Annual Illumination 2016 - Stop #1

To Live is to Love;To Lie Eternal with Wife and Son is to have Loved Enough

Known as America's deadliest war, the Civil War resulted in the deaths of more than 700,000 men. 20,000 of those deaths occurred within 30 miles of this cemetery. In the midst of battle, many soldiers were denied the proper burial they should have been granted. Fighting in such harsh conditions, Union soldiers who died in the South were hastily buried, if they were even buried at all. In response to the demands from people in the North whose family members and friends had been killed in the war, the government created 73 national cemeteries, including this one, to properly inter the remains of the nation's fallen defenders.

After the war ended, burial crews dug through battlefields collecting the remains of the Union soldiers. Of the 300,000 remains found, five percent –15,000 men –are buried here on Marye's Heights. Superintendents, usually disabled soldiers, were brought in to protect and maintain these cemeteries. One of these superintendents is buried right here at the first stop.

Born in England, Richard Hill moved to the United States shortly before the Civil War. After surviving two combat wounds, he became superintendent of the Fredericksburg National Cemetery. Before moving to Fredericksburg, Hill and his wife Mary Ann lost their infant son, Arthur. Years later, when Mary Ann died and was buried in this cemetery, Arthur's remains were moved so he could be buried next to his mother. When Richard Hill died, he too was buried here to be with his wife and son. Richard, Mary Ann, and Arthur Hill are the only father, wife, and son buried together in this cemetery.

 
 

Last updated: June 5, 2016

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

120 Chatham Ln
Fredericksburg, VA 22405

Phone:

(540) 693-3200

Contact Us