On Thursday, April 26, 1866, the graves of Confederate soldiers in Rose Hill Cemetery and in the cemetery at 7th and Cherry Streets were decorated with flowers by the members of the Ladies' Memorial Association, organized in March 1866 with Mrs. Thomas Hardeman, Jr. (Jane Lumsden), the first president. The women were assisted by 56 young men with hoes, rakes and spades, and children with flowers.
The Memorial Day addresses were delivered by the Rev. David Wills at Rose Hill and by the Rev. E. W. Warren at lower Cherry Street. Both addresses were printed in full in the Macon Daily Telegraph, April 27, 1866.
Soon after the close of the War Between the States, Mrs. Hardeman inaugurated the plan of removing the remains of the soldiers from graves scattered around the Confederate hospitals in the county to these cemeteries and erected wooden headboards at each mound with the name, company, regiment and date of death of each soldier. For two weeks prior the first Memorial Day, Mrs. Hardeman and a companion personally listed the information on the crude headboards. This list of 575 names was published in full in the Macon Daily Telegraph of April 26, 1866. The list now numbers 602.