Laid To Rest At Annapolis

Emerging Civil War welcomes back guest author Joseph Mieczkowski

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but the capacity to act despite our fears.” – John McCain

Senator John McCain was buried in the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery. McCain, a six-term senator from Arizona and 2008 Republican presidential nominee, died of brain cancer at age eighty-one. Flying from an aircraft carrier on a bombing mission in 1967, he was shot down over Hanoi, the capital of North Vietnam, and spent five and a half years as a prisoner of war.

Not far away from the grave of John McCain is the stone sarcophagus of the Union Navy officer William B. Cushing.

Cushing gained fame as one of the most daring naval commanders of the Civil War. In the Navy, Will developed into “something” — a prodigy of behind-the-lines warfare, a forerunner of today’s Navy SEAL.  His two most famous acts are the nighttime raid and destruction of the formidable Confederate ram CSS Albemarle and his leading of the naval brigade in the assault upon Fort Fisher, North Carolina. William Cushing died at the age 0f 32 in 1874 of “sciatic tuberculosis”.  Cushing’s grave is marked by a large, monumental casket made of marble, on which in relief, are Cushing’s hat, sword, and coat. On one side of the stone the word “Albemarle” is cut and on the other side, “Fort Fisher”.

Cushing’s brother was Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing, who was killed at Gettysburg and is buried at West Point. The Cushing family is the only military family to have a son buried at each of the two United States Military Academy cemeteries.

The small cemetery at Annapolis occupies about 6.7 acres on a grassy hill at Hospital Point where College Creek — once known as Grave Yard Creek — meets the Severn River in Annapolis. The cemetery dates to 1869 and is rich with Navy lore and the echoes of great deeds.

Cushing’s grave

5 Responses to Laid To Rest At Annapolis

  1. If anyone is interested in reading of the horrible bacterial disease Cushing probably died of, they should check under arachnoiditis. He deserved so much better and a longer life.

    1. Interesting. I have always wondered what killed him as such a young age. The jury is still out isn’t it?

  2. Thanks for this post. I had little knowledge of the cemetery until the McCain events. Fitting that two genuine American heroes are laid to rest near each other.l

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