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Re: [genpcncfir] FYI: Arlington House/Arlington Cemetery

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  • Carol Singh
    Dear Jewelle, Thanks, this is well-worth knowing. I ve been in Arlington Cemetery. It s feasible for me to check it out in person. I didn t know about the
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 29, 2003
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      Dear Jewelle, Thanks, this is well-worth knowing. I've
      been in Arlington Cemetery. It's feasible for me to
      check it out in person. I didn't know about the
      Confederate burials there. From another friend
      interested in genealogy, I learned of some buried in
      Fredericksburg, Virginia. This friend's husband was
      working in that area for several weeks and sent the
      information to his wife by email. Later, Carol
      --- Jewelle Baker <jewellebaker@...> wrote:
      > Hello Group...
      > A little bit of History gleaned for you from
      > another Group... enjoy:
      > Sent: Monday, April 28, 2003 5:00 PM
      > Arlington House/Arlington Cemetery
      > The first Union soldiers were buried on the grounds
      > of the Lee Mansion at Arlington VA in May 1864.
      > Here's a Camp Historian's column for their May
      > newsletter:
      > From The Files Of Alan Doyle
      > Camp Historian
      > The Yankee government confiscated Gen. Robert
      > E. Lee's Virginia home on the Potomac River called
      > "Arlington House" out of pure meanness, spite and
      > revenge. In 1862, the magnificent Greek Revival
      > style dwelling and 1,100 acres were seized by
      > authority of the "Act for the Collection of Direct
      > Taxes in the Insurrectionary Districts within the
      > United States," and held it for payment of $92.07 in
      > taxes and penalties. The government insisted the
      > taxes be paid in person by a member of the Lee
      > family, either General Lee or his wife. Obviously
      > doing so would mean certain capture and detainment
      > for the duration of the War. The Lees had no choice
      > but to allow the tax commissioners to turn over the
      > property to the government. Following the seizure,
      > the house was made a military headquarters for a
      > portion of the Union army.
      > Let's digress just a moment to get a brief
      > history of the estate. George Washington Parke
      > Custis, adopted son of Gen. George and Martha
      > Washington, inherited the 1,100 acre tract from
      > Martha Washington upon her death in 1802. George
      > Custis also inherited all of Gen. Washington's
      > memorabilia. In 1804 he built "Arlington House" on
      > the Custis estate overlooking the Potomac, as a
      > place to display and store the Washington artifacts
      > and prized possessions, including his headquarters
      > tent from the Revolutionary War. "Arlington House"
      > for years entertained many influential visitors to
      > the estate to view its rich history pertaining to
      > Gen. George Washington.
      > G.W.P. Custis left his property to his
      > daughter Mary Ann Custis, upon his death in 1857.
      > As you're well aware Mary Ann was the wife of Col.
      > Robert E. Lee at the time. The Lees were given
      > "life tenancy" to the Arlington property and were in
      > turn obligated to pass the inheritance on to their
      > oldest, which would have been George Washington
      > Custis Lee, and so on with his successors.
      > "Arlington House" and grounds was their home until
      > the outbreak of the War Between The States.
      > When his native State seceded from the Union
      > and upon his acceptance of the command of Virginia
      > troops, Gen. Lee deemed it necessary to relocate
      > further away from the Yankee capitol. Robert E. Lee
      > took his family, their heirlooms and the Washington
      > collection to the safety of another Virginia estate
      > they owned. In 1862 "Arlington House" was lost to
      > the Yankee government.
      > In 1864 Union army Quartermaster General,
      > Montgomery C. Meigs was assigned the task to locate
      > a suitable site for an additional military cemetery.
      > Union dead were piling up throughout the Washington
      > area. Meigs, a Southern native who remained loyal
      > to the Union, reportedly hated Gen. Robert E. Lee
      > for his service to the Confederate States of
      > America. When an opportunity for revenge arose he
      > took it. This bitter scoundrel Meigs, was
      > instrumental in convincing Secretary of War Stanton
      > to use the illegally seized property of Gen. Lee's
      > for the new burial ground. Knowingly, this would
      > forever prevent the Lees from regaining the beloved
      > estate. On May 13, 1864 the first Yankee private was
      > buried on the property. Later 26 more invaders were
      > buried around Mrs. Lee's rose garden, followed by a
      > large vault containing the remains of 2,111 unknown
      > Yankee soldiers was erected within a few yards of
      > the house. Thousands of Union men who had died in
      > hospitals in Washington and Alexandria, along with
      > casualties from the battlefields in Virginia and
      > Maryland, were all interred on the property. By the
      > War's end, 16,000 had been buried in the new
      > military cemetery. Now with the acreage of their
      > home used as a burial ground, there was no way the
      > Lees would ever return to their home.
      > Now to try to add a positive note to this sad
      > affair. Did you know that there are also 409 brave
      > Confederate soldiers buried in the special section
      > dedicated to them, along with a large granite and
      > bronze monument, standing 32.5 feet tall? The
      > Confederate Memorial is located in section 16. The
      > Southern soldiers that died as prisoners of War in
      > the Washington area hospitals were also buried in
      > Arlington Cemetery. At War's end, many of the
      > Confederates were reinterred in their home States by
      > surviving family members, leaving approximately 409.
      > In 1906, the United Daughters of the Confederacy
      > asked permission from Secretary of War William
      > Howard Taft, to erect a monument to the boys in
      > Gray. With permission granted, the Arlington
      > Cemetery Memorial Association was formed. On June
      > 14, 1914, the Confederate Memorial monument was
      > unveiled to a crowd of thousands. President Woodrow
      > Wilson presided over the stirring ceremony. Every
      > June since that time a Confederate Memorial Day
      > service hosted by the UDC has been held honoring
      > those buried there. For the last two years,
      > President George W. Bush has sent a wreath to the
      > celebration held at Arlington National Cemetery.
      > When Mrs. Robert E. Lee died in 1873, her son
      > George Washington Custis Lee inherited the
      > "Arlington House" and estate. Using his
      > grandfather's will as a claim on the property, Lee
      > filed suit to regain ownership. After five long
      > years of litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in
      > his favor, stating the Federal Government was
      > trespassing and was ordered to leave. The government
      > faced with the tremendous, if not impossible task of
      > removing the dead, G.W.C. Lee proposed a financial
      > settlement in lieu of exchange for the title of the
      > property. On March 3, 1883, Congress appropriated
      > $150,000 for payment of the property and the deed
      > was signed over to the government. As a gesture of
      > national healing, "Arlington House" was later
      > dedicated to Gen. Robert E. Lee's memory. There are
      > now approximately 250,000 veterans of all wars and
      > families resting there, with an average of fifteen
      > burials taking place daily.
      > *May 2003 Newsletter
      > Alan Doyle cdoyle@...
      > Many thanks to Alan Doyle, JLRussel, and Dan
      > Fairfax for a peak in a window of our past.
      > My niece (who was more like a daughter as my Mother
      > and I raised her), Mary Helen CANNON b.30 Oct 1945
      > d.01 March 2002, wife of retired Major General
      > Emmett GIBSON, is enUrn in Arlington National
      > Cemetery.
      > Jewelle
      > jewellebaker@...
      > jewelle@...
      > Main SURNAMES;
      > ++++
      > GenealogyPITT Co NC Friends In Research
      > (Serving all Eastern/Coastal NC Counties)
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