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July 01, 2012


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Jeffrey Harrison

Could that be a confederate flag at the base of the stone?

Alfred Brophy

Yes it is, Jeff. That narrows the possibilities down considerably, obviously. And also is the key to what I found odd about this particular cemetery.

Jason Mazzone

Shockoe Hill Cemetery, Richmond.

Alfred Brophy

Jason, you are unbelievably good at this. I have no idea how you do it. In this case you are very, very close. This cemetery is within sight of Shockoe Hill. But this isn't in Shockoe Hill, which has a large Confederate section. This is a different cemetery.

Jason Mazzone

The Hebrew Confederate Cemetery. In Richmond.

Alfred Brophy

Exactly! That's it. What surprises me about this is that there's a special section set off in the cemetery for men who died in service to the Confederacy. I'm not sure why that surprises me, because I know that there was a large Jewish population in Richmond before the war and if I'd thought about it for a moment I suppose I would have expected more than a few of them to have fought for the Confederacy. And there is, of course, an important literature on Judah P. Benjamin's service to the Confederate government. Still I found it odd and jarring to see the Confederate flag in that cemetery.

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