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June 15, 1864: Arlington National Cemetery is established  

 

GregBO
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15/06/2020 8:52 pm  

Arlington National Cemetery is established on June 15, 1864 when 200 acres (0.81 km2) of the Arlington estate are officially set aside as a military cemetery.  

The national cemetery was established during the Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, which had been the estate of Confederate general Robert E. Lee's wife Mary Anna Custis Lee (a great-granddaughter of Martha Washington). The Cemetery, along with Arlington House, Memorial Drive, the Hemicycle, and the Arlington Memorial Bridge, form the Arlington National Cemetery Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in April 2014.

Arlington National Cemetery Seal

At the outbreak of the Civil War, most military personnel who died in battle near Washington, D.C., were buried at the United States Soldiers' Cemetery in Washington, D.C., or Alexandria Cemetery in Alexandria, Virginia, but by late 1863 both were nearly full.[12] On July 16, 1862, Congress passed legislation authorizing the U.S. federal government to purchase land for national cemeteries for military dead, and put the U.S. Army Quartermaster General in charge of this program.

In May 1864, Union forces suffered large numbers of dead in the Battle of the Wilderness. Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs ordered that an examination of eligible sites be made for the establishment for a large new national military cemetery. Within weeks, his staff reported that Arlington Estate was the most suitable property in the area. The property was high and free from floods (which might unearth graves), it had a view of the District of Columbia, and it was aesthetically pleasing. It was also the home of the leader of the armed forces of the Confederate States of America, and denying Robert E. Lee use of his home after the war was a valuable political consideration. The first military burial at Arlington, for William Henry Christman, was made on May 13, 1864, close to what is now the northeast gate in Section 27. However, Meigs did not formally authorize establishment of burials until June 15, 1864.

The Old Guard transports the flag-draped casket of the second Sergeant Major of the Army, George W. Dunaway, who was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

The government acquired Arlington at a tax sale in 1864 for $26,800, equal to $438,094 today. Mrs. Lee had not appeared in person but rather had sent an agent, attempting to pay the $92.07 in property taxes (equal to $1,505 today) assessed on the estate in a timely manner. The government turned away her agent, refusing to accept the tendered payment. In 1874, Custis Lee, heir under his grandfather's will passing the estate in trust to his mother, sued the United States claiming ownership of Arlington. On December 9, 1882, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5–4 in Lee's favor in United States v. Lee, deciding that Arlington had been confiscated without due process. After that decision, Congress returned the estate to him, and on March 3, 1883, Custis Lee sold it back to the government for $150,000 (equal to $3,492,273 in 2020) at a signing ceremony with Secretary of War Robert Todd Lincoln. The land then became a military reservation.

Gravestones at the cemetery are marked by U.S. flags each Memorial Day

President Herbert Hoover conducted the first national Memorial Day ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery, on May 30, 1929.

 

​"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike

​"​My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.​" - Clarence Buddinton Kelland


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GregBO
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Joined: 2 years ago
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15/06/2020 8:53 pm  

The Cemetery is divided into 70 sections, with some sections in the southeast and western part of the cemetery reserved for future expansion. Section 60, in the southeast part of the cemetery, is the burial ground for military personnel killed in the Global War on Terror since 2001. Section 21, also known as the Nurses Section, is the area of Arlington National Cemetery where many nurses are buried and is the site of the Spanish–American War Nurses Memorial and the Nurses Memorial. Another section—Chaplains Hill—includes monuments to Jewish, Protestant, and Roman Catholic military chaplains.

Map showing the Millennium Project's expansion of Arlington National Cemetery into Arlington Woods and Fort Myer.

In 1901, Confederate soldiers buried at the Soldiers' Home and various locations within Arlington were reinterred in a Confederate section that was authorized by Congress in 1900. On June 4, 1914, the United Daughters of the Confederacy dedicated the Confederate Memorial designed by Moses Ezekiel. Upon his death in 1917, Ezekiel was buried at the base of the monument as he was a veteran of the Confederate army. All Confederate headstones in this section are peaked rather than rounded.

More than 3,800 formerly enslaved people, called "Contrabands" during the Civil War, are buried in Section 27. Their headstones are designated with the word "Civilian" or "Citizen"

​"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike

​"​My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.​" - Clarence Buddinton Kelland


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Sobieski
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 364
16/06/2020 11:46 pm  

Way to stick it to Lee.


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