One-tank trips: Hollywood Cemetery – Part 5
Three former presidents are buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia — James Monroe (grave pictured above), John Tyler, and Confederate president Jefferson Davis. In addition, for the Civil War buff, nearly two dozen Rebel generals are interred in Hollywood, as well as thousands of enlisted men and officers (including hundreds of bodies dug up in the 1870s from the Gettysburg battlefield and transported from south-central Pennsylvania to Richmond).
James Monroe (April 28, 1758 – July 4, 1831) was the fifth President of the United States. He served from 1817-1825, and was the last of the “Founding Fathers” to serve as president. According to Wikipedia, “His presidency was marked both by an ‘Era of Good Feelings’ – a period of relatively little partisan strife – and later by the Panic of 1819 and a fierce national debate over the admission of the Missouri Territory. Monroe is most noted for his proclamation of the Monroe Doctrine in 1823, which stated that the United States would not tolerate further European intervention in the Americas.”
The Virginia native Monroe presided over America during a rare period without any partisan politics, a period some commentators have noted as a “calm before the storm” of sectionalism that eventually culminated in the Civil War.
Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery is easily accessible from I-95, and a self-guided tour route is available (a map showing the major gravesites is available for $1 at the office near the main entry gate).
Brigadier General James Jay Archer (December 19, 1817 – October 24, 1864) was captured on July 1, 1863, during the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg. An Irish soldier from the famed Iron Brigade seized Archer near Willoughby Run. Archer, who suffered from bad health and exhaustion, became the first general officer captured from Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. After imprisonment on Johnson’s Island in Lake Erie in northern Ohio, Archer was later exchanged and returned to the army. However, his health continued to decline and he died in the fall of 1864.
Archer, like so many other Confederate officers, had received his military training in the U.S. Army, having served as a captain during the Mexican War and later, after a stint as an attorney, became a captain in the 9th U.S. Infantry in the Pacific Northwest.
Brigadier General John Rogers Cooke (June 9, 1833 – April 10, 1891) was the son of Union general Philip St. George Cooke and the brother-in-law of Confederate cavalry leader J.E.B. Stuart (who is also buried in Hollywood Cemetery). To his father’s dismay, Cooke joined the Rebel army at the outset of the Civil War, initially commanding the 27th North Carolina. He was wounded at Antietam and then again on Fredericksburg. He would also be wounded in five other battles, but he survived the war and eventually resumed his relationship with his estranged father.
Brigadier General William Edwin Starke (1814 – September 17, 1862) was a wealthy antebellum Gulf Coast cotton broker who later a brigadier general in the Confederate Army. The Virginia-born Starke died at the Battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam) while commanding the Second Louisiana Brigade along the Hagerstown Pike. He is buried at Hollywood Cemetery near his son, who had been killed two months earlier during the Battle of Seven Pines on the Virginia Peninsula.
To get there:
Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery (412 S. Cherry Street) is an easy drive from Interstate 95. Take Exit 76B toward US-1/Belvidere St/US-301 for about 0.1 mile. Turn left on W. Leigh Street and then right onto US-1 South/US-301. Drive about a mile and turn right on Spring Street. In 0.2 miles, turn right onto S. Cherry Street. The entrance to Hollywood Cemetery will be on your left.
To read the rest of this series on Confederate graves at Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery: