Rose Hill Cemetery plans Memorial Day service

May 15, 2007

On Saturday, May 26, Rose Hill Cemetery will hold a special Memorial Day Service, starting at 10 a.m. at the historic Washington Confederate Cemetery. AMVETS Post 10 will perform the full military honors. There will also be a bagpiper providing music.

"To make this year's ceremonies even more special, we will be holding a Living History of the Civil War," said Bill Divelbliss, manager of Rose Hill Cemetery. "The renowned Stone Mountain Raiders will provide historical interpretation. Men will be in Confederate uniforms and women in Civil War dresses. Following the Memorial Day service, a cannon will be fired."

Wayne Carter, a member of the Stone Mountain Raiders, will be telling stories of how soldiers and their wives lived during the difficult Civil War period. The Stone Mountain Raiders will camp out until Sunday afternoon for anyone who wishes to learn more about Civil War history.

Rose Hill Cemetery, at 600 S. Potomac St., is the site of the "Washington Confederate Cemetery." Nearly 10 years after the Civil War, Maryland and Virginia began to cooperate on a project to re-enter the Confederate dead from their impromptu graves throughout the region to Rose Hill Cemetery. This Confederate cemetery, dedicated in 1877, accommodates 2,447 unidentified and 346 identified Confederate soldiers from the Battles at Antietam, South Mountain, Gettysburg and Hagerstown. The cemetery is on the official list of National Historic Sites. The nationally-renowned statue of "Hope" marks the burial site. For more information about the historic site, see:


Several prominent and historic Marylanders are buried in Rose Hill Cemetery. These include Thomas Kennedy (1776-1832), the author of the 1826 law creating constitutional changes that freed Jewish citizens of Maryland from political discrimination. Kennedy also managed the "Hagerstown Mail" Newspaper.

There are also two Maryland governors buried at Rose Hill: William Thomas Hamilton and William Preston Lane Jr.

Hiram Percy Maxim, known as the father of organized amateur (HAM) radio, is a famous Marylander buried at Rose Hill Cemetery. In 1914, Maxim organized and launched the American Radio Relay League. He was also the inventor of the Maxim silencer, which was the first mass produced firearms silencer, the automobile muffler and was a pioneer in air compressor technology.

Another well-known figure of history that is buried at Rose Hill Cemetery is William O. Wilson. "Buffalo Soldier" Wilson was a recipient of the Medal of Honor, and was awarded the medal for actions during the Indian Wars of 1890. For more information, see:

Thousands of travelers come to the historic Rose Hill Cemetery annually, many visiting the final resting places of relatives or friends. Some visitors are studying genealogy, some are interested in Civil War cemeteries, and some come to visit the gravesites of famous Americans. Rose Hill Cemetery is a member of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, for more information, see:

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