Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA
FriMay 92014Confederate Memorial Day observedState holidaySouth Carolina
SatMay 102014Confederate Memorial DayLocal observanceNorth Carolina
SatMay 102014Confederate Memorial DayState holidaySouth Carolina
MonJan 192015Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTexas
SunApr 262015Confederate Memorial DayLocal observanceFlorida
MonApr 272015Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA
MonApr 272015Confederate Memorial DayState holidayMississippi
SunMay 102015Confederate Memorial DayState holidaySouth Carolina
SunMay 102015Confederate Memorial DayLocal observanceNorth Carolina
MonMay 112015Confederate Memorial Day observedState holidaySouth Carolina
TueJan 192016Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTexas
MonApr 252016Confederate Memorial DayState holidayMississippi
MonApr 252016Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAlabama, Florida
MonApr 252016State HolidayState holidayGeorgia
TueApr 262016Confederate Memorial DayLocal observanceFlorida
TueMay 102016Confederate Memorial DayLocal observanceNorth Carolina
TueMay 102016Confederate Memorial DayState holidaySouth Carolina
ThuJan 192017Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTexas
MonApr 242017Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAlabama, Florida
MonApr 242017Confederate Memorial DayState holidayMississippi
MonApr 242017State HolidayState holidayGeorgia
WedApr 262017Confederate Memorial DayLocal observanceFlorida
WedMay 102017Confederate Memorial DayState holidaySouth Carolina
WedMay 102017Confederate Memorial DayLocal observanceNorth Carolina
FriJan 192018Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTexas
MonApr 232018Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAlabama, Florida
MonApr 232018State HolidayState holidayGeorgia
ThuApr 262018Confederate Memorial DayLocal observanceFlorida
MonApr 302018Confederate Memorial DayState holidayMississippi
ThuMay 102018Confederate Memorial DayState holidaySouth Carolina
ThuMay 102018Confederate Memorial DayLocal observanceNorth Carolina
SatJan 192019Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTexas
MonApr 222019Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAlabama, Florida
MonApr 222019State HolidayState holidayGeorgia
FriApr 262019Confederate Memorial DayLocal observanceFlorida
MonApr 292019Confederate Memorial DayState holidayMississippi
FriMay 102019Confederate Memorial DayState holidaySouth Carolina
FriMay 102019Confederate Memorial DayLocal observanceNorth Carolina
SunJan 192020Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTexas
SunApr 262020Confederate Memorial DayLocal observanceFlorida
MonApr 272020Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAlabama, Florida
MonApr 272020Confederate Memorial DayState holidayMississippi
MonApr 272020State HolidayState holidayGeorgia
SunMay 102020Confederate Memorial DayLocal observanceNorth Carolina
SunMay 102020Confederate Memorial DayState holidaySouth Carolina
MonMay 112020Confederate Memorial Day observedState holidaySouth Carolina

Quick Facts

On Confederate Memorial Day remembers the soldiers who died fighting for the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War (1861-1865). It is a state holiday in some parts of the United States.

Confederate Memorial Day 2018

Friday, January 19, 2018 (local in Texas)
Monday, April 23, 2018 (local in Alabama, Florida)
Monday, April 23, 2018 (local in Georgia)
Thursday, April 26, 2018 (local in Florida)
Monday, April 30, 2018 (local in Mississippi)
Thursday, May 10, 2018 (local in South Carolina)
Thursday, May 10, 2018 (local in North Carolina)

Confederate Memorial Day 2019

Saturday, January 19, 2019 (local in Texas)
Monday, April 22, 2019 (local in Alabama, Florida)
Monday, April 22, 2019 (local in Georgia)
Friday, April 26, 2019 (local in Florida)
Monday, April 29, 2019 (local in Mississippi)
Friday, May 10, 2019 (local in South Carolina)
Friday, May 10, 2019 (local in North Carolina)

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Name in other languages

NameLanguage
Confederate Memorial DayEnglish
Recuerdo de la ConfederaciónSpanish
יום זכרון הקונפדרציהHebrew
يوم الكونفدرالية التذكاريةArabic
동맹 현충일Korean
Konføderasjonen minnedagNorwegian
Südstaaten-Gedenktag (Confederate Memorial Day)German

Alternative names

NameLanguage
Confederate Heroes DayEnglish
Día de los Héroes de la ConfederaciónSpanish

List of dates for other years

Related holidays

Other holidays in May 2018 in the United States

Fun Holiday on May 10, 2018

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