Arlington National Cemetery

I don’t have a good reason for making this post other than that I saw something I found interesting. Basically, I was watching a show on one of the History Channel affiliates that talked about Arlington National Cemetery and why it exists where it does. I’ve never been there or bothered to read anything about it, so this was all news to me. It turns out, the building which adorns the area was that of Robert E. Lee. I’m sure many people know that, and it’s actually the first thing Wikipedia mentions, but again, I’ve never even been there. So, as the Civil War progressed, Union troops eventually took it over.

After some time, it was noticed that war kills people. This, in turn, produces a lot of dead bodies which need burying. Unfortunately, space was running out around the capitol. Then, in a stroke of genius, it was decided that since Lee was basically treasonous swine, his property would be used to bury soldiers. The first graves were actually very close to the home itself. The logic was that it would forever discourage Lee and his family from returning to their home after the war. To this day it stands as one of the more creative ways of saying “fuck you”.

A little less than a decade after the war, one of Lee’s children – ironically named George Washington Custis Lee – called bullshit and sued to get the property back. He won the case to the dismay of many. Faced with the prospect of disinterring several thousand bodies, Congress decided to buy the estate from Lee for $150,000, which is apparently about $3 million today. Robert Todd Lincoln oversaw the signing ceremony.

After this the History Channel went into some free mason bullshit. Once I changed the channel I presume they talked about aliens and people doing their everyday jobs.

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One Response

  1. I would have thought the property would have been considered a spoil of war.

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