Approaching another July 4th national birthday, you might want to stop by to pay tribute to a soldier who fought for our independence. His body is along the Custis Trail in the Southern Shreve Cemetery.
“SOUTHERN SHREVE CEMETERY
Between North Frederick Street and North Harrison Street off of North 10th Street, behind St. Ann Catholic Church
Five generations of the Southern, Shreve, and related families are interred in this burial plot. The Shreve family in Arlington dates from the arrival of Samuel Shreve from New Jersey about 1780. Shreve purchased a tract of land near Ballston in 1791. The earliest grave (1832) is that of John Redin (Sixth Continental Line), a veteran of the American Revolution. Redin’s daughter married Richard Southern.”
It is a pleasant thought that one can come so close to American history here in Arlington Virginia. Of course, we are enveloped in it. This is a quaint spot that now overlooks the I-66 freeway. Back in 1832 when John Redin was laid to rest here, he was the first, all by his lonesome.
It would be 29 years later that this neighborhood would secede from the Union. It would be right on the border dividing the Federal Republic from the Confederacy. That is very difficult to imagine now. Just up the road there were skirmishes between Federal troops and the Confederates, and in the beginning, it simply wasn’t a safe place to be.
You look around the cemetery and see some familiar names. The Donaldsons continued to farm in the area all through the Civil War and thereafter. The Shreve name is still on a business in Falls Church.
It is a difficult task to determine what happened to some of these families. Some of them such as the Balls ended up in Ohio. My own grand ancestor, James Bloxham ended up farming in Ohio while his relatives stayed in Virginia. Bloxhams were an example of families with people on both sides.
See the slideshow and picture.