One-tank road trips: Arlington National Cemetery – Part 1
Arlington National Cemetery is roughly a two-hour drive from my home near York, Pennsylvania. For a history buff and Civil War junkie, it’s an excellent place to roam, as well as a great and safe place for some healthy hiking. For my recent birthday, one of my sons took me to Arlington, the US Postal Museum, and the Washington-St. Louis baseball game as a gift.
Here are a few photos of Civil War gravesites in Arlington where we paused to remember people associated with the war.
Captain Frederick Benteen commanded Company H of the 7th U.S. Cavalry and then as a battalion leader played a very controversial role in Custer’s defeat at the Battle of Little Bighorn in June 1876. I recently posted a Cannonball blog entry about a York native who fought under Benteen and survived Little Bighorn.
Tens of thousands of visitors enjoy the amazing view from Little Round Top at Gettysburg National Military Park, and I often see tourists getting their photos taken in front of the cannon on the hilltop. The guns during the battle were commanded by Lt. Benjamin Rittenhouse, whose grave is pictured above. He took over command following the death of Captain Charles Hazlett, like me a native of Zanesville, Ohio.
August V. Kautz was one of many German heritage generals in the Union Army. He led a rather significant cavalry raid in the vicinity of Richmond that created quite a stir. He grew up in southwestern Ohio and commanded a regiment before becoming a general. Kautz was on the board that investigated the Lincoln Assassination conspiracy.
Benjamin Franklin Kelley played a small role in the Gettysburg Campaign. He led a force eastward from West Virginia toward Lee’s retreating Army of Northern Virginia. Lee, in turn, dispatched Jubal Early’s division to thwart Kelley’s movement, a topic I cover in some depth in my recent book on the Louisiana Tigers in the Gettysburg Campaign. Rebel raiders captured Kelley and his superior George Crook in 1864 in a daring raid. He was released in March 1865 and resigned three months later following the end of hostilities.
E. O. C. Ord‘s name is not familiar to today’s generation, but in the19th century he was frequently in the news. The designer of Fort Sam Houston, he fought in the Seminole Wars, the Mexican War, and the Civil War. He played a critical role in the Appomattox Campaign and his troops finally forced Lee to halt and surrender. General William T. Sherman said that he “had always understood that Ord’s skillful, hard march the night before was one of the chief causes of Lee’s surrender.” He bought the table at which Robert E. Lee sat during the surrender discussions. Fort Ord in California was named for him.
Frank Wheaton led a brigade of infantry at the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg and temporarily led a division when John Newton took over the First Corps. The Rhode Island native fought at virtually all of the Eastern Theater’s major battles and ended the war in command of a division in the Sixth Corps. He led troops in the Modoc War (unsuccessfully and was relieved of that command) and in other Indian fights in the Old West. He retired as a brevet major general.