Class of 1863
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Oct. 3, 1864, the eldest son of the influential Union Army’s Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs was shot and killed in the Shenandoah Valley while scouting a wooded area in Dayton, Va.
John Meigs’s body was returned to Washington, and when his father decided to make Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Arlington House property a Union cemetery, his son was the first to be buried there, close to the house and within the Lees’ prized rose garden.
John Meigs’s grave, now beside that of his father, is topped by a recumbent sculpture of the young soldier as he was found by a search party. His head is turned slightly to the right, his jacket thrown open and his left hand rests on his waist. His right arm hangs straight down his body, and about a foot away lies the gun he fired once, badly wounding one of his Confederate attackers.