Arlington National Cemetery, General Bennett Henderson Young, General Joseph Wheeler

June 4th, 1914 – President Thomas Woodrow Wilson Speaks At The Dedication Of The Arlington National Cemetery‘s Confederate Monument

Photograph of President Thomas Woodrow Wilson at the Confederate monument unveiling at the Arlington National Cemetery.

In 1900, the United States Congress passed a law permitting the reinterment of 250 Confederates, who were already buried in an Arlington cemetery and other Confederate veterans from the National Soldiers Home National Cemetery, which is currently called the United States Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery, to be buried in a section of the Arlington National Cemetery.

Photograph of Confederate and Spanish-American War veteran General Joseph Wheeler.

This act was passed as an act of reconciliation, decades after the end of the Civil War, after many former Confederates, such as General Joseph Wheeler offered their service to the nation during the course of the Spanish-American War.

Photograph of Confederate veteran and sculptor Moses Jacob Ezekiel.

In the 1900s, the United Daughters of the Confederacy commissioned sculptor Moses Jacob Ezekiel, the first Jewish cadet at the Virginia Military Institute whom faught at the Battle of New Market, to create a memorial to Confederate soldiers and sailors to be erected at the Arlington National Cemetery.

General Bennett Henderson Young at the Confederate monument unveiling at the Arlington National Cemetery.

On June 14th, 1914, President Thomas Woodrow Wilson, who was a child during the course of the Civil War, spoke at a dedication to Confederate Soldiers at the Arlington National Cemetery. President Wilson accepted the Confederate monument, on behalf of the United States, and stated, “I am not so much happy as proud to participate in this capacity on such an occasion; proud that I should represent such a people”. Confederate veteran Bennett Henderson Young, who entered Vermont from Canada on October 19th, 1864 to conduct a raid on the town of Saint Albans with 17 other Confederates, and other Confederate veterans also spoke at the dedication with President Wilson.