Millie and Christine McCoy (1851-1912) were conjoined twins born into slavery. They and their mother were sold to a showman, Joseph Smith. Smith and his wife educated the girls; they eventually could speak five languages, dance, play music, and sing. They were known as 'The Two Headed Nightingale'. In the 1880s they retired and purchased a small farm. Millie died of tuberculosis at age 61, with Christine following hours later. They remain one of the oldest-lived set of conjoined twins.
The first graves in Arlington National Cemetery were dug by James Parks, a former slave. Parks was freed in 1862 He still lived on Arlington Estate when Secretary of War Stanton signed the orders designating Arlington as a military burial ground. Parks worked as a grave digger and maintenance man for the cemetery. When he died on Aug. 21, 1929, Secretary of War Stimson granted special permission for him to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
A survivor of the Andersonville Prison during the American Civil War. A prisoner of the camp described the view upon entering: "As we entered the place, a spectacle met our eyes that almost froze our blood with horror, and made our hearts fail within us. Before us were forms that had once been active and erect; stalwart men, now nothing but mere walking skeletons, covered with filth and vermin."13,000 of 45,000 prisoners died there. Hostilities of the war officially ended on April 9, 1865.
Rare civil war tad lincoln in uniform cdv photo by m. brady reprint