Fallen Civil War Soldiers Honored with Planted Trees

The Living Legacy Tree Planting Project will celebrate 500 newly dedicated trees as part of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership’s national project to honor fallen Civil War soldiers.

Tree Ceremony

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership will host a Living Legacy Tree Planting Project ceremony, scheduled to take place on Sunday, June 29 at 2:30 p.m., at Oatlands Historic House and Gardens in Leesburg, VA. Peter Hart, an arborist and owner of Hart Tree Services in Clear Brook, VA, is planting the trees. Several different nurseries have donated some trees or provided them at cost. 

This planting is part of the Living Legacy Tree Planting project, a sweeping and ambitious effort to plant or dedicate a tree for each of the more than 620,000 soldiers who died during the American Civil War and was launched by the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership to create an appropriate legacy for the Civil War Sesquicentennial. Each tree is geotagged to share the name of the soldier, where he was born, where he died and include the story of the soldier’s life.

This will be the seventh planting ceremony. As plantings continue, the Living Legacy Tree Project will eventually stretch along the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Scenic Byway, a 180-mile swath of land that runs from Gettysburg, PA to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, VA. The JTHG National Scenic Byway, which crosses the Mason Dixon Line, serves as a link to each of the battlefields and connects over 30 historic communities, each of which was gravely impacted by the Civil War. The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area holds the largest concentration of Civil War battlefield sites in the country, including the beginning of the War (Harpers Ferry and Manassas), the middle (Antietam and Gettysburg) and the end, (Appomattox). 

Tree and planting selection

A signature palette of seasonal trees and plantings, including redbuds, red oaks, red maple, and red cedar have been selected to represent the courage and valor of the individuals being honored with this project. A secondary palette, including canopy and understory trees, evergreens, shrubs, and ground coverings, will also feature red as a predominant color, with plantings including black gum trees, sassafras, and winterberry.  The native selection is appropriate to the diverse landscapes along this historic corridor, and remains sensitive to the local ecology, scenic views, and development patterns.   

Ceremony details

The United States Marine Corps Drum & Bugle Corps and the Official Color Guard of the Marine Corps are part of the Marine Corps Detachment attached to Marine Barracks Washington, also known as the "Oldest Post of the Corps." These Marines have agreed to participate in the ceremony. 

In addition to the musical interlude, remarks will be given by JTHG Partnership president Cate Magennis Wyatt, Ancestry.com senior executive Brock Bierman, and other dignitaries. Students who have been researching the stories of the fallen soldiers will also be on hand to dedicate the trees that day. Oatlands will be offering free admission to the mansion for anyone attending the ceremony.

For more information on the Living Legacy Project, visit www.hallowedground.org.