n December 2, 1864, one day after his thirty-second birthday, Confederate General Archibald Gracie was killed by a Union shell in Petersburg, Virginia.
In Alabama, where Gen. Gracie had lived since 1856, and whose cause in the War Between the States he had adopted passionately as his own, word of his death was greeted with great sadness, inspiring a doctor by the name of Francis O. Ticknor to pen a poem in eulogy – Gracie, of Alabama.
A unique honor for a unique Confederate.
For Gen. Gracie had not been born in Alabama, nor anywhere else in what would become for five bloody years The Confederate States of America. He was born in New York City, in the ancestral home that has since become the official residence of New York City’s mayors, to a prominent family.
After graduating from Westpoint, Gen. Gracie served two years in the United States Army. He then relocated to Mobile, Alabama, where he became a successful banker and joined the Militia, attaining the rank of Commander in the Washington Light Artillery.
At the War’s end, Gen. Gracie’s remains were returned to New York, and buried in the Bronx’s Woodlawn Cemetery. All told, four Confederate Generals were laid to rest in Woodlawn. Gen. Gracie, as well as Generals Zachariah Deas, Mansfield Lovell, and Lloyd Tilghman.
A constantly expanding database of Confederates buried in New York City (Catalogued by Archibald Gracie Camp) can be accessed here: New York City Confederate Graves Project.
ew York City held, before, during, and after the War, a special connection with the South. And countless Southerners fled to the City from the horrors of a long and brutal military occupation.
From President Jefferson Davis’ widow Varina, who became a popular journalist, to Emanuel and Mayer Lehman of Lehman Brothers fame, to Confederate surgeon Simon Baruch, known–much to his family’s chagrin–for jumping up and giving the Rebel yell whenever a band played Dixie–even in the Metropolitan Opera House!–to the family of that famous and beloved New Yorker, President Theodore Roosevelt, who spoke often and with great pride of his Confederate relatives, making an eloquent defense of Southern pride when he said to a crowd in Roswell, Georgia in 1905:
“It has been my great fortune to have the right to claim that my blood is half Southern and half Northern, and I would deny the right of any man here to feel a greater pride in the deeds of every Southern man than I feel. …Men and women, don’t you think that I have the ancestral right to claim a proud kinship with those who showed their devotion to duty as they saw the duty, whether they wore the gray or whether they wore the blue? All Americans who are worthy of the name feel an equal pride in the valor of those who fought on one side or the other, provided only that each did with all his might and soul and strength and mind his duty as it was given him to see his duty.”
Evidence of New York City’s ties to the Confederacy can be seen throughout the city, from the church in Brooklyn where General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was baptized, to Robert E. Lee’s home for the years he was stationed in New York, to the downtown hotel where President Jefferson Davis stayed after his release from prison. Explore the map below for a virtual tour of some of the city’s rich, Southern secrets!
View Southern Spots in New York City in a larger map