McKee Grave – Arlington, Virginia - Atlas Obscura

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McKee Grave

Arlington National Cemetery

In what is rumored to be an intentional act of spite, this memorial almost completely obscures the nearby grave of a senior officer. 


Thomas Hudson McKee joined the army in 1861 in Independence, Pennsylvania. He fought in the Civil War and was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant in November 1862. After his death in 1924, McKee’s wife had a curious monument built at his burial place.

McKee married his wife, Nancy Matilda Funk, in 1868 in Mifflintown, Pennsylvania. She apparently had a strong distaste for his superior officer, Brigadier General Benjamin Franklin Kelley. Kelley had passed in 1891, and was buried in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery.

As the story goes, Nancy McKee erected an enormous memorial directly in front of Kelley’s as a form of payback for his mistreatment of her husband. The memorial makes Kelley’s grave impossible to see when looking straight on from Humphrey’s Drive.

The gigantic marble marker features a robed angel mounted on a two-stepped base and a large cross on the back part of the base.

Know Before You Go

McKee's grave sits just in front of Kelley's grave along Humphrey's Drive in Arlington National Cemetery.  It is easy walking distance from the Arlington House stop on the tram tour of Arlington Cemetery.

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