Murfreesboro and Chattanooga, Tenn., and Marietta, Ga., National Cemeteries

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James N.

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United States National Cemeteries were created by Act of Congress following the Civil War as places to gather Federal dead from various often hasty camp and battlefield graves. Usually they were in a location central or adjacent to major battlefields, encampments, or towns; usually the fallen from nearby smaller actions or locations were brought for final interment to the National Cemeteries. I visited several recently, those shown in the accompanying photos.

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Murfreesboro National Cemetery lies at the very heart of the Stones River Battlefield. It was developed postwar near the wartime Hazen Monument between the railroad and the Nashville Pike with most of the work digging graves and interring the remains done by members of the 111th U.S.C.T. beginning in 1865. The Napoleon standing guard above indicates the position of a Union battery during the battle, while the monument below is dedicated to the over 6,000 Union dead, 2,500 of them unknown.
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The National Cemetery in Chattanooga was created on high ground siezed from the Confederates Nov. 23, 1863, in the opening phase of the Battle of Chattanooga by members of Thomas' Army of the Cumberland. Like most, it assumes a tranquil if motonous character, interspersed with a few state monuments like that above to the units in the battle. The most famous section, however, is the small plot below which contains an Ohio monument and the semicircle of graves of James J. Andrews ( in left foreground ) and those of his men who were hanged for their part in the Great Locomotive Chase.
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The Marietta National Cemetery contains the remains of soldiers killed at nearby Kennesaw Mountain and other battles of Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. Said to have over 10,000 burials, it's hard to tell just how many of them are of Civil war vintage, due to the regrettable habit of continuing burials as long as space permits, filling the once-open gaps, borders, and margins between Civil War-era sections with those of veterans of all wars since and even their spouses.
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There are a few state monuments here too, though there was no fighting at this location; one of the most striking is this one, featuring Wisconsin's badger state mascot. Other structures in National Cemeteries usually include a bandstand or speakers' platform like that below and also shown at the top of this page. Decoration and Memorial Day commemorations were early on an important part of activities at places like this for survivors and their families of both sides of the conflict in the postwar years.
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Will Posey

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The Knoxville National Cemetery, locked in by three streets and a civilian cemetery, was closed to casketed burials about twenty years ago, requiring for a while subsequent veteran burials to be taken to Chattanooga or to Mountain Home in upper east Tennessee. Then the state established a veterans cemetery in Knoxville, but that soon became full and last year the state opened a second state veterans cemetery in Knoxville.

Chattanooga National Cemetery is filling up fast, but there is talk of expanding it. If not for the increase in cremations, the cemetery would already be full.

Will
 

James N.

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Chattanooga National Cemetery is filling up fast, but there is talk of expanding it. If not for the increase in cremations, the cemetery would already be full.

Will
It's so BIG ( in area covered ) it doesn't have the feeling of overcrowding I get at Murfreesboro or some others I've seen recently.
 

rhp6033

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My parents are buried at the Chattanooga National Cemetary, in the lower areas where post-civil war U.S veterans are interned. My father died first, and was buried at 12 ft., and when my mother died they shared the same grave (she was buried at the 6 ft level).
 
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Will Posey

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My parents are buried at the Chattanooga National Cemetary, in the lower areas where post-civil war U.S veterans are interned. My father died first, and was buried at 12 ft., and when my mother died they shared the same grave (she was buried at the 6 ft level).
The tandem