2014 Press Releases

National Archives Museum Presents Original 1869 Cemetery Report in Honor of Memorial Day
Press Release · Thursday, May 22, 2014

Washington, DC

Featured Document Display Includes Illustration of Shiloh Cemetery

In honor of Memorial Day, the National Archives Museum presents the 1869 Whitman Report on Cemeteries, featuring an illustration of the cemetery at the site of the Civil War Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee.

The bound volume, on display in the “Featured Documents” exhibit in the museum’s East Rotunda Gallery from May 22 through June 5, was written by Edmund B. Whitman of the U.S. Army’s Quartermaster Corps.

Whitman led one of the crews charged with converting temporary graveyards into permanent national cemeteries. Over four years beginning in March 1865, he and his men located, disinterred, and reburied almost 115,000 bodies. In his Final Report, he included drawings of Shiloh and several other national cemeteries.

Memorial Day traditions began in the aftermath of the Civil War. An estimated 750,000 soldiers died between 1861 and 1865 – about 2.5 percent of the population. Never before or since has war resulted in so many American casualties.

The National Archives Museum's "Featured Documents" exhibit is made possible in part by the Foundation for the National Archives through the generous support of Toyota.

Located near the original Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, the featured document exhibit is seen by more than one million visitors each year.

More information about the exhibited records’ history and free access to high resolution images [www.archives.gov/nae/visit/featured-documents.html] are available through the National Archives website.

The National Archives Museum is located on the National Mall on Constitution Avenue at 9th Street, NW. Metro accessible on Yellow or Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial station. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., daily. Free admission. Additional information on exhibits and programs at the National Archives Museum can be found online.

Other 2014 Featured Document displays include:

  • G.I. Bill of Rights of 1944 , passed by Congress 70 years ago, providing benefits to World War II veterans, including grants for school and college tuition, low-interest mortgages, and unemployment benefits. (June 6– July 14)
  • Tonkin Gulf Resolution of 1964 , commemorating the 50th anniversary of Congress giving President Lyndon Johnson the authority to increase U.S. involvement in the war between North and South Vietnam. (July 15 – August 7)
  • President Richard Nixon’s resignation letter to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (August 9, 1974) and President Gerald Ford’s full and unconditional pardon of Nixon (September 8, 1974). (August 8 –11)
  • House Passage of the Bill of Rights, celebrating its 225th anniversary. The First Congress proposed to the state legislatures 12 amendments to the Constitution, 10 of which were ratified and are now collectively known as the Bill of Rights. (August 12 – September 10)
  • Documents and an artifact commemorating the 1814 burning of Washington and attack on Baltimore and Fort McHenry . During the War of 1812, British forces occupied Washington, burning the White House and other government buildings. Just weeks later the Americans held off the British at the Battle of Baltimore including a 25 hour bombardment of Fort McHenry that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words to “The Star Spangled Banner” 200 years ago. (September 11 – November 3)

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For press information contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

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