Three terraced lawns at the Grafton National Cemetery contain 2,110 military gravesites established since the Civil War. The three-acre property was dedicated in 1868 as a resting place for West Virginia veterans. Near a central flagpole stands marker inscribed in 1875 with the Act of Congress that established the facility. A caretaker’s home, built in 1900, is used as the cemetery office. Among the interred are the remains of 1,215 soldiers who died during the Civil War, including that of Private Thornbury Bailey Brown, the first Union soldier to be killed by a Confederate. Grafton citizens have established “Flower Strewing Day” as a tradition, and each Memorial Day a parade from downtown Grafton to the cemetery is led by children dressed in white who lay a flower upon each grave.
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