Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States
NATIONAL CEMETERIES, for soldier and sailors, may be said to have originated in 1850. The army appropriation bill of that year appropriated $10,000 "for purchasing, walling and ditching a piece of land near the city of Mexico, for a cemetery or burial-ground for such of the officers and soldiers of our army in the late war with Mexico as fell in battle or died in and around said city, and for the interment of American citizens who have died or may die in said city." The remains of federal soldiers and sailors who perished in the war for the Union, have been interred in seventy-eight inclosures owned by the United States, exclusive of those buried elsewhere—a far more numerous host. In some of these cemeteries, as at Gettysburg, Antietam, City Point, Winchester, Marietta, Woodlawn, Hampton and Beaufort, handsome monuments have been erected, and others are in contemplation. Following are the names and locations of all our national cemeteries, with the number of interments, known and unknown:
Excepting those in a few cemeteries in secluded situations, the graves are publicly decorated annually on "decoration days," on which occasions many memorable discourses have been spoken. At Arlington, James A. Garfield made, perhaps, the greatest effort of his life. At Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln spoke that brief speech which has become immortal.
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