Mississippi is known for its delectable Southern cuisine, its literary contributions, and for being home of the blues. But there’s another side to Mississippi—a more mysterious side full of history and intrigue. These three gravesites are proof of Mississippi’s offbeat, wacky and occasionally spooky history. They’re also the perfect roadside attractions to visit on your way to Harmony Farm!
Grave of Douglas the Camel
America can’t claim many camels, much less famous ones, but that’s exactly what you’ll find in the Soldier’s Rest section of Cedar Hill Cemetery in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Douglas the Camel was a gift to Colonel W. H. Moore during the Civil War and carried instruments and knapsacks for his company, the 43rd Mississippi Infantry (appropriately nicknamed The Camel Infantry.) But Douglas wasn’t the only Camel in the Civil War. Before he became president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis was the U.S. Secretary of War, and implemented the Texas Camel Experiment in the 1850s to see how useful camels would be in the American Southwest where horses were beginning to have trouble on long trips. Douglas’ service came to an end one fateful day in 1863 he broke free from his tether and wandered into No Man’s Land between the Union and Confederate armies where he was shot by a Union soldier. His gravestone describes him as “patient” and “faithful” to all who knew him.
Grave of the Gypsy Queen
This gravesite, located in Meridian, Mississippi is the final resting place of Queen Kelly Mitchell, Queen of the Romany Gypsy Nation, who died in 1915 after giving birth to her 15th child. When she died approximately 20,000 Romany gypsies from all across the United States came to grieve their queen in Meridian and spent the days after her death partying and playing music in remembrance of her life. According to a 2007 article in the Meridian Star, “today, the grave of Kelly Mitchell lies at Rose Hill Cemetery, the headstone broken into many pieces by vandals and would-be grave robbers. Her grave is covered with gifts like packs of cigarettes, cans of soda, and mardi-gras beads. The trinkets take on many forms left by people who believe that leaving an offering will entice Mitchell’s spirit to visit them in a dream and provide answers to their problems.”
Grave of the Lady In Red
One of the more mysterious and downright creepy gravesites from Mississippi’s cemeteries is that of The Lady In Red. In 1969 farmers were breaking ground at Egypt Plantation in the tiny town of Cruger, Mississippi when they hit a coffin made of cast iron and glass three feet below the topsoil. Inside the coffin was a young woman in a red velvet dress and white gloves. But, strangest of all, was that she was fully preserved and looked almost the same as the day she died (which experts later agreed was some time in the mid-to-late 1800s) thanks to a preservative alcohol-based gas that had been flooded and sealed into the glass coffin. To this day her identity has never been discovered, nor why she was perfectly preserved then wound up buried three feet into the ground far away from any cemetery. She was respectfully moved to Odd Fellows Cemetery in Lexington, Mississippi where visitors can still view her grave today.
If you’re as fascinated by the footnotes of history that pepper Mississippi’s past be sure to book your stay with us at Harmony Farm. There’s so much more to discover!