Dec 1, 2018

Arlington National Cemetery

Union soldiers buried their dead in Robert E. Lee’s garden. Before Arlington was a national cemetery, it was the Lee homestead, and then a tent city for occupying troops.

Robert E. Lee inherited Arlington House
from his wife’s late father. It was a hillside manse overlooking 1,100 acres, just across the river from the White House. Lee left Arlington in April 1861, after resigning from the Union Army and accepting the rank of major general of the Confederacy.

Union troops were preparing to claim the estate almost as soon as he left and his wife Mary, fled.

As the war raged, Arlington looked like a place to put a graveyard after the government acquired the estate in 1864, for $26,800. It became a cemetery during June, 1864. Today, Lee’s former estate is the final resting place for more than 420,000 people. Funeral services continue six days a week, with several dozen a day.

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