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  • Writer's pictureBrian Powers

Episode 33 - In Spite Of

Hi there. If you're reading this, then you're probably the only one. I'll leave you the secret location to my buried fortune at the end of this post. Don't tell anybody.


Montgomery Meigs was pretty awesome and also pretty scary. He was of the belief that the only way to win the Civil War was total war - hit them as hard as you could in any way possible. It seems logical, but it's darker and deeper than that - seizing everything the enemy had and selling it off, taking any steps possible to demoralize the enemy, such as, say, burning down a major city and carving a trail of destruction through the land...so taking your enemy's beloved homestead and using it to bury your dead in a permanent memorial to those you fought against was a strong form of pettiness.


Meigs wanted an end to the war, but his actions in creating Arlington National Cemetery wouldn't have enough of an effect to prevent tragedy for him - later the same year as the cemetery was founded, Meigs lost one of his four sons in battle, and that fueled his anger and rage at Lee even further.


In another twist of fate, it may be said that Arlington came about because of another war and another loss: Martha Washington's son John Parke Custis served as an Aide-de-camp to his stepfather George at the Battle of Yorktown. He contracted "camp fever", which those of a certain may remember from Oregon Trail as dysentery. He died, and his young son George Washington Parke Custis came to live with Martha and George, before buying Arlington as his home.


At any rate, there is no buried fortune. You read all of this for nothing.



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