Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial

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Operating as usual

Happy #NationalHandshakeDay back at our friends at George Washington's Mount Vernon!  Learn more about the deep connecti...
06/27/2019

Happy #NationalHandshakeDay back at our friends at George Washington's Mount Vernon! Learn more about the deep connections between these two historic sites: https://www.nps.gov/arho/learn/historyculture/the-washington-treasury.htm

Happy #NationalHandshakeDay! We're celebrating by shaking hands with another George Washington-related house museum in the area, Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial. Arlington House was built by George Washington's step-grandson, George Washington Parke Custis, as the nation's first memorial to George Washington.

Later, Custis' daughter, Mary Anna Randolph Custis, married a young Robert E. Lee in the house in 1831. During the Civil War, the Union Army seized the house and turned the property into a military cemetery, which eventually became Arlington National Cemetery. Have you ever visited Arlington House or the National Cemetery? #HandshakeHHMC

Please be aware that the Women In Military Service For America Memorial and the temporary exhibits located there are tem...
06/12/2019

Please be aware that the Women In Military Service For America Memorial and the temporary exhibits located there are temporarily closed until June 28 as a new HVAC system is installed in the memorial.

We will be temporarily closed from June 10-28 while we replace our HVAC system. We are sorry for the inconvenience to our visitors.

For those wishing to discuss an event, please call 703-892-2606 or email us [email protected].

Due to the federal government shutdown, we will not monitor or update social media. Arlington House remains closed throu...
12/24/2018
Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial (U.S. National Park Service)

Due to the federal government shutdown, we will not monitor or update social media. Arlington House remains closed through fall 2019 for an on-going rehabilitation project. Learn more at www.nps.gov/arho.

Arlington House is the nation’s memorial to Robert E. Lee. It honors him for specific reasons, including his role in promoting peace and reunion after the Civil War. In a larger sense it exists as a place of study and contemplation of the meaning of some of the most difficult aspects of American H...

11/29/2018
Archeology at Arlington House

National Park Service archeologists Bradley Krueger and Michael Roller decribe the work happening at Arlington House as part of the multi-million dollar rehabilitation of the mansion, outbuildings, and grounds. To learn more about the exciting archeological finds and to see additional photos and videos, please visit go.nps.gov/arlingtonhouse.

11/08/2018
'States' Porcelain Discovered at Arlington House

Learn more about the 'States' porcelain that was discovered earlier this year at Arlington House. Check out go.nps.gov/arlingtonhouse for more information about the archeology at Arlington.

National Park Service archeologists recently discovered pieces of George and Martha Washington's porcelain at Arlington ...
10/31/2018

National Park Service archeologists recently discovered pieces of George and Martha Washington's porcelain at Arlington House. They were likely used by the Washingtons at George Washington's Mount Vernon. The discovery demonstrates Arlington House's original roles as both a residence and as a memorial to George Washington. To learn more about these exciting discoveries and to see additional photos and videos, please visit our rehabilitation website at go.nps.gov/arlingtonhouse #VirginiaArchaeologyMonth #FindYourPark

This past Saturday marked the end of an era.  Arlington House Park Ranger and historian, Matthew Penrod, celebrated with...
10/18/2018

This past Saturday marked the end of an era. Arlington House Park Ranger and historian, Matthew Penrod, celebrated with friends, family and coworkers his retirement from the National Park Service. Matt has worked for the National Park Service for 30 years, 28 of those at Arlington House. Matt was the subject matter expert at Arlington House and helped guide the history and interpretation of the site for the past three decades. Even in retirement, though, he plans to continue to volunteer at the site and continue to research and write more on the history of Arlington. We wish him the best and he will be missed!

To learn more about Jim Parks, visit our page about him here: https://www.nps.gov/arho/learn/historyculture/parks.htm
08/22/2018

To learn more about Jim Parks, visit our page about him here: https://www.nps.gov/arho/learn/historyculture/parks.htm

#TodayIRemember James Parks, who died #OnThisDay in 1929.

