For Memorial Day, the Dedham Historical Society and Museum honored the men and women who sacrificed their lives while serving their country with a Facebook post of the monument in the Old Village Cemetery erected for soldiers who died in training at Fort Meigs in Readville/Hyde Park, once part of Dedham.
Fort Meigs was a training camp from 1861-1865. The 64 names on the monument represent 24 units of infantry, artillery, and cavalry, including three African-American units: the 54th, commanded by Robert Gould Shaw, the first black regiment recruited in the North (see the movie “Glory”), the 55th, and the 5th Cavalry. The Civil War claimed more American lives than any conflict in U.S. history, and Memorial Day, originally Decoration Day for the decoration of graves with flowers, began being celebrated in the the late 1860’s. It became an official federal holiday in 1971.