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.