MEMORIAL DAY…. Memorial Day didn’t become a holiday until after the Civil War, but it was the Civil War that inspired it. So here’s what my great-grandfather, Eli Drum, was doing 143 years ago today:

Friday 29th
Done nothing to day but patrol the streets.

Those would be the streets of Glasgow, Kentucky, where Eli and the rest of the Illinois 107th were twiddling their thumbs waiting for Ambrose Burnside to get started on the Eastern Tennessee campaign.

From these humble beginnings, Eli became a journalist in the town of Cerro Gordo, Illinois, where he and his neighbors observed Memorial Day every year with picnics and American flags. In a few minutes, I’m going to do the same.

See you tomorrow.