The first graves in #ArlingtonNationalCemetery were dug by Parks, a former Arlington Estate slave. Parks was freed in 1862 under the terms of the will of his former owner, George Washington Parke Custis. He still lived on Arlington Estate when Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton signed the orders designating Arlington as a military burial ground.

Parks worked for the U.S. Army from 1861 to 1929 by working as a grave digger and maintenance man for the cemetery. When he died on Aug. 21, 1929, he was granted special permission to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Parks is the only person buried in Arlington National Cemetery who was born on the property. He is buried in Section 15E, Grave 2.

Who are you remembering today?

#HonorThem

(Headstone photo courtesy of Arlington National Cemetery. Portrait and other content courtesy of National Park Service)

Did you know today is #WorldRangerDay?  Be sure to visit the Arlington House rangers in our temporary home at the Women ...
07/31/2018

Did you know today is #WorldRangerDay? Be sure to visit the Arlington House rangers in our temporary home at the Women In Military Service For America Memorial near the entrance to Arlington National Cemetery as the home goes under rehabilitation work until the fall of 2019.

#WorldRangerDay is celebrated around the world #OnThisDay each year on the anniversary of the founding of the International Ranger Federation, an organization that supports the work of rangers as the key protectors of parks and conservation. World Ranger Day is also a day to remember the many rangers who have been injured or killed in the line of duty while protecting national and state parks.

#DidYouKnow one of the top attractions here in the cemetery is run by the National Park Service and its rangers? The Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, is the nation’s memorial to Robert E. Lee. It honors him for specific reasons, including his role in promoting peace and reunion after the #CivilWar. In a larger sense it exists as a place of study and contemplation of the meaning of some of the most difficult aspects of U.S. history: military service; sacrifice; citizenship; duty; loyalty; slavery and freedom.

Pictured is a National Park Service Ranger giving a tour to visitors in front of the Arlington House, July 27, 2017.

While the #ArlingtonHouse is currently closed through the fall of 2019 for the multi-million dollar rehabilitation of the site, the public is invited to the temporary visitor center, located at the Women In Military Service For America Memorial.

#StandWithRangers #HonorRememberExplore

(U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser, Arlington National Cemetery)

07/02/2018
Prince William County Historic Preservation Division

Check out this Facebook Live talk at Arlington House with Ranger Mark Maloy about the Union occupation of Arlington House during the lead up to the first battle at Manassas National Battlefield Park. This is part of a series of videos leading up to the 157th anniversary of the 1861 battle. Visit Prince William Historic Preservation Foundation for all of their videos, including the second part of this discussion.

Coming to you LIVE from McDowell’s Headquarters for our 157th First Manassas Facebook LIVE series!

Bull Run Civil War Round Table Manassas Battlefield Trust Emerging Civil War American Battlefield Trust Civil War Trails, Inc.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Memorial Day, a tradition that began on the steps of Arlington House.In 1868, a...
05/28/2018

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Memorial Day, a tradition that began on the steps of Arlington House.

In 1868, an observance was held in front of the mansion to honor the recent Civil War dead. It was organized by the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), a Civil War veterans organization, and the chief speaker was future President James Garfield, who had served in the war rising to the rank of Major General. The GAR promoted the remembrance of the fallen and decoration of their graves. The resulting annual observance was called Decoration Day until the 20th century when it began to be called Memorial Day, which we observe today to remember all who have died in service to our nation.

Image credit: “Arlington House from SE corner”, WikiCommons, Bill Koplitz, 2012.

Arlington House will temporarily close beginning Monday, March 19 as the multi-million dollar rehabilitation project ent...
03/13/2018
Rehabilitation of Arlington House entering construction phase - Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial (U.S. National Park Service)

Arlington House will temporarily close beginning Monday, March 19 as the multi-million dollar rehabilitation project enters the construction phase. The mansion will be closed until the fall of 2019. For more information check out the news release attached.

