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in 1789, and was incorporated as a university in 1815, with collegiate, law, and medical departments.
Below it the Aqueduct Bridge, built to carry the Chesapeake and Ohio canal across the Potomac, supports a broad, smooth highway which, after leaving the bridge, winds away over the brow of the Virginia hills and brings one, in the course of a mile and a half, to beautiful and picturesque Arlington. Before the war it was the property of the famous Confederate leader, Robert E. Lee.
The large classic columns that support the lofty portico of the mansion are a prominent feature of the landscape viewed from the Capitol or from Georgetown, and the view from the portico itself, which comprises the broad sweep of the river and the beautiful capital city beyond, is one of the finest in the world. General Lee came into possession of the estate from having married Mary, the only daughter of its owner, George Washington Parke Custis, the adopted son of General Washington. His family, consisting of a wife and six children three boys and three girls-lived an ideal life in the old mansion, surrounded by every comfort and luxury that wealth could supply. But early in the war they were forced to leave their home, which was seized and held by government. When the Union soldiers took possession in the spring of 1861 there were a number of Washington relics in the mansion, which may now be seen in the National Museum.
Arlington, being entailed property, could not be confiscated, but was sold for taxes in 1864, and purchased by the nation for the sum of $23,000, and in
the succeeding May was established as the first and largest of the eighty-two military cemeteries which the government has set apart as the last restingplaces of the heroic dead who died in the war for the Union.
. Some years after, Mr. George W. C. Lee, the eldest son of the General, brought suit to recover the estate on the ground that it had been illegally sold, and after long litigation established his claim. He then conveyed it to the government for the sum of $150,000. Two hundred acres, enclosed by a low wall of masonry, now comprise Arlington Cemetery. It would be difficult to find a more beautiful, or eloquent spot. Magnificent oaks of two hundred years' growth shade its glades and knolls, amid which drives and walks wind picturesquely, leading the visitor through beautiful green lawns, parterres of flowers and variegated plants, and past stately monuments of the dead. The dead are all about
In lowly graves, marked each by a white marble headstone, sleep sixteen thousand two hundred and sixty-four soldiers of the Union.
The most interesting monument in the ground is the large granite tomb erected over the remains of two thousand one hundred and eleven unknown soldiers gathered from the fields of Bull Run and the route to the Rappahannock. As the inscription upon the tomb states: “their remains could not be identified, but their names and deaths are recorded in the archives of their country, and its grateful citizens honor them as of their noble army of martyrs.'