Sunday, February 19, 2023

The First Soldier Buried at Arlington National Cemetery


Private William Henry Christman from Pennsylvania was the first soldier to be officially buried at Arlington.  A laborer, Christman enlisted in the United States Army on March 25, 1864.  He was hospitalized for measles five weeks later, and died on May 11.  He was buried on May 13, 1864.  

Historic Cemeteries of Northern Virginia

Saturday, February 18, 2023

The Grave of Fighting Joe Wheeler (Arlington National Cemetery)


Joseph “Fighting Joe” Wheeler (1836-1906) served as general in the Confederate Army in the 1860s, and later as a general in the United States Army during the Spanish American War in 1898.  In 1898, Wheeler commanded the cavalry division that included Teddy Roosevelt’s famous “Rough Riders”.  

The bearded Wheeler is seen here with Roosevelt and others.

The grave of Joseph Wheeler (Obelisk)

 One of Wheeler’s former Confederate comrades in arms, James Longstreet, said upon seeing Wheeler in a U.S. Army uniform, “Joe, I hope that Almighty God takes me before he does you, for I want to be within the gates of hell to hear Jubal Early cuss you in the blue uniform.”

Sunday, February 12, 2023

General Phil Sheridan Honored at Arlington National Cemetery


One of the notables buried at Arlington National Cemetery is Philip H. Sheridan (1831 - 1888) who lead the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War.  In 1865, his cavalry was instrumental in forcing the Confederate surrender at Appomattox.  Sheridan later fought Indians during the Plains Wars.

Sheridan was promoted to Lieutenant General in 1884, and took command of the United States Army. In 1888, he was promoted to Full General. He finished writing his memoirs, "Personal Memoirs of P. H. Sheridan," just before he died on August 5, 1888.

One of the earliest memorials to be built in the cemetery was the Sheridan Gate.  The gate was built in 1879 as one of the entrances to the then walled cemetery and dedicated to Sheridan after his death.  By the mid-1900s, the gate was no longer able to accommodate the trucks and construction equipment that were vital to the cemetery’s expansion.  In 1971, the cemetery expanded and the Sheridan Gate was dismantled.

Monday, February 06, 2023

The McClellan Gate at Arlington National Cemetery


Major General George B. McClellan, seen here with his wife, was a controversial military officer during the early part of the American Civil War.  Accused of “having the slows” by President Lincoln, McClellan was a brilliant administrative officer but timid on the battlefield.  McClellan ran against Lincoln in the presidential election of 1864.

In 1867, Congress required that all military cemeteries be fenced. A red Seneca sandstone wall was built around the entire cemetery. The original main gate of the Arlington Cemetery was dedicated to Major General George B. McClellan and is seen here (the McClellan Gate).  The gate was completed in 1879.

Women Doctors in the Civil War

Treasure Legends of the Civil War

Friday, February 03, 2023

“Mosby’s Rangers had for us all the glamour of Robin Hood ...."


The Confederate monument at the Fairfax City, Virginia cemetery notes residence of Fairfax County who served with Mosby’s cavalry.  A few of Mosby’s men were in their 40's, but most were in their late teens or early 20's; two young troopers paroled near the end of the war were only 14 years old.

Sam Moore of Berryville (Loudon County) wrote, “(Mosby’s Rangers) had for us all the glamour of Robin Hood and his merry men, all the courage and bravery of the ancient crusaders, the unexpectedness of benevolent pirates and the stealth of Indians.”

Virginia Legends and Lore

Treasure Legends of the Civil War