Mansion will close from March 19 through fall 2019ARLINGTON, Va. – Construction on a multi-million-dollar project to rehabilitate Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, and improve surrounding parkland begins Monday, March 19, 2018. While Arlington House is closed, park rangers invite the pu...

03/02/2018

Due to high winds, Arlington House will be closed today, March 2.

Dangerous winds are expected throughout the day tomorrow. Please exercise caution if you plan to visit Arlington House. ...
03/01/2018

Dangerous winds are expected throughout the day tomorrow. Please exercise caution if you plan to visit Arlington House. To stay informed about the weather forecast visit www.weather.gov/washington

Dangerously strong, and long-lasting winds coming - starting at, or soon after, midnight. Here's what to expect, & some actions to take to be ready.

George Washington Memorial Parkway
02/20/2018

George Washington Memorial Parkway

You may think that Robert E. Lee was just the commanding general of the Confederate Army, but Lee was a trained civil engineer. Lee graduated second in his class at West Point - The U.S. Military Academy and was assigned to the Army Corps of Engineers for 26 years of his military career. Over that time, he worked on coastal fortifications like Fort Monroe in Virginia, improved navigation on the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Missouri and from 1841 to 1846 he supervised the rehabilitation of the forts in the NY harbor.

Celebrate #eweek2018 by visiting Robert E. Lee’s home, Arlington House or Fort Monroe National Historic Site in Hampton, Virginia, which is also a National Park Service site.

Following the enactment of the continuing resolution, staff at Arlington House have resumed regular operations.  Visit n...
01/23/2018
Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial (U.S. National Park Service)

Following the enactment of the continuing resolution, staff at Arlington House have resumed regular operations. Visit nps.gov/arho for more information.

Arlington House is the nation’s memorial to Robert E. Lee. It honors him for specific reasons, including his role in promoting peace and reunion after the Civil War. In a larger sense it exists as a place of study and contemplation of the meaning of some of the most difficult aspects of American H...

01/22/2018

During a Federal government shutdown, we do not monitor or update social media. Some areas of the grounds are accessible, however access may change without notice, and there are no NPS-provided services. The mansion is closed for resource protection and safety. For more information visit nps.gov/arho.

From our friends at Lee Chapel.
01/19/2018

From our friends at Lee Chapel.

On this day in 1807, Robert Edward Lee was born at Stratford Hall. As president of Washington College, one of R.E. Lee's many accomplishments was to build Lee Chapel which was completed in 1868. This portrait by John Dabour in 1870 is in the University Collections of Art and History.

Happy birthday to Robert Edward Lee! Born today in 1807 in Westmoreland County, Virginia. Named for two of his mother's ...
01/19/2018

Happy birthday to Robert Edward Lee! Born today in 1807 in Westmoreland County, Virginia. Named for two of his mother's brothers, Robert and Edward Carter, he was born at Stratford Hall, the fourth child of Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee III and his second wife, Ann Carter Lee. Lee would spend much of his childhood not far from Arlington House, in nearby Alexandria. He even visited the estate as a child and played with his distant counsin and future bride, Mary Anna Randolph Custis. Lee's future father-in-law, George Washington Parke Custis, would later say he knew Lee "almost from infancy." As an adult, he would call Arlington home, marrying Mary shortly after graduating from West Point. His life would chart the course of American history significantly.

Lee is most famous as the Confederate General commanding the Army of Northern Virginia, leading Southern forces through Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. But perhaps his most lasting legacy is what he did after the war. Lee was a leader in reunion and reconciliation efforts. He rejected calls to scatter Southern troops and start an insurgency. He spoke and wrote about the need for the South to lay down its arms and rejoin the Union, and for the need for the nation to be whole again. He publicly applied for a pardon, requesting his citizenship be restored. And he became President of Washington College (now Washington and Lee University), in part to further his efforts to mold the next generation of Americans to hold no sectional resentments, furthering reconciliation.

Image credit: Levin C. Handy, May 1869. The Library of Congress, LC-USZC4-7982

01/04/2018

Due to the Government delayed opening this morning, Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee Memorial will open at 11:30 A.M.

