Confederate Memorial (Arlington National Cemetery)
Backstory and Context
Arlington National Cemetery, the most famous cemetery in the country, it is a gravesite for many of the fallen throughout American Military History.
In the 19th Century, our country honored even those who fought for the south. The memorial is located in section 16 of the cemetery. The inscription on the monument reads "An Obedience To Duty As They Understood it; These Men Suffered All; Sacrificed All and Died!"
It is said that Arlington is the first cemetery to honor black Confederate soldiers. While the image on the monument depicts black and white soldiers marching together there is much speculation as to the truth of the depictions.
Arlington National Cemetery was created because of the countries need for the burial of many fallen soldiers. Even though there are many Confederate soldiers buried here, the tension between north and south was so great that it is still considered to be a union gravesite. Often family members of the Confederate soldiers used to be denied access into the cemetery on a prejudice basis. As time went by thought the prejudices subsided and this is when north and south finally could say that they were past the war.
To further honor these citizens of the South, the United Daughters of the Confederacy petitioned to erect a major monument to the Confederate dead. On March 4, 1906 Secretary of War William Howard Taft granted their request. The cornerstone was laid on Nov. 12, 1912 at a ceremony featuring speakers William Jennings Bryan and James A. Tanner, a former Union corporal who lost both legs at the second Battle of Bull Run. He was commander in chief of the Union veterans group, The Grand Army of the Republic. That same evening, President William Howard Taft addressed the United Daughters of the Confederacy at a reception in the Daughters of the American Revolution's Centennial Hall.
There are many inscriptions on the memorial, mostly at the base. On the front of the memorial is the seal of the Confederacy and a tribute by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, with the Latin phrase: "Victrix Causa Diis Placuit Sed Victa Caton." Which means: "The Victorious Cause was Pleasing to the Gods, But the Lost Cause to Cato." There are also other inscriptions all dedicated to the Confederates who served at this tragic time in American History.
Arlington National Cemetery conducts at least thirty burials a week; it consists of six hundred and twenty four acres of memorials and a rolling area of tranquility and serves as a very peaceful final resting place. This landscape serves as a tribute to the service and sacrifice of every individual laid to rest within the hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery.