This is currently what is now known as Arlington National Cemetery. General Lee and his family left their home in Arlington in 1861 after Virginia seceded from the Union during the Civil War. During the war, Union troops captured the estate and set up military installations there. The property was then used as a burial ground for Union casualties. Lee’s descendants challenged the seizure of their family property in court after the war, and the property was returned to the Confederate general’s son, Custis Lee. Congress then purchased the property from the younger Lee for $150,000. The property has been owned by the federal government ever since, and is now the final resting place for American war casualties from as early as Civil War to as recent as the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. It’s also the location of John F. Kennedy’s grave.
Read more about the history of Arlington Cemetery.
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