Sunday, March 22, 2009

Arlington Cemetery, Part II

In my first post on the topic, I focused mainly on Arlington House and the history of the site before it became a cemetery. I revisited Arlington National Cemetery this (Sunday) morning, with the goal of finding Civil War era graves. The Union dead were the first soldiers to be buried at Arlington, after the property was seized at the outset of the war. So, seeking these veterans out seems like a way to keep these posts roughly chronological. In addition, I am a total nerd for the Civil War. I have read a lot about it, know a lot about it, and I had spotted several familiar names on markers around the cemetery on my first two visits. So I really wanted to check it out.

I decided that rather than actually speak with someone who knows the area (like, say, a tour guide), I would just walk around and see what I would find. I ended up taking many pictures, as it was a gorgeous day. What follows, then, is basically my visit in pictures.

The first Civil War era grave I stumbled upon. The Civil War veterans are easy to spot because the names are framed by this badge shape, and because in the spirit of the time, they all have the state they fought for listed.

Nearby that first grave, I found the towering marker for Joseph Wheeler. Wheeler was actually a Confederate general during the Civil War, and ably commanded the cavalry of the Army of Tennessee. Later, however, he (re)joined the United States military and served as a general during the Spanish-American War, earning himself an incredibly tall spot in Arlington.

General George Crook was also buried beneath an elaborate gravestone. The back of which, pictured here, depicts him accepting the surrender of Geronimo and his men.

Throughout the cemetery, one can find graves from the time period mixed in with everyone else, as with the three visible here.

Eventually, however, I found a vast area that was almost entirely Civil War veterans, in the northern end of the cemetery.

I even found a monument honoring the Confederate dead. The graves circling this monument were all Southern veterans, and their graves were distinguished with a slight point at the top, rather than the smooth semi-circle topping most markers at Arlington.

Sunday was the third day of spring, and I wanted to photograph this robin, but he was having none of it.

It was also a lovely day. Our nation's heroes have a truly peaceful place to rest.


  1. This post and layout reads like a Modernist poem.

  2. I'm not sure if that's a compliment...