Immediately after the Civil War, Union casualties in the Frederick-Washington County areas were re-interred at a new National Cemetery at Sharpsburg. Yet no provisions were made to provide decent burial for thousands of hastily-buried Confederates. To address this problem, the State of Maryland chartered the Washington Confederate Cemetery in 1870 and authorized funds to collect and bury the Confederates in one place. In 1872, the Board of Trustees of the Cemetery, led by Hagerstonian and former Confederate officer Colonel Henry Kyd Douglas purchased 2.75 acres from Rose Hill Cemetery and took the next three years to collect the rebel soldiers.These grounds are hallowed with the remains of approximately 346 identified and 2,122 unknown Confederate servicemen who perished in the Antietam, Gettysburg and Monocacy campaigns.
The Cemetery was formally dedicated on June 15, 1877. The keynote speaker was former Confederate General Fitzhugh Lee.
In September, 1961, former President Dwight D. Eisenhower and General Ulysses S. Grant III rededicated Washington Confederate Cemetery in a large ceremony commemorating the centennial anniversary of the Civil War (1961-1965)
President Dwight D. Eisenhower, speaking at the 1961 rededication of the cemetery.Washington County Historical Society
(Left center picture)
Col. Isaac E. Avery, 6th North Carolina State Troops (1826-1863) Richard Clem
At Gettysburg, Avery commanded Hoke's Brigade in an assault on Cemetery Hill late in the evening of July 2,1863. Mortally wounded in the assault, he broke off a nearby twig and wrote the following note in his own blood to his second-in-command: "Major: Tell my father that I died with my face to the enemy." Col Avery soon passed and his servent Elijah attempted to return the remains to North Carolina for burial. However, hot and foul weather, road conditions and the movements of the armies delayed his efforts and Elijah made it only as far as Williamsport where the Colonel had to be buried.After the war, Avery was re-interred here. The note is today held in the collection of the North Carolina State Archives.
(Right upper picture)
Former Confederate General Fitzhugh Lee, center, on gray horse. This photo was taken in Havana, Cuba in 1898 while he served as a major general in the U.S. Volunteers during the Spanish-American War. Stephen R. Bockmiller
(Right lower picture)
Col. Samuel P. Lumpkin, 44th Georgia Infantry (1833-1863) Steven Stotelmyer
Col. Lumpkin was wounded in the leg by artillery fire on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg. His leg amputated, he was transported in the "long wagon train of misery" in the Confederate retreat toward Virginia. Unable to go any further, Lumpkin was left in Hagerstown by the retreating army and fell into Union hands. In September, he died in Hagerstown of typhoid. Originally buried in the Presbyterian Church Cemetery, he was moved here in 1913.