160-year-old tree in Philadelphia cemetery felled


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A 160-year-old tree in Philadelphia’s Laurel Hill Cemetery that sheltered famous visitors including presidents and Civil War generals has been felled.

The Philadelphia Inquirer (http://bit.ly/22sfdZM ) reports that the Norway maple that stood over the grave of Union Gen. George Meade was brought down Saturday because of its weakened condition.

The tree and the grave of Meade, the victorious commander at Gettysburg, were visited by many of his fellow Union generals, including three who went on to became presidents: Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Harrison and Rutherford B. Hayes.

Civil War author and historian Andy Waskie, a board member of the Friends of Laurel Hill Cemetery, says many battlefields have such “witness trees” that survived the fighting and are honored.

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Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.inquirer.com

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