Marietta National Military Cemetery

Originally known as the “Marietta and Atlanta National Cemetery,” the Marietta National Cemetery was established in 1866 to provide a suitable resting place for the nearly 10,000 Union dead from Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign. Henry Cole, a local merchant who remained loyal to the Union throughout the war, offered land for a burial ground for both Union and Confederate dead. His hope was that by honoring those who had fallen together, others might learn to live in peace. Unfortunately, both sides clung to their bitterness and neither North nor South would accept Cole’s offer toward reconciliation. When this effort failed, 24 acres were offered to General George H. Thomas for use of a national cemetery. In 1867 a second offer of land by Cole was accepted and a subsequent purchase of additional acreage in 1870 brought the cemetery to its present size of a little over 23 acres.

The cemetery site was, at one time, the proposed location of the capital of the Confederate States of America. The same Henry Cole who had attempted to donate his land for the national cemetery had refused an offer of $50,000 for the property because he “expected to put it to a better purpose.” In recognition of Cole’s gift, the government made express provision that a burial plat be set-aside for members of his family. Cole died April 18,1875, and was buried in what is now called the Cole Plot.

Daniel Webster Cole, son of the land donor, lived for many years in the family home across the street from the cemetery. A construction engineer, he drew the first map of the cemetery, which was later the basis for official layouts. The original sections of the cemetery were arranged in concentric circles around a flagstaff with paths radiating through the circles. The first interments were the remains of soldiers who had been buried where they fell. A granite memorial arch at the cemetery gate is inscribed: “Here rest the remains of 10,312 Officers and Soldiers who died in defense of the Union 1861-1865.” Marietta National Cemetery was laid out by Union Army Chaplain Thomas B. Van Horne, who also laid out the Chattanooga National Cemetery. One of the national cemeteries constructed between 1861-1869, the design for Marietta National Cemetery was the most ornate and elaborate of its era.

Marietta National Cemetery was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on Sept. 18, 1998.

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.  To the men and woman of the armed forces who have given their lives for our freedom ... THANK YOU!


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Bonnie Morét is an award-winning photographer recognized by The Georgia Council of the Arts as "an exceptional representation of contemporary Georgia art work." Her photography is featured on Georgia Public Broadcast's Georgia Traveler. Her exhibitions include Fifth Annual Exposure Awards at Musee du Louvre in Paris, France, Art Takes Miami at Scope Art during Art Basel Miami, Metro Montage XIII at the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art, World of Water at the Georgia Aquarium, Open Walls at Black Box Gallery in Portland, Oregon, Wholly Georgia: A Look at the Effects of Southern Religious Culture, sponsored by the Art History League and Georgia State University, at Mint Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia, 6x6 at the Rochester Contemporary Arts Center in Rochester, New York, @Phonography: Dialogue in the Wireless Age, at 3 Ring Circus in New Orleans, Louisiana, and About Lands and Lives of the Civil War at the 6th Cavalry Museum in Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia. Her photography appears in Modern Luxury/The Atlantan, Jezebel Magazine, and hangs in the executive offices at the Georgia State Capitol as part of the Art of Georgia exhibit. Corporate clients include Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta History Center, Chanel Cosmetics, Christian Dior Cosmetics, Sharp Mountain Vineyards, PM Realty Group, Granite Properties, Road Atlanta, Patrón Tequila, StubHub, CBM Records and The Washington Auto Show.