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Posted at 10:52 AM ET, 01/13/2011

Lee-Jackson Day in Virginia, Maryland

By Linda Wheeler

Cold weather has yet to deter enthusiastic participation in two ceremonies in recognition of the birthdays of Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, one in Lexington, Va. and the other in Baltimore. They are scheduled for Saturday and are open to the public.

Although the birthdays fall on different dates—Lee was born on Jan. 19, 1807 and Jackson on Jan. 21, 1824—the two have been celebrated together for many years. In Virginia, Lee-Jackson Day is a state holiday and falls this year on Friday, Jan. 14. Lexington marks the anniversary with a parade of re-enactors through downtown (11 a.m.) as well as a wreath-laying and military salute at the grave of Jackson (10:30 a.m.) and a memorial service at the grave of Lee (noon) which is inside the Lee Chapel on the Washington and Lee University campus.

The events in Lexington are sponsored by the Stonewall Brigade Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans. The United Daughters of the Confederacy, Maryland Division and another Sons camp, the Col. H. W. Gilmor Camp, are in charge of the annual wreath-laying at the Lee and Jackson double-equestrian statue at Wyman Park in Baltimore to be held this year on Saturday at 11 a.m.

The ceremony is always impressive—lots of Confederate re-enactors and flags-- but just the statue, dedicated in 1848, is worth the trip. It is a magnificent sculpture by Laura Gardin Fraser and is one of the few in the country that has two horses. Lee is depicted astride his famous war horse Traveller and Jackson is on his favorite mount, Little Sorrel. The piece was paid for by Baltimore banker J. Henry Ferguson, who left money in his will for a monument of his boyhood heroes

By Linda Wheeler  | January 13, 2011; 10:52 AM ET
Categories:  Events, News, Re-enactments  | Tags:  lee-jackson day  
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Lee-Jackson Day is understandable in Virginia, since both were Virginians of historical prominence. Why does Maryland do this, though? Neither was a Marylander, and Maryland was a loyal state during the Civil War, making Lee and Jackson enemy soldiers, no? I think they have a right to celebrate what they want, to a certain extent, but I'm just curious why?

Posted by: AlMackey | January 13, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

The Lee-Jackson Monument in Baltimore actually dates to 1948.

Posted by: Leonard_Lanier | January 13, 2011 1:15 PM | Report abuse

There were 30,000 Confederate soldiers from Maryland, and both Confederate Admirals were Marylanders. General Lee spent much time in Baltimore. He was responsible for the constructioin of Fort Carroll in Baltimore Harbor. General Lee's sister lived in Baltimore, and during the war General Lee was given a new frock coat with Maryland buttons and a new sword from Baltimore. The Confederate Maryland Soldiers returned after the war and build monuments. Beautiful art of Remembrance of the deeds of patriots. Sons of Confederate Veterans, descendents of Confederate soldiers, sailors or marines, are present in both Virginia and Maryland. The SCV members are honoring thier heritage as respectful members of the communities in which they live. They are Patriots who have patriotic ceremonies to honor the Confederate soldier. The Maryland SCV Color Guard marches in public parades in MD, DC, and VA. Come to see the ceremonies and you will enjoy the history.

Posted by: mrgnaphill | January 13, 2011 2:13 PM | Report abuse

"General Lee spent much time in Baltimore. He was responsible for the constructioin of Fort Carroll in Baltimore Harbor."

In which case they should be honoring that United States Army officer, Captain Robert E. Lee, not the Confederate officer, General Robert E. Lee.

"General Lee's sister lived in Baltimore,"
That would be his Unionist sister, Ann, whose son was a Union officer, making R. E. Lee their enemy during the war.

and during the war General Lee was given a new frock coat with Maryland buttons and a new sword from Baltimore.
I have a watch from Switzerland, but somehow I doubt they'll consider that reason to celebrate my birthday.

Posted by: AlMackey | January 13, 2011 10:17 PM | Report abuse

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