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Everyone knows and talks about The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. But did you know there was another famous military tomb? This one is not in the DC metropolitan area but rather down in the rolling hills of the south. In the great state of Georgia in a city called Rome, there is a tomb in the Myrtle Hill Cemetery called, “The Tomb of the Known Soldier.” Myrtle Hill Cemetery itself is famous for its military history but this tomb is so often not talked about outside of the Rome city limits. This is a piece of history that deserves to be remembered and celebrated.


Deep in the red clay of Georgia in the city of Rome there is The Tomb of the Known Soldier. The known soldier is Private Charles Graves of the United States Army. “Charles Graves enlisted in the United States Army on August 16, 1917; he was eighteen years old at the time. He was eventually shipped to Neuroy, France, a place he knew nothing about. On October 5, 1918 (fourteen months after his Army service began), Graves was killed by German artillery shrapnel on the Hindenburg Line. Soon after, he received full military honors and a military burial in France.”[1] His body stayed in France for four long years until his body was finally returned home to his mother so long after recieveng word from the War Department that her son was gone. Her son had fought and served valiantly in the World War I and she believed that her son deserved to be brought home and laid to rest on American soil. “The U.S. Government had the idea of creating the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and of a "Known Soldier" in Arlington National Cemetery to honor World War I soldiers. Graves was chosen for "America's Known Soldier" by a blindfolded sailor who picked Graves' name from an American soldier remains list, but his mother objected to his burial at Arlington. The War Department wanted to give his body, in its flag-draped coffin, a parade on Fifth Avenue in New York with generals, admirals, and politicians before his mother buried Graves in the cemetery near Antioch Church on April 6, 1922.” [2] It would not be until a little over a year later after the death of his mother that Graves would reach his final resting place. Many people believed in what Graves had fought for and believed in the honor that he deserved and was due. The world respected a mother’s wish but in the end they stood behind their respect for patriotism. “Graves, a fallen soldier, failed to remain in the cemetery for a long period of time; many local citizens decided that he should be buried in a place of honor. As a result, on September 22, 1923, his body was exhumed from Antioch Cemetery and relocated to Myrtle Hill Cemetery as America's Known Soldier after his mother's death and his brother's agreement. Graves was buried a third and final time. On November 11, 1923, Armistice Day, Charles and the other 33 young men from Floyd County who died in World War I were honored with three Maxim guns and 34 magnolia trees.” [3] It is fitting to also note that being buried at Myrtle Hill Cemetery was an honor in itself. When you look at the history of this cemetery the grounds of which many fallen souls lay is a hallowed ground that has the blood of a nation seeping deep below the surface. “Established in 1857, this cemetery on the National Register of Historic Places consists of 32 acres and six levels, where more than 20,000 people are laid to rest. Originally known as Fort Stovall, the site was instrumental in the Siege of Rome during the Civil War. A Confederate cemetery section within Myrtle Hill holds 377 soldiers - from the north and the south - who were either from Rome or lost their lives while in the city… Myrtle Hill is also the resting place of Ellen Axson Wilson, wife of President Woodrow Wilson.”[4] It is only fitting that on such hallowed ground and amongst such revered people that the tomb of America’s known soldier should reside. In place that hold a big part of American history the world will always remember the Known Soldier and the many other known soldiers of WW!.

[1] The Tomb of the Known Soldier, Wikipedia. May 24th 2019. Accessed February 22nd 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomb_of_the_Known_Soldier.

[2] The Tomb of the Known Soldier, Wikipedia. May 24th 2019. Accessed February 22nd 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomb_of_the_Known_Soldier.

[3] The Tomb of the Known Soldier, Wikipedia. May 24th 2019. Accessed February 22nd 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomb_of_the_Known_Soldier.

[4] Myrtle Hill Cemetery, Explore Georgia. Accessed February 22nd 2020. https://www.exploregeorgia.org/rome/history-heritage/civil-war/myrtle-hill-cemetery.

The Tomb of the Known Soldier, Wikipedia. May 24th 2019. Accessed February 22nd 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomb_of_the_Known_Soldier.

Myrtle Hill Cemetery, Explore Georgia. Accessed February 22nd 2020. https://www.exploregeorgia.org/rome/history-heritage/civil-war/myrtle-hill-cemetery.