Friday, June 6, 2014
On May 30, 2014, Arlington National Cemetery renamed the "Old Amphitheater" to honor Corporal James R. Tanner, Civil War veteran and stenographer at the deathbed of President Abraham Lincoln. The event was part of the cemetery's 150th anniversary commemoration.
Tanner, a corporal in the 87th New York Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War, was wounded in the Second Battle of Bull Run in August 1862. He lost both legs. After the war, he became a stenographer and was present both at Lincoln's deathbed. He is buried a few yards from the amphitheater in Section 2, grave 877.
Originally built in 1873 for the celebration of the fifth Decoration Day (now Memorial day), the "Old Amphitheater" played a crucial role in all May 30 celebrations at Arlington National Cemetery until 1920, when the larger Memorial Amphitheater was dedicated.