Thursday, April 23, 2009

Holly Springs Pilgrimage

Last Saturday, my husband and I visited the small town of Holly Springs, Mississippi during their annual pilgrimage. The town boasts many historic buildings, including three churches dating between 1849 and 1860. The landscape was awash with vibrant colors displayed by blooming dogwoods, azaleas, and magnolia trees. Even though rain threatened to end the festivities, vendors’ tents decorated Courthouse Square. United Daughters of the Confederacy members, dressed in black mourning gowns, attended a reenactment put on by local Sons of Confederate Veterans members, which took place at Hillcrest Cemetery, and included an artillery display. The cavalry was represented as well. A section of the cemetery holds unknown Confederate soldiers who were moved from Shiloh.

Antebellum homes built between 1837 and 1858 line the streets of Holly Springs. Most have been restored to perfection. We toured one beautiful Greek Revival home called “Montrose.” Down the street is another enormous house named “Airliewood,” where General U. S. Grant took up residence during the Union’s occupation. Fortunately for Holly Springs, Grant thought the little town was so lovely that he decided to spare it from being burned to the ground. These are just two of the houses that were included in the tour of homes. While taking the driving tour to view them, it was no wonder to me why Grant spared Holly Springs. Its beauty and historical significance are astounding.

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