Arlington Cemetery to rename old ampitheater for Civil War double amputee James Tanner

Arlington National Cemetery annonced Friday that it plans to rename its elegant 19th century “Old Ampitheater” for Civil War double amputee and veterans advocate James R. Tanner.

Tanner was a Union corporal in the 87th New York regiment when he suffered a gruesome wound at the Second Battle of Bull Run in August 1862 which cost him both legs, the cemetery said.

But he survived, became a stenographer, and was called to Abraham Lincoln’s deathbed to record events after the president was shot at Ford’s Theater in 1865. He later headed the Grand Army of the Republic, a veterans group, and was a champion of veterans’ causes.

The renaming will take place 5 p.m. on May 30 during a Memorial Day ceremony at the ampitheater hosted by the Lincoln-Cushing Camp No. 2 of the Sons of Union Veterans. Tanner is buried a few yards away.

Mike is a general assignment reporter who also covers Washington institutions and historical topics.

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