The ground surrounding the home of Robert E. Lee prior to the Civil war was confiscated by the Union and converted into Arlington National Cemetery by the Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs. Meigs considered Lee a traitor to his country and reviled his former compatriot. At first the burials were away from the home but Meigs fought to have burials closer to the house. Eventually burials were taking place in Mrs. Lee’s rose garden including Meigs’ own sun who was killed while on a scouting mission in the Shenandoah Valley late in the war. Meigs was also instrumental in scouring battlefields and collecting unidentified remains forming the basis of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The graves of many notable figures can be seen throughout the cemetery including the grave of John F Kennedy.
There are a number of graves and memorials throughout the site,
but the most poignant site are the rows of graves of the common soldiery of our many wars.