DC Trip - Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial

by Kevin November. 07, 2009 2190 views

The Greek revival-style mansion was built on the orders of George Washington Parke Custis, a step-grandson of George Washington. Custis was the most prominent resident of what was then known as Alexandria County, a part of the District of Columbia.

Custis' only child to survive to adulthood was Mary Anna Randolph Custis. Young Robert E. Lee, whose mother was a cousin of Mrs. Custis, frequently visited Arlington. Two years after graduating from West Point, Lieutenant Lee married Mary Custis at Arlington on June 30, 1831. For 30 years Arlington House was home to the Lees. They spent much of their married life traveling between U.S. Army duty stations and Arlington, where six of their seven children were born. They shared this home with Mary's parents, the Custises.

The property was confiscated by the federal government when property taxes levied against Arlington estate were not paid in person by Mrs. Lee. The property was offered for public sale Jan. 11, 1864, and was purchased by a tax commissioner for “government use, for war, military, charitable and educational purposes.”

Arlington National Cemetery was established by Brig. Gen. Montgomery C. Meigs, who commanded the garrison at Arlington House, appropriated the grounds June 15, 1864, for use as a military cemetery. His intention was to render the house uninhabitable should the Lee family ever attempt to return.

Today, the mansion is managed by the National Park Service as a memorial to Robert E. Lee while the land surrounding the mansion, known as Arlington National Cemetery, is managed by the Department of the Army.

Photos are from Day 4 [photoblog.com].

Unfortunately, the house is undergoing a major renovation, so there wasn't much to see inside.

Photo taken 10/22/09.

Photo taken 10/22/09.

Photo taken 10/22/09.

The flags in Arlington National Cemetery are flown at half-staff from a half hour before the first funeral until a half hour after the last funeral each day.

Photo taken 10/22/09.

Pierre Charles L'Enfant was an architect and civil engineer credited with planning the city of Washington, D.C.

Photo taken 10/22/09.

This stone caught our eye since we are from Ohio…

Photo taken 10/22/09.

Funerals, including interments and inurnments, average well over 20 per day. The Cemetery conducts approximately 6,400 burials each year.

Photo taken 10/22/09.

Photo taken 10/22/09.

Photo taken 10/22/09.

Relief on the side of the Civil War Tomb of Unknowns.

Photo taken 10/22/09.

The tomb of Civil War unknowns.

Photo taken 10/22/09.

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