J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the tag “Holly Springs”

Annual Pilgrimages

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One of my favorite things about living in the South was attending pilgrimages. Several take place in Mississippi each year, including Natchez, Aberdeen, and Holy Springs. These events typically occur during the month of April. It is an amazing experience to participate in one of these pilgrimages and see what it was like to live in the antebellum South. Pilgrimages attract people from all over the world.

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My own personal experience included serving as a docent at one of the beautiful mansions in Holly Springs. This small town was spared when Union General Grant decided it was too pretty to burn. One of the majestic homes served as his headquarters during his invasion into Mississippi leading up to the Battles of Iuka and Corinth in 1862.

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As a tour guide, I had the privilege of learning about one of the spectacular houses in Holly Springs, including its previous owners. Holly Springs is a favorite location for those wishing to see a glimpse of the past as displayed in the grand old mansions. Most of the homes, built in the 1850’s, have been restored to their original grandeur. Besides the home tour, a special service is held in the cemetery to honor fallen Confederate soldiers who are buried there, and a tour of slave shacks is also included.

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Magnolias and moonlit nights add to the romance, as do belles dressed in ball gowns and horse-drawn carriages parading through the streets. Pilgrimages are an excellent way to experience the past while living in the present, and see what true Southern beauty represents.

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Holly Springs Pilgrimage

Last weekend, April 8-10, the annual Holly Springs Pilgrimage took place in Holly Springs, Mississippi. For those of you unfamiliar with the town, it was spared when Union General Ulysses S. Grant invaded in 1862. Deciding it was too pretty to burn down, he set up his quarters in one of the magnificent antebellum homes instead.

Every year, people from all over the world come to Holly Springs to tour these fabulous old homes. Reenactors of Confederate infantry, cavalry, artillery, and southern belles appear to celebrate the event. A king and queen are crowned, and a dance takes place. The weekend concludes with a tour of the old cemetery, where reenactors represent people who are buried there, and tell visitors about their lives.

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