A Visit to Arlington National Cemetery
August 21, 2009

"I decided to visit the grave of William Rosecrans in Arlington National Cemetery today.  It probably wasn't my best choice of days since the walk from the visitor's center to his grave site is about two miles, all uphill, and today featured 96 degree humid heat.  My only consolation was that if I dropped in my tracks, they could just throw some dirt over me and have done with it.

"Actually, just finding his grave site wasn't easy.  You have to go to a room at the visitor's center where you fill out a form and watch the clerk look through microfiche, then consult various charts.  It's almost like astrology. She wound up giving me a map of the cemetery with a green blob on it representing the approximate place.  The map also indicated the grave was in section 3, and appropriately enough, plot numbers 1862 and 1863.  I have no idea if that was deliberate, but I suspect it's a coincidence since there were plenty of other Civil War veterans and other prominent people lying around the same area (even if you couldn't see them).  In fact, Walter Reed is a couple of doors down from Old Rosy.  So there I was, realizing that section 3 covered an area larger than Connecticut, and pretty much none of the graves have numbers on them.  So you have to slalom your way through the markers and occasionally find one with a number.  That way you can tell if you're getting close. 

" I did finally find it and to make it easy for anyone else who follows, it's by the end of the cul-de-sac on Miles Drive (so called since the Miles family, he of Civil, Indian and Spanish American war fame, mausoleum is there).  Just before you get to the circle at the end of the street, Old Rosy is on your left.  Actually, it's a nice place since it's atop a small hill.  I decided to forego the long walk on the road down the hill, so I just walked overland down the hill to the street, taking care not to trod on someone's defunct face.  I noticed that there was a lot of erosion on the hill and, thus, a lot of rocks and shells coming out of the ground.  One of them turned out to be a piece of china, the bottom of a bowl, I think.  I don't know what it was doing there, but the land once belonged to the Robert E. Lee family and I can imagine they had picnics on top of that small hill that overlooks a small stream.  Anyway, here are photos of Rosecran's final resting place, back and front,"
 by Thomas Wolke

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