A Sign Commanding Silence And Respect At Arlington National Cemetery Virginia

Disrespect Of The Remains Of Confederate Dead At Arlington -  The federal government did not permit the decoration of Confederate graves at the cemetery- Miegs refused to give families of Confederates buried there permission to lay flowers on their loved ones’ graves, families barred from the cemetery.

Confederate military personnel were among those initially buried at Arlington. Some were prisoners of war who died while in custody or who were executed as spies by the Union, but some were battlefield dead. For example, in 1865, General Meigs decided to build monument to the Civil War dead in a grove of trees near the flower garden south of the Robert E. Lee mansion at Arlington.

The bodies of 2,111 Union and Confederate dead within a 35-mile (56 km) radius of the city of Washington, D.C., were collected. Some of the dead had been interred on the battlefield, but most were full or partial remains discovered unburied where they died in combat. None were identifiable. Although Meigs had not intended to collect the remains of Confederate war dead, the inability to identify remains meant that both Union and Confederate dead were interred below the cenotaph he built. The vault was sealed in September 1866. Other Confederate battlefield dead were also buried at Arlington, and by the end of the war in April 1865 several hundred of the more than 16,000 graves at Arlington contained Confederate dead.

The federal government did not permit the decoration of Confederate graves at the cemetery, however. As Quartermaster General, Meigs had charge of the Arlington cemetery (he did not retire until February 6, 1882),  and he refused to give families of Confederates buried there permission to lay flowers on their loved ones’ graves. In 1868, when families asked to lay flowers on Confederate graves on Decoration Day (now known as Memorial Day), Meigs ordered that the families be barred from the cemetery. Union veterans’ organizations such as the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR; whose membership was open only to Union soldiers) also felt that rebel graves should not be decorated. In 1869, GAR members stood watch over Confederate graves at Arlington National Cemetery to ensure they were not visibly honored on Decoration Day.  Cemetery officials also refused to allow the erection of any monument to Confederate dead and declined to permit new Confederate burials (either by reburial or through the death of veterans).

The federal government’s policy toward Confederate graves at Arlington National Cemetery changed radically at the end of the 19th century.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederate_Memorial_%28Arlington_National_Cemetery%29#cite_ref-6

https://books.google.com/books?id=9qPiwnJCd_oC&pg=PA74&lpg=PA74&dq=confederate+dead+strewn+about+arlington+cemetery&source=bl&ots=zytQchS4E2&sig=Hr0YR0QWrnMSQP14i3FEb4jxtIg&hl=en&sa=X&ei=hEVjVeujFIvcoASproBo&ved=0CFQQ6AEwDg#v=onepage&q=confederate%20dead%20strewn%20about%20arlington%20cemetery&f=false

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2

Friendship Cemetery
Columbus, Mississippi
4.26.2014

A year after the war’s end, in April, 1866, four women of Columbus gathered together to decorate the graves of the Confederate soldiers. They also felt moved to honor the Union soldiers buried there, and to note the grief of their families, by decorating their graves as well. The story of their gesture of humanity and reconciliation is now told and retold in Mississippi as being the occasion of the original Memorial Day.  (Source:  The Atlantic)

all photos are my own

Arlington Cemetery- Confederate Monument

The fallen figure of a woman, also representing “The South”, leans on a shield emblazoned with the words “The Constitution” as a symbol of what the UDC believed the South fought for.

A figure representing “The South” stumbles while clutching a shield representing the Constitution of the United States on the south face of the Confederate Monument at Arlington National Cemtery in Arlington, Virginia, in the United States. Mineva, goddess of war, supports her. American historians agree that many of the civic wounds created by the American Civil War were healed by the feelings of common cause generated during Spanish-American War. In June 1900, the U.S. Congress passed legislation setting aside Section 16 of the cemetery for the burial of Confederate States of America war dead. Many Confederate dead were already buried at the cemetery, and were memorialized by the Civil War Unknowns Monument. But the new area of the cemetery would allow for individual burial of those whose identities were known.

By December 1901, 482 Confederate remains were disinterred at the cemeteries at Alexandria, Virginia; the Soldiers’ Home in Washington, D.C.; and portions of Arlington National Cemetery and reinterred in concentric circles in Section 16. Their headstones were given a pointed top, to indicate that they were Confederate graves. 

Shortly thereafter, the United Daughters of the Confederacy asked that a memorial to the Confederate dead be erected in Section 16. Secretary of War William Howard Taft granted the request on March 4, 1906. Confederate veteran and nationally-known sculptor Moses Ezekiel was commissioned to design and sculpt the monument. It was cast and manufactured by Aktien-Gesellschaft Gladenbeck of Berlin, Germany. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederate_Memorial_%28Arlington_National_Cemetery%29#/media/File:Confederate_Monument_-_S_frieze_detail_-_Arlington_National_Cemetery_-_2011.JPG

8

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Appomattox.

To many Americans the word Appomattox is synonymous with the end of the Civil War.

The war, however, did not officially conclude at that tiny village west of Petersburg, Virginia. But what happened there in early April 150 years ago certainly marked the beginning of the end for the Confederacy.

After the fall of Richmond, the Confederate capital, on April 2, 1865, officials in the Confederate government, including President Jefferson Davis, fled. The dominoes began to fall. The surrender at Appomattox took place a week later on April 9.

While it was the most significant surrender to take place during the Civil War, Gen. Robert E. Lee, the Confederacy’s most respected commander, surrendered only his Army of Northern Virginia to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.

Several other Confederate forces—some large units, some small—had yet to surrender before President Andrew Johnson could declare that the Civil War was officially over.

The Grant-Lee agreement served not only as a signal that the South had lost the war but also as a model for the rest of the surrenders that followed.

After Richmond fell and Davis fled, Confederate commanders were on their own to surrender their commands to Union forces. Surrenders, paroles, and amnesty for many Confederate combatants would take place over the next several months and into 1866 throughout the South and border states.

Not until 16 months after Appomattox, on August 20, 1866, did the President formally declare an end to the war.

Read the full story on “Ending the Bloodshed: The Last Surrenders of the Civil War.”