|The historic Roosevelt Arch, the north entrance to Yellowstone |
National Park. It was dedicated on April 24, 1903.
Finally, Congress hired civilian superintendents to protect the land, but there were only a handful to oversee more than 2 million acres of park. In 1886, the park looked to the U.S. Army for help. The cavalry soldiers who came to Yellowstone made their headquarters at the foot of the Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces. Their campground was called Camp Sheridan, but after enduring 5 harsh winters in poorly constructed "temporary" buildings, a permanent post was built and named Fort Yellowstone.
|Simple headstones and wooden markers still stand over the graves |
of civilian workers and family members of the soldiers.
Congress eventually appropriated sufficient funds for civilian operation of the park and at sunset on July 4, 1916, an Army cannon located at the top of Capitol Hill was fired for the last time. The next day, the army left behind Yellowstone and their dearly departed friends and loved ones. The cemetery was left unattended and for the next year, the grass and weeds grew over the graves and the headstones and wooden markers faded in the winds and snows of winter. The dead didn't seem to mind.
|Even today, coffin-shaped sunken indention's in the ground can |
be found where the soldiers remains were removed.
|An obviously very loved 5 year-old boy's grave. The inscription reads - |
"Tis a little grave, but oh take care. Fond hopes are buried there."
The Park Service eventually began maintaining the cemetery; the weeds are kept cut back and an iron post fence was erected a few years ago. But sometimes, after the sun has set, people have reported the children are still crying and the voices are still calling out, calling for their fathers and husbands and friends who were taken away from them.
|So many children and all destined to spend eternity without |
a daddy beside them.