Cemetery in Washington, DC

The historic ground of Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC, is filled with military personalities from American Revolution to the present. Before our American Military History Tour, we thought we’d share some of the figures you will meet.

Thomas Tingey

Thomas Tingey’s place in Congressional Cemetery is notable for a few reasons. He helped establish the cemetery, having served on the Washington Parish Burial Ground board. It is the official name of the cemetery as given by Episcopal Christ Church in 1807.

Beyond that, Thomas Tingey was a commodore of the United States Navy. He started his military career in the British Royal Navy. There are unverified reports He served in the Continental Navy during the American Revolution.

In August 1814, after the British invaded the Capital, he was the last officer to leave the city, setting fire to the Navy Yard on his way out.

Andrew Humphreys

Andrew Humphreys is the grandson of Joshua Humphreys, the “Father of the American Navy.” His father, Samuel, also built and designed warships, including the USS Pennsylvania, the biggest ship of its time.

His family’s profession led him to West Point, where he graduated at 22 to fight in the Seminole Wars. After a brief break from the Army, he joined the Corps of Topographical Engineers and helped survey the Delaware and Mississippi rivers.

Andrew Humphreys also fought in the US Civil War, leading the 3rd division of the V Corps in the battle of Antietam and Fredericksburg. He ended his military career as a brigadier general and Chief of Engineer of the US Army.

Joseph Gilbert Totten

Joseph Gilbert Totten is another Civil War veteran whose remains lay at the cemetery but whose legacy extends beyond our historic ground. During the war, he served as a chief engineer of the US Army and engineered the reinforcement of the defensive fort around DC.

His military career spanned almost six decades, during which he served in the War of 1812 as chief engineer of the Niagara Frontier. In the end, he was breveted a major general a day before he died of pneumonia.

Chief Push-ma-ta-ha

Cemetery in Washington, DCPush-ma-ta-ha was one of three major regional chiefs of the Choctaw tribe in the 19th century. He’s renowned for serving with Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812 against the British.

Push-ma-ta-ha helped marshal over 500 men, displaying exemplary discipline and wartime leadership that earned him the title of “The Indian General” from US Army officers.

When he died on December 24, 1824, after a respiratory infection, he was buried with full military honors as a brigadier general of the US Army in Congressional Cemetery.

You will learn more about these notable men at the American Military History Tour. But if you can’t make it, no problem. We have guided tours by our expert docents for visitors from April through October. You can explore on your own too.

Come take a stroll through history at our Washington, DC, cemetery. You can also visit us virtually. Got questions? Call us or email us. We’re here to help.