United States National Cemetery System

The United States National Cemetery System is a system of 171 nationally important cemeteries in the United States. The authority to create military burial places came during the American Civil War, in an act passed by the U.S. Congress on July 17, 1862.[1] By the end of 1862, 14 national cemeteries had been established (see text of photo). A national cemetery is generally a military cemetery containing the graves of U.S. military personnel, veterans and their spouses, but not exclusively so. The best known national cemetery is Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, outside Washington, D.C. Some national cemeteries, especially Arlington, contain the graves of important civilian leaders and other important national figures. Some national cemeteries also contain sections for Confederate soldiers. In addition to national cemeteries, there are also state veteran cemeteries.

A plaque at Chattanooga National Cemetery that explains the history of the National Cemetery System.
Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery. Memorial Day 2010
Fort Logan National Cemetery
Gravesites at Fort Logan National Cemetery during Memorial Day 2006
Fort Logan National Cemetery
Flags flying at Fort Logan National Cemetery during Memorial Day 2006. The cemetery has flat markers, a practice which is used extensively in the new fields at this cemetery.
National Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee
Creation of national cemeteries

The National Cemetery Administration of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) maintains 155 national cemeteries as well as the Nationwide Gravesite Locator, which can be used to find burial locations of American military veterans.[2][3] The Department of the Army maintains 2 national cemeteries, Arlington National Cemetery and United States Soldiers' and Airmen's Home National Cemetery.[4] The National Park Service (NPS) maintains 14 national cemeteries associated with historic sites and battlefields.

The American Battle Monuments Commission, an independent agency, maintains 26 American military cemeteries and other memorials outside the United States.

HistoryEdit

The first national cemeteries were set up after the United States Civil War by Edmund Burke Whitman.[5] Congress passed a law to establish and protect national cemeteries in 1867.[6]

Final military honors are provided for qualified veterans by several volunteer details known as a Memorial Honor Detail (MHD) upon request of family members through their choice of mortuaries handling the deceased's remains.

