Arlington National Cemetery Redux -a photo essay

Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place for many of our nation’s most cherished HEROES. Its history dates back to the Civil War when the U.S. Government foreclosed on the estate of CSA General Robert E. Lee. Overlooking Washington City, and the Potomac River, the estate was built as a tribute to George Washington by his step grandson, George Washington Parke Custis. Custis’ daughter, Mary, would wed Lee, and after Custis’ death, in 1857, Lee and his wife would inherit the sprawling estate. After the foreclosure, Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs petitioned to have Union casualties of war buried there. Arlington National Cemetery, as it was to be known, was created in 1864 to ease the demand for graves for Union soldiers killed in the line of duty. Meigs’ son, Lieutenant John R. Meigs, would be interred near the Custis mansion after being killed in a small skirmish at Swift Run Gap, Virginia, in October 1864. The senior Meigs would also be buried there with his son. A postbellum lawsuit, settled by the U.S. Supreme Court, United States vs. Lee, would declare that the foreclosure was illegal and the property was to be returned to Lee’s oldest son, George Washington Custis Lee. With thousands of dead Union soldiers buried around the mansion, Lee sold the property to the government for $150,000 ensuring that the soldiers’ graves remain undisturbed. Encompassing over 600 acres of ground, Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place for over 300,000 soldiers and their immediate families. With its rolling hills, manicured lawns, gardens and huge trees, many of which predate the Civil War, this national treasure is a “must see” for anyone visiting our nation’s capital.

This past September, I was able to visit Arlington National Cemetery, as I do on many occasions when I am in Washington D.C. I never tire of the serenity and beauty of the place. With so many Civil War soldiers to visit, I always plan my trip ahead of time. On this visit I was able to pay my regards to several Civil War notables: William F. “Baldy” Smith, John P. Hatch, Frank Wheaton, George Crook, Samuel D. Sturgis and Philip H. Sheridan. Some lesser known soldiers were also part of my itinerary and included: Joseph A. Mower, Stephen G. Burbridge, Thomas T. Crittenden and Green C. Smith. To view my photo essay click on the following link:

Mike’s September 2011 Arlington National Cemetery photo essay

To view more photos of Arlington National Cemetery, click on the following link:

Mike’s Flickr Collection of Arlington National Cemetery graves


About Michael Noirot

I grew up in the Central Illinois farming community, of Dunlap. Growing up, I played sports, tinkered with cars and enjoyed photography. While I did well in school, I did not become passionate about history until my early 30's. I have built a large library, of books on early America, politics and the Civil War. I am an avid reader. Fortunately, I have had plenty of opportunities to travel, over the years, and have been to most of the Civil War battlefields. I work while I travel, so more often than not, I am up, in the middle of the night, to get sunrise pictures, or I will be out until well after dark, exploring Civil War battlefields. I have other hobbies, and passions, that I really enjoy. Number one on the list would be guitar. I play my guitars on a regular basis, and enjoy the Bluegrass, and Contemporary Christian (CCM) genres. I play a style of guitar, called FLATPICKING, where using a flat pick, you play lead solos, similar to the way a fiddle would have been played during the 19th and early 20th Centuries. Laura, my wife, and I also enjoy scuba diving, travel and spending time at our property, in the country. Lastly, we spend as much time with our families, as possible. Thanks for stopping by.
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One Response to Arlington National Cemetery Redux -a photo essay

  1. Diane McLarney says:

    Hey Mike!

    Thanks for sharing. Arlington is a definite favorite of mine!!

    Hope all is well,

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