This weekend, Arlington House will be hosting two special events.  On Saturday (Wreaths Across America Day), the Virgini...
12/15/2017
Event Details - Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial (U.S. National Park Service)

This weekend, Arlington House will be hosting two special events. On Saturday (Wreaths Across America Day), the Virginia Belles (a stellar handbell quartet) will perform from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. On Sunday, we will host a Victorian Christmas program, which will include period Christmas carols from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. sung by the Madirgals (form Yorktown High School) and then the The Arlington House Victorian Dance Society will perform historical dancing from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Come and enjoy the season at Arlington House!

Arlington House will reopen tomorrow, September 2. Park staff and contractors have successfully moved collection items a...
09/01/2017
Arlington House Rehabilitation - Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial (U.S. National Park Service)

Arlington House will reopen tomorrow, September 2. Park staff and contractors have successfully moved collection items and furnishings out of the house for conservation and storage. Visitors will be able to walk through and tour the first floor of the mansion. This reopening is temporary until construction work begins later this year for a $12.35 million rehabilitation of the site. Learn more about this exciting project on our website: https://www.nps.gov/arho/learn/management/arlington-house-rehabilitation.htm

Arlington House Rehabilitation

Park Ranger David O. Rodriguez enjoying #eclipse2017 with our visitors!
08/21/2017

Park Ranger David O. Rodriguez enjoying #eclipse2017 with our visitors!

Today we say goodbye to one of the heroes of Arlington House. Erica Martin has worked with us since spring of 2015. This...
08/05/2017

Today we say goodbye to one of the heroes of Arlington House. Erica Martin has worked with us since spring of 2015. This year, she was on a team that won a regional NPS award for relevance in interpretation. She is shown here with her Youth Conservation Corps crew.

She is moving on to the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site, and Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site.

Erica, of all the historic people associated with the Robert E. Lee Memorial, whom do you consider a personal hero?

"The entire slave population, for their strength and perseverance."

If you could personally get your hands dirty restoring part of the Memorial, what would it be?

"Selina Gray's quarters, to get it to how it would have looked back then."

Thank you, Erica, for your superb public service!

Facebook friends: If you have ever met Erica here, please wish her well.

Who was your ranger hero for a day when you visited a national park? Post a link or hashtag to that park!

In 1897 the U.S. War Department constructed an observation tower at Antietam National Battlefield. It created an open-ai...
08/04/2017
Antietam Battlefield - Observation Tower

In 1897 the U.S. War Department constructed an observation tower at Antietam National Battlefield. It created an open-air classroom for military students to learn from Lee's genius, among others, on the battlefield.

One hallmark of the U.S. military, and of our society in general, is our ability to set aside personal or political affiliations when faced with an opportunity to improve ourselves. Regardless of how anyone in the military felt about Lee in 1897, they saw the importance of learning from his actions and decisions.

Perhaps you have experienced something similar. When have you set aside your personal feelings about someone because you saw an opportunity to learn from that person?

#RobertELee #Antietam #findyourpark

Antietam Battlefield - Observation Tower

“I think it the duty of every citizen, in the present condition of the Country, to do all in his power to aid in the res...
07/28/2017

“I think it the duty of every citizen, in the present condition of the Country, to do all in his power to aid in the restoration of peace and harmony . . .” – Robert E. Lee, August, 1865.

Arlington House was designated as a memorial to Robert E. Lee in 1925, due, in part, to his efforts to help reunite the United States in the aftermath of the bloody Civil War. Today, Arlington Memorial Bridge symbolically and physically connects the North and South, and ties Arlington House in Virginia to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

What happens when we find out difficult information about our heroes?Though there are many reasons why Robert E. Lee can...
07/27/2017

What happens when we find out difficult information about our heroes?

