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Published on: Monday, July 8, 2024 read more ...

AUTHORS

Author: Dr. Stephen Carney
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The American Revolution at ANC: How Veterans of America’s First Conflict Came to Arlington

For many years after Arlington National Cemetery’s establishment on May 13, 1864, Civil War service members were the only veterans buried at the cemetery. Today, however, service members who fought in all U.S. conflicts lay at rest on these hallowed grounds, including veterans of wars that predated the establishment of Arlington as a military cemetery. On Independence Day, we take a look at how these veterans of earlier wars—including the American Revolution, the War of 1812 and the U.S.-Mexican War—came to rest at Arlington.

Arlington National Cemetery and the Origins of Memorial Day

At the end of April 1868, uniform rows of white-washed wooden headboards, each representing a gravesite of a fallen Civil War service member, filled the hills of Arlington National Cemetery. The property’s prominent ridgeline, marked by the Arlington House, offered stunning views of Washington, D.C. Little else distinguished this national cemetery as remarkable. While it contained the graves of some 16,000 individuals and spanned 200 acres, Arlington was only one of approximately 74 national cemeteries established beginning in 1862, during the Civil War.