List of United States national cemeteriesEdit

Cemetery City State Agency Founded
Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery Elwood Illinois VA 1999
Acadia National Cemetery Jonesboro Maine VA 2020
Alabama National Cemetery Montevallo Alabama VA 2009
Alexandria National Cemetery (Louisiana) Pineville Louisiana VA 1867
Alexandria National Cemetery (Virginia) Alexandria Virginia VA 1862
Alton National Cemetery Alton Illinois VA 1948
Andersonville National Cemetery Andersonville Georgia NPS 1865
Andrew Johnson National Cemetery Greeneville Tennessee NPS 1906
Annapolis National Cemetery Annapolis Maryland VA 1862
Antietam National Cemetery Sharpsburg Maryland NPS 1862
Arlington National Cemetery Arlington Virginia Army 1864
Bakersfield National Cemetery Bakersfield California VA 2009
Balls Bluff National Cemetery Leesburg Virginia VA 1865
Baltimore National Cemetery Baltimore Maryland VA 1936
Barrancas National Cemetery Pensacola Florida VA 1868
Bath National Cemetery Bath New York VA 1879
Baton Rouge National Cemetery Baton Rouge Louisiana VA 1867
Battleground National Cemetery Washington D.C. NPS 1867
Bay Pines National Cemetery Bay Pines Florida VA 1933
Beaufort National Cemetery Beaufort South Carolina VA 1863
Beverly National Cemetery Beverly New Jersey VA 1864
Biloxi National Cemetery Biloxi Mississippi VA 1934
Black Hills National Cemetery Sturgis South Dakota VA 1948
Calverton National Cemetery Calverton New York VA 1976
Camp Butler National Cemetery Springfield Illinois VA 1862
Camp Nelson National Cemetery Nicholasville Kentucky VA 1866
Cape Canaveral National Cemetery Scottsmoor Florida VA 2015
Cave Hill National Cemetery Louisville Kentucky VA 1863
Chalmette National Cemetery Chalmette Louisiana NPS 1868
Chattanooga National Cemetery Chattanooga Tennessee VA 1867
Cheyenne National Cemetery Cheyenne Wyoming VA 2020
City Point National Cemetery Hopewell Virginia VA 1866
Cold Harbor National Cemetery Mechanicsville Virginia VA 1866
Corinth National Cemetery Corinth Mississippi VA 1866
Crown Hill National Cemetery Indianapolis Indiana VA 1866
Culpeper National Cemetery Culpeper Virginia VA 1867
Custer National Cemetery Crow Agency Montana NPS 1879
Cypress Hills National Cemetery Brooklyn New York VA 1862
Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery Dallas Texas VA 2000
Danville National Cemetery (Illinois) Danville Illinois VA 1862
Danville National Cemetery (Kentucky) Danville Kentucky VA 1866
Danville National Cemetery (Virginia) Danville Virginia VA 1898
Dayton National Cemetery Dayton Ohio VA 1867
Eagle Point National Cemetery Eagle Point Oregon VA 1952
Fargo National Cemetery Harwood North Dakota VA 2019
Fayetteville National Cemetery Fayetteville Arkansas VA 1867
Finn's Point National Cemetery Salem New Jersey VA 1875
Florence National Cemetery Florence South Carolina VA 1865
Florida National Cemetery Bushnell Florida VA 1987
Fort Bayard National Cemetery Bayard New Mexico VA 1922
Fort Bliss National Cemetery Fort Bliss Texas VA 1939
Fort Custer National Cemetery Augusta Michigan VA 1982
Fort Donelson National Cemetery Dover Tennessee NPS 1867
Fort Gibson National Cemetery Fort Gibson Oklahoma VA 1868
Fort Harrison National Cemetery Richmond Virginia VA 1866
Fort Jackson National Cemetery Columbia South Carolina VA 2009
Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery Fort Leavenworth Kansas VA 1862
Fort Logan National Cemetery Denver Colorado VA 1950
Fort Lyon National Cemetery Las Animas Colorado VA 1867
Fort McPherson National Cemetery Maxwell Nebraska VA 1873
Fort Meade National Cemetery Sturgis South Dakota VA 1878
Fort Mitchell National Cemetery Fort Mitchell Alabama VA 1987
Fort Richardson National Cemetery Fort Richardson Alaska VA 1984
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery San Diego California VA 1934
Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery San Antonio Texas VA 1937
Fort Scott National Cemetery Fort Scott Kansas VA 1862
Fort Sheridan National Cemetery Fort Sheridan Illinois VA 1889
Fort Sill National Cemetery Elgin Oklahoma VA 2001
Fort Smith National Cemetery Fort Smith Arkansas VA 1867
Fort Snelling National Cemetery Minneapolis Minnesota VA 1939
Fort Stevens National Cemetery Hammond Oregon VA 1905
Fredericksburg National Cemetery Fredericksburg Virginia NPS 1865
Georgia National Cemetery Cherokee County Georgia VA 2006
Gerald B. H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery Schuylerville New York VA 1999
Gettysburg National Cemetery Gettysburg Pennsylvania NPS 1863
Glendale National Cemetery Richmond Virginia VA 1866
Golden Gate National Cemetery San Bruno California VA 1938
Grafton National Cemetery Grafton West Virginia VA 1867
Great Lakes National Cemetery Holly Michigan VA 2005
Hampton National Cemetery Hampton Virginia VA 1866
Hampton VAMC National Cemetery Hampton Virginia VA 1898
Hot Springs National Cemetery Hot Springs South Dakota VA 1930
Houston National Cemetery Houston Texas VA 1963
Indiantown Gap National Cemetery Annville Pennsylvania VA 1976
Jacksonville National Cemetery Jacksonville Florida VA 2009
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery St. Louis Missouri VA 1866
Jefferson City National Cemetery Jefferson City Missouri VA 1867
Keokuk National Cemetery Keokuk Iowa VA 1862
Kerrville National Cemetery Kerrville Texas VA 1943
Knoxville National Cemetery Knoxville Tennessee VA 1863
Leavenworth National Cemetery Leavenworth Kansas VA 1930
Lebanon National Cemetery Lebanon Kentucky VA 1867
