The Marietta National Cemetery in Marietta, Georgia was established in 1866 to provide a resting place for the 10,000 Union soldiers killed during Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. And you did read that correctly, ten thousand. While national cemeteries were originally created to honor Union soldiers killed during the Civil War, they are now national memorials to all U.S. veterans. At the Marietta National Cemetery, there are an additional 8000 graves from World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam. (There is a separate cemetery for the Confederates a short distance from this one pictured here. The next time I am in Marietta, I will try to visit there and get photos of that one also. History is something that should be preserved and remembered, I believe.)
If you are American and are reading this, I hope that the mention of a national cemetery will remind you of the famous speech by Abraham Lincoln given at the dedication of the National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Known as the Gettysburg Address it is an incredible piece of writing. At the Marietta National Cemetery, there is a large stone with these words written upon it. I hope that this is so for all the National Cemeteries in the USA.
There was a very large memorial and from a distance, I couldn't make out what was on the top of it...it is in honor of the Union soldiers from Wisconsin, the Badger state. That is a badger on the top. (I have some blogging friends in Wisconsin, so I hope they see this.)
There, I told you ten thousand...the number was 10,132 to be exact. I found an essay about the Civil War dead written by Drew Gilpin Faust... it was called "Death and Dying". I wanted to have a link for you but I can't seem to find it. Looking up the author's name, I see that she is a woman and a very accomplished woman at that! I think I would very much like to read these books by her: "This Republic of Suffering: Death and the Civil War" and " Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War."
If only I could express how moved I was after our visit here! My husband and son were both with me and I know they felt the same way. This cemetery is only a short distance from the "square" in Marietta, which is now a very trendy, busy spot with shops and restaurants and yet, the Marietta National Cemetery is just steps away. (We have only one other national cemetery in the state of Georgia, in Andersonville, which is one that I need to visit and tell you about.)