I was going through some Harristorian archival video footage today and came across this: the Confederate Memorial Day commemoration at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. This is from a couple of years back but the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy hold the ceremony every May. The video (a shade over four minutes) is worth the watch. A few of the participants make some very interesting observations. By the way, the event is not advertised. According to to one representative, the UDC did not want any unfriendlies attending. I inquired about this (naturally) and she said, “the neighborhood has gotten a little dark…if you know what I mean.”
I have just kicked off an ambitious project to catalog the Civil War generation who moved to – and then died (and were thus buried) in Los Angeles. I am beginning with those who I can positively identify as veterans of the United States Army and Navy. I am also checking up on all of those who fit the Civil War generation’s bill as well. Today I came across the grave of Moses Pratt in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Santa Monica Blvd. His grave is located near the south-east corner of the cemetery, underneath a pair of supportive beams holding up some shrubbery, next to a few implements used to feed feral cats. My guess is that Pratt, a former private with the 154th Illinois Infantry, has been forgotten in this rarely visited section of Hollywood Forever. So I think I will get a little United States flag for his grave.
Pratt’s unit was mustered in late in the war – February 1865 to be exact – and never saw any real action. He spent his life in the army guarding the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad in Tennessee (Department of the Cumberland) until he was mustered out in September of the same year. I wonder what brought him to the Golden State?
PS – Naturally, once the database gets a little meat on its bones, I will make it available to all…with pictures and everything. You’re welcome.
Those of you who were Cosmic America readers may remember a while back when I stumbled across a Union Civil War veteran’s grave in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Unsure of exactly who this person was, I turned to my readership to discover – with the help of a few people much better at these things than I – that said veteran, one F.A. Whitehead, had served in two branches of the armed forces, had a run-in with the government over desertion (he name was eventually cleared) and wound up as a citrus farmer in Florida and ultimately…Southern California.
As we all know citrus farming was a primary motivating factor for a number of the Civil War era generation when it came to pursuing their livelihood in the West. Of those who moved to the region to proceed with this lucrative vocation, almost all were well-to-do middle class or higher types, and most were middle aged or older.
It took money, patience, and experience to succeed in the citrus business – something perhaps not best suited for a younger, perhaps insolvent individual.
I revisited Hollywood Forever Cemetery today to pay my respects to Whitehead and look for other Union veterans. I found plenty. So again…I turn to my readers. Any information on these fine fellows would be greatly appreciated. I wonder if they were in the citrus business too.