Though there are many reasons why Robert E. Lee can be considered a hero, it may sometimes be difficult to reconcile those reasons with accounts like that of Wesley Norris, a former slave of Arlington House. In 1866 he recounted when he, his sister Mary, and their cousin George Parks ran away in 1859 and were recaptured in Maryland. Upon their return to Arlington they were

"immediately taken before Gen. Lee, who demanded the reason why we ran away; we frankly told him that we considered ourselves free; he then told us he would teach us a lesson we never would forget; he then ordered us to the barn, where, in his presence, we were tied firmly to posts by a Mr. Gwin, our overseer, who was ordered by Gen. Lee to strip us to the waist and give us fifty lashes each, excepting my sister, who received but twenty"

Share your story, read those of others, and the next time you're at Arlington House, ask a Park Ranger to hear more about the lives of the slaves who lived here at Arlington House.

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Memorial Drive
Arlington, VA
22211

Metro Blue Line - Arlington National Cemetery

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(703) 235-1530

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Comments

Be nice to see an update on Arlington House......how are things going? Photos of the work? Etc?
General Montgomery Meigs is the person who created Arlington National Cemetery. He wrote to Stanton and asked him if he could begin burying the Civil War dead on General Lee's property, siting that Lee left the United States and was fighting against and killing men in his position, so Stanton agreed. However, Meigs had to really work to get the dead to be buried right beside the home, in the rose garden, this post explains why.
Hello, We'd like to know where the Arlington spring was located, other than it was "down the hill?" Does it still exist or maybe it's been graded and paved over? This is the Arlington Spring referenced in a post of ours today: "On this day in Arlington history: July 4, 1825 George Washington Parke Custis started celebrating the Fourth of July in 1825 at the Arlington Spring down the hill from Arlington House. He had his step-grandfather George Washington's tents from the American Revolution set up and a large number of guests were invited to take dinner at a long table in their shade. "Every year, Custis would speak on some aspect of the struggle for freedom around the world. In that first year, Custis spoke about Lafayette, the French aristocrat and military officer who fought for the US in the American Revolutionary War, who was continuing his tour of the nation after having visited Arlington the previous January. He praised Simon Bolivar, the liberator of South America. But most of his speech concerned the independence for Ireland of which he was a consistent proponent."
“Transforming the Lee Boyhood Home in Alexandria, Virginia into the Headquarters of an Interpretive Center and Urban Walking Trails on the Civil War” Various media sites reported at the end of March 2018 that the boyhood home of Robert E. Lee, at 614 Orinoco Street, in Alexandria, Virginia, is being sold by its private owners. The sale of the historic home of the Civil War general, educator, and pre-war head of West Point presents a unique opportunity to make Old Town Alexandria an even greater center of American history than it already is, as the hometown of George Washington, the Lees, and many other important figures and events in U.S. history. We propose, and ask interested parties to support, the purchase of the Lee Home, and transforming it into the headquarters of a city, state, and/or federally designated Interpretive Center, along with Urban Walking Trails, on the Civil War. Such a headquarters, visitors center and related trails would be a perfect complement to, and spur to, the expansion of Old Town Alexandria’s already rich array of events, locales, and personalities relating to America’s greatest saga, the Civil War, which speaks to the proud heritage of all Americans. The Lee Home was in the past a museum, and is time to return it to its traditional, historic status. The abode was the boyhood home of Robert Edward Lee, the former superintendant of the Federal Army’s West Point military academy, and important staff officer during the Mexican-American War, then the Confederate commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, and after the war the President of what became Washington and Lee University, in Lexington, VA. Across the street from the well-maintained private residence and grounds is the Lee-Fendall House, built by businessman Philip Kendall, a Lee relation. During the Civil War the Union Army, after taking control of the town, turned the house into a hospital, where surgeons performed the first successful blood transfusion. (And outside of which a later owner, United Mine Workers leader John L. Lewis, was burned in effigy during World War II for staging labor strikes