Friday, April 10, 2009

Testament to Union

Testament to Union: Civil War Monuments in Washington, D.C.
by Kathryn Allamong Jacob
Photographs by Edwin Harlan Remsberg
ISBN 0-8018-5861-5
The Johns Hopkins University Press
Baltimore and London, 1998

I bought this book to help me locate and identify Civil War monuments in the Washington DC area. Much to my surprise, when I began reading this morning, I discovered there is a Confederate monument in Arlington National Cemetery. In all my visits there I have never seen this monument, so I am planning another trip to Arlington National Cemetery to photograph it.

I was surprised to learn that Montgomery Meigs, a former Union general, a civil engineer and construction engineer, harbored such resentment toward the former Confederate states that, as Quartermaster General, he refused entry to the cemetery of families of Confederate dead. My initial reaction to this is to find it extreme. To deny family members the right to visit the graves of loved ones, to deny them this step in the grieving process, seems wrong.

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