Going north on Highway 431 just north of Anniston, Alabama you will unknowingly pass by the army training facility known as "Pelham Range". It is about 1-2 miles off of the main road, and then pass through 2 guarded gates to receive access to the facility.
Pelham Range is named for Confederate Major John Pelham, who served in the war between the states. John Pelham's homeplace is said to be just across the road from the range entrance, right behind the current restaurant "Chef T's".
Pelham Range was established as a training facility during WWII in 1941. This eventually led to more land requisitions, and eventually growing the acreage to over 22,000 combined acres. Pelham range is used by Alabama National Guard Units, as well as units from around the country.
The issues from these land gatherings is that entire communities became swept up. Houses, churches, and even cemeteries, all swallowed up for the price of freedom.
While these lands were used for training purposes, the United States Military still allowed for families to go visit their loved ones graves on Memorial Day (3 days) weekend. Most families take flowers and clean stones so they are legible next year.
If you happen to go to Pelham Range, I recommend taking some bottled water, full tank of gas, windex and towels (To clean graves), maybe some flowers, a rake, and a camera. Upon arrival at the gate, you'll receive a pamphlet that they give families to help them understand the process of visiting their loved ones graves.
The handout lists the names of communities, cemeteries, and shows their location by a map. There is also a community spring that has been refurbished to a picnic area. The have yearly gatherings for the descendants of those that lived in the communities.
The United States Military maintains these cemetaries, but they do not hold ownership of the lands. They try to make this very clear for the visitors. Personally I believe there is a certain price we must pay at home for freedom, and losing a couple communities for a training facility, is not a bad trade. In fact, I feel honored that my ancestors are resting so close to those that keep us free!
The Government did not confiscate these lands out of spite or even hatred, this is a price our community paid for freedom.