Image Copyright: National Archives and Records Administration
By Linda Wheeler
Copyright: Special To The Washington Post
Union Gen. Montgomery C. Meigs detested Robert E. Lee, who had once been his friend and mentor, even his idol. Once Lee defected to the Confederate side, Meigs turned against him with a vengeance.
Because of that dynamic, today we have Arlington National Cemetery.
As quartermaster general and close adviser to Lincoln, Meigs was often consulted on matters of logistics. When the need arose for a new military cemetery, he recommended Arlington House — which was owned by Lee's wife, Mary. The military was already occupying the estate, and it was conveniently close to Washington. It also offered the opportunity to make sure the Lees would never want to return to their home.