Lexington National Cemetery Lexington Kentucky VA 1863
Little Rock National Cemetery Little Rock Arkansas VA 1868
Long Island National Cemetery Farmingdale New York VA 1936
Los Angeles National Cemetery Los Angeles California VA 1930
Loudon Park National Cemetery Baltimore Maryland VA 1862
Louisiana National Cemetery Zachary Louisiana VA 2012
Marietta National Cemetery Marietta Georgia VA 1866
Marion National Cemetery Marion Indiana VA 1930
Massachusetts National Cemetery Bourne Massachusetts VA 1976
Memphis National Cemetery Memphis Tennessee VA 1867
Mill Springs National Cemetery Nancy Kentucky VA 1862
Miramar National Cemetery Miramar, San Diego California VA 2010
Mobile National Cemetery Mobile Alabama VA 1865
Mound City National Cemetery Mound City Illinois VA 1864
Mountain Home National Cemetery Mountain Home Tennessee VA 1903
Nashville National Cemetery Madison Tennessee VA 1866
Natchez National Cemetery Natchez Mississippi VA 1866
National Cemetery of the Alleghenies Cecil Township Pennsylvania VA 2005
National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona Phoenix Arizona VA 1989
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific Honolulu Hawaii VA 1948
New Albany National Cemetery New Albany Indiana VA 1862
New Bern National Cemetery New Bern North Carolina VA 1867
Northwoods National Cemetery Harshaw Wisconsin VA 2020
Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery Rittman Ohio VA 2000
Omaha National Cemetery Omaha Nebraska VA 2016
Philadelphia National Cemetery Philadelphia Pennsylvania VA 1862
Pikes Peak National Cemetery Colorado Springs Colorado VA 2018
Poplar Grove National Cemetery Petersburg Virginia NPS 1866
Port Hudson National Cemetery Zachary Louisiana VA 1866
Prescott National Cemetery Prescott Arizona VA 1931
Puerto Rico National Cemetery Bayamon Puerto Rico VA 1948
Quantico National Cemetery Triangle Virginia VA 1977
Quincy National Cemetery Quincy Illinois VA 1899
Raleigh National Cemetery Raleigh North Carolina VA 1871
Richmond National Cemetery Richmond Virginia VA 1866
Riverside National Cemetery Riverside California VA 1976
Rock Island National Cemetery Rock Island Illinois VA 1863
Roseburg National Cemetery Roseburg Oregon VA 1932
Sacramento Valley National Cemetery Dixon California VA 2006
Salisbury National Cemetery Salisbury North Carolina VA 1865
San Antonio National Cemetery San Antonio Texas VA 1867
San Francisco National Cemetery San Francisco California VA 1884
San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery Gustine California VA 1992
Santa Fe National Cemetery Santa Fe New Mexico VA 1875
Sarasota National Cemetery Sarasota Florida VA 2009
Seven Pines National Cemetery Sandston Virginia VA 1866
Shiloh National Cemetery Shiloh Tennessee NPS 1867
Sitka National Cemetery Sitka Alaska VA 1924
Snake River Canyon National Cemetery Buhl Idaho VA 2020
South Florida National Cemetery Lake Worth Florida VA 2007
Springfield National Cemetery Springfield Missouri VA 1867
St. Augustine National Cemetery St. Augustine Florida VA 1881
Staunton National Cemetery Staunton Virginia VA 1866
Stones River National Cemetery Murfreesboro Tennessee NPS 1865
Tahoma National Cemetery Kent Washington VA 1997
Tallahassee National Cemetery Tallahassee Florida VA 2015
Togus National Cemetery Chelsea Maine VA 1936
US Soldiers' & Airmen's Home National Cemetery Washington D.C. Army 1862
Vancouver Barracks National Cemetery Vancouver Washington VA 1882
Vicksburg National Cemetery Vicksburg Mississippi NPS 1866
Washington Crossing National Cemetery Newtown Pennsylvania VA 2009
Western New York National Cemetery Pembroke New York VA 2020
West Virginia National Cemetery Grafton West Virginia VA 1987
Willamette National Cemetery Portland Oregon VA 1950
Wilmington National Cemetery Wilmington North Carolina VA 1867
Winchester National Cemetery Winchester Virginia VA 1866
Wood National Cemetery Milwaukee Wisconsin VA 1871
Woodlawn National Cemetery Elmira New York VA 1874
Yellowstone National Cemetery Laurel Montana VA 2014
Yorktown National Cemetery Yorktown Virginia NPS 1866
Zachary Taylor National Cemetery Louisville Kentucky VA 1928

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ "A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774–1875". memory.loc.gov. Retrieved 2020-12-13.
  2. ^ "Nationwide Gravesite Locator". National Cemetery Administration.
  3. ^ Administration, National Cemetery. "National Cemetery Listing – National Cemetery Administration". www.cem.va.gov. Retrieved 2020-12-12.
  4. ^ "Office of Army Cemeteries > Cemeteries". armycemeteries.army.mil. Retrieved 2020-12-13.
  5. ^ "Edmund Whitman (1812–1873)". University of Michigan. Retrieved 2008-10-31. After the war Whitman became assistant quartermaster in charge of national cemeteries and mortuary records for the same district. Charged with inspecting cemeteries and battlefields, he located Union soldiers buried in Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, and Alabama.
  6. ^ Chap. LXI. 14 Stat. 399 from "A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U. S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774–1875". Library of Congress, Law Library of Congress. Retrieved April 25, 2012.

Further readingEdit

  • Bontrager, Shannon. Death at the Edges of Empire: Fallen Soldiers, Cultural Memory, and the Making of an American Nation, 1863–1921 (University of Nebraska Press, 2020); memories of American war dead. online summary by author

External linksEdit