during that conflict.) Walking trails, along the lines of the self-guided Cultural Tourism walks in Washington, D.C., or Boston’s Freedom Trails, could be readily & fairly inexpensively constructed throughout Old Town. They would complement the historic markers the city has recently placed in Old Town, as well as the famed series of markers the state of Virginia has placed throughout the Commonwealth. There could be a multitude of trails, on different aspects of the war, such the Union Army, Confederate spies, African-American institutions, war-time medicine, and many other themes. The trails would be made up of attractive posters showing the trail map, explanatory text, and illustrations. Along with fostering interest in Alexandria’s history and scholarship on the war, the Center and trails would be a boon to the city’s economy by bolstering its growing tourism industry. -------------------- A brief outline of the historic places just on a major Old Town thoroughfare, Washington Street, just yards west of the Lee and Lee-Fendall homes, shows what a unique opportunity the area presents for exploring the Civil War. On the west side of Washington Street is the historic home of Edmund Lee, a backer of the American Colonization Society for free “men and women of color”, which led to the establishment of the African nation of Liberia. (Liberia’s capital city is Monrovia, named for one of the antebellum Presidents, James Monroe, who held inaugural festivities at Old Town’s Gadsby’s Tavern.) Within a block to the north is a vast, 1840s-era cotton mill (now condominiums), the perfect symbol of the antebellum South’s economy. Several blocks south on Washington St. is the stately Lloyd House. It became a schoolhouse for noted Quaker educator Benjamin Hallowell; one of his math students was the young Robert E. Lee, who went on to study engineering at West Point. Another prominent Alexandria Quaker family were the Janneys. John Janney ran the two state assemblies whereby Virginia decided against, and then for, seceding from the Union. (John Janney’s home is three blocks away.) Around the corner is the Kate Waller Barrett Library, where in 1939 a group of African-American men staged one of the first sit-down protests against “separate but equal” segregationism. Not far from where Mary Custis Lee--the elderly daughter of Robert E. Lee--had a similar, personal protest, in 1902, on one of the segregated trolley cars of the time. (The home of town heroine Kate Waller Barrett, who grew up on a post-bellum plantation and dedicated her life to public service, is several blocks to the southeast.) A block further south is the magnificent English country-style edifice, Christ Church, by the architect James Wren, designer of the eponymous church in Falls Church, Virginia, and descendent of Christopher Wren, architect of London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral. Confederate soldiers who died in the city’s many war-time hospitals are buried in mounds by the Church entrance. In the Church itself is a commemoration of its most prominent member, Washington, who freed and educated all his slaves based in part on his experiences with black soldiers in the American Revolution. Robert E. Lee contributed a substantial sum of money to the Church. Across the street and a block north you’ll find a house of the Society of Odd Fellows, a fraternal order of black and other professionals formed after the conflict. One of whose members was the black architect George Seaton, whose mother was a servant of Martha Washington, who endowed a school on the site. Seaton served on the jury that presided over the trial of former Confederate President Jefferson Davis. (Seaton’s own home is located a half a dozen blocks away.) Two blocks further south on Washington St. is the Appomattox statue, with its Confederate soldier meditating on the war and the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse by General Lee to General Ulysses S Grant. The bronze figure was sculpted by Czech immigrant Caspar Buberle, who created as well the elegant frieze of Union Army soldiers on the old Pension Building for Union Army veterans, in Washington, D.C., now the National Building Museum. Buberle was selected for that task by Union Army General Montgomery Miegs, designer of Arlington National Cemetery, originally laid out on the grounds of Lee’s Arlington House during the war. The Appomattox statue was unveiled in 1889 by Virginia Governor Fitzhugh Lee, nephew of Robert E. Lee, and a former Confederate general, as well as a future Federal Army general of the Spanish-American War. This intersection at Washington St. and Duke St. is primed with poignant reminders of many facets of the Civil War. Next to the statue is the Lyceum, Alexandria’s history museum, and a speakers hall that featured such ante-bellum luminaries as John Quincy Adams, the President and congressman responsible for the successful Supreme Court defense of the escaped slaves from the Amistad ship. Half