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The Death of Andrew Johnson

In 1874 Andrew Johnson was elected to the U.S. Senate, the same body that had tried to remove him from the presidency six years earlier. He did not get to relish his victory for long, however, as he died at the home of his daughter in Carter Station, Tennessee, on July 31, 1875.

In 1852 Andrew Johnson bought a parcel of land in Greeneville, Tennessee, that afforded superb and unpopulated views of the mountains in the distance. According to family tradition, he enjoyed coming to the spot for peace and meditation. Because of its height, it was used during the Civil War for signaling, and it became known as "Signal Hill."

It was Johnson's request that he buried atop Signal Hill, and he was, on August 3, 1875. His widow Eliza joined him there on January 15, 1876. The family erected a 26-foot-tall obelisk over Andrew and Eliza Johnson's grave in 1878, after which "Signal Hill" became known as "Monument Hill."

During the monument dedication ceremony, recognition was given to two of Johnson's sons, Charles and Robert, both of whom had preceded their father in death and had been buried elsewhere. Both were reinterred and now rest near their father. Andrew Johnson, Jr., the only Johnson son to marry, died four years after his mother and was buried with his parents and brothers. The two Johnson daughters, Martha and Mary, are buried in the family plot as well, as are some of their descendants.

Andrew Johnson's grave

The cemetery was owned by the Johnson Family until 1906, at which time it became a National Cemetery under the jurisdiction of the War Department. The first veteran burial took place in 1908, and by 1939 there were 100 graves. The National Park Service took jurisdiction over the cemetery in 1942, and the Andrew Johnson National Cemetery is now one of only two active national cemeteries within the National Park Service.

Link of Interest

Andrew Johnson National Historic Site

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This page was last updated on August 30, 2018.