Why on earth would a Confederate general have Union soldiers buried In his front yard? Because it was not his decision.

robert e leeWhen Virginia ceded from the Union in 1861, Robert E. Lee moved his family from their Arlington farm. During the civil war the estate was captured by Union forces and military installations were set up there. The grounds of the estate were soon used to bury the remains of fallen Union soldiers.

General Lee’s descendants challenged the seizure of the property in the courts following the end of the war, and the estate was returned to Lee’s son, Curtis Lee. Congress later purchased the property from Curtis Lee for $150,000, and it has remained in US government hands ever since.

The name of Robert E. Lee’s property is now known as Arlington National Cemetery. It has been the principle resting place of fallen soldiers since the civil war up until the most recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Arlington is also the resting place of slain US president John F. Kennedy.