"A pencil drawing and a grainy photo in the Library of Congress are all that is left of the cemetery where 257 Union soldiers were buried after the Civil War on what had been a race course in Charleston, South Carolina. Nor has much been written about the memorial celebration held by more than 10,000 mostly newly freed blacks, which was one of the first, if not the first memorial held for those who fought to end slavery. Civil War historian David Blight describes the event below the fold: War kills people and destroys human creation; but as though mocking war's devastation, flowers inevitably bloom through its ruins. After a long siege, a prolonged bombardment for months from all around the harbor, and numerous fires, the beautiful port city of Charleston, South Carolina, where the war had begun in April, 1861, lay in ruin by the spring of 1865. The city was largely abandoned by white residents by late February. Among the first troops to enter and march up Meeting Street singing liberation songs was the Twenty First U. S. Colored Infantry; their commander accepted the formal surrender of the city..."