Last weekend, I was driving through Marietta and ended up going by the National Cemetery, where many of our soldiers are buried. It is a beautiful setting with gorgeous trees. Many of the soldiers buried here died in the nearby battle at Kennesaw Mountain. I had forgotten where the entrance was located, but I found it and ended up driving through the very narrow stone-arched gate that I’m sure has witnessed the passage of many horse drawn carriages. Below is some info from the cemetery’s Web site.
“During the Civil War, forces under the command of General William Tecumseh Sherman moved in and occupied the town of Marietta, Georgia (located northwest of the city of Atlanta). For the next five months, federal troops held the city under siege. In November 1854, troops commanded by Union General Hugh Kilpatrick set the town on fire before embarking on their infamous ‘March to the Sea.’
“Originally known as the ‘Marietta and Atlanta National Cemetery,’ the Marietta National Cemetery was established in 1866 to provide a suitable resting place for the nearly 10,000 Union dead from Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign. Henry Cole, a local merchant who remained loyal to the Union throughout the war, offered land for a burial ground for both Union and Confederate dead. His hope was that by honoring those who had fallen together, others might learn to live in peace. Unfortunately, both sides clung to their bitterness and neither North nor South would accept Cole’s offer toward reconciliation. When this effort failed, 24 acres were offered to General George H. Thomas for use of a national cemetery. In 1867 a second offer of land by Cole was accepted and a subsequent purchase of additional acreage in 1870 brought the cemetery to its present size of a little over 23 acres. The cemetery site was, at one time, the proposed location of the capital of the Confederate States of America. The same Henry Cole who had attempted to donate his land for the national cemetery had refused an offer of $50,000 for the property because he ‘expected to put it to a better purpose.'”