a block north is the attractive façade of the United Methodist Church which, reflecting the nation’s divisions, split into North and South denominations in the run-up to the War Between the States. Occupied as a stable by the Union Army, the federal government later paid the Church restitution. One block further south is the Beulah Baptist Church, one of the town’s initial African-American places of worship, and one of its first black schools, noted for the education of the free men and women fleeing, or emancipated from, slavery. Prominent African-American leaders such as Booker T. Washington and Frederick Douglass visited it and other, extant black churches a few blocks to the south and west. Up the street from the Beulah Church is the Downtown Baptist Church, turned into a hospital where Alexandrian women were blocked by Union soldiers from bringing linen and food to wounded Confederate soldiers treated inside by Union doctors. Another block south of it is the Alexandria Academy, founded by George Washington as a free public school, for boys and girls, at the same time he endowed what became Washington and Lee University and George Washington University. Before the Civil War, children of James Madison and Lighthorse Harry Lee, the latter Washington’s cavalry commander and Robert E. Lee’s father, were educated there, as were groups of black children. During the Civil War, the Academy became a school and a hospital for freedmen. The amazingly rich Civil War heritage of Alexandria isn’t limited to Washington St. of course. Old Town and its environs boast scores of other sites. The heritage trails would connect all the sites, but in a compact area only several miles across. Several of the most prominent locales are: • The Carlyle Mansion, home to the Green family and a Union Army hospital that was the real-life locale of the “Mercy Street” PBS television series • The Marshall House hotel, now the site of the Alexandrian Hotel, where Union Colonel Elmer Ellsworth and pro-Southern hotel owner James W. Jackson killed each other in a firefight, over a Confederate flag that Jackson had unfurled at his hotel, thus becoming among the first fatalities of the war. • The unique “Bank of the Two States”, a grand merchant bank that hosted the twin, war-time governments of Union Virginia, as opposed to the Confederate state of Virginia, including the breakaway state of West Virginia. Confederate General John Mosby, later a U.S. ambassador in the Far East for President Grant, conducted secret war-time surveillance of the place. • The former publishing house of the Alexandria Gazette newspaper, burned by Union troops after its editorials backed the refusal of the reverend of a nearby church, designed by architect of the U.S. Capitol Benjamin Latrobe, to endorse “either President”, Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis, in his sermons. The fire-blackened walls are still visible, as is the fire house, across the street (now a private home), whose firemen attempted to douse the blaze. • Various sites associated with Harriet Jacobs, a enslaved woman of mixed heritage turned abolitionist, author, and college founder. Jacobs founded various charities and schools for escaped, “contraband” slaves and freedmen in war-torn and post-bellum Alexandria. • The grand Vowell-Smith House, Old Town’s second-largest house, and home of attorney Francis Smith. Smith successfully argued before the Supreme Court a case under which the federal government paid Robert E. Lee’s heirs compensation for the transformation of his Arlington House property into what became Arlington National Cemetery. -------------------- This notion for an interpretative visitors center and walking trails on Alexandria’s large role in the Civil War is a preliminary one. It is hoped this document will spur discussion and generate interest in this fascinating and educational topic. The next step may be to establish a group to attract interested parties and funds for the purchase of the Lee Home, and to begin planning its transformation into a Civil War museum and interpretative center, as well as the construction of themed walking trails in Old Town. If you or your organization is intrigued by this exciting, once-in-a century project of living history, kindly respond with interest and ideas. Together, we could transform Alexandria into one of the prime places in America--along with Gettysburg, Richmond, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.--on the exploration of the Civil War, America’s most enthralling saga! Respectfully yours, Edward P. Moser Historian, author, professional tour guide Alexandria, VA [email protected] http://thezebra.org/2018/04/08/letter-to-the-editor-lee-boyhood-home-should-be-museum-again/ https://www.meetup.com/Lafayette-Sq-Tours-of-Scandal-Assassination-Spies-Meetup/ https://www.amazon.com/Patriots-America-Thigngs-American-Should/dp/1596525495/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1517173322&sr=8-1&keywords=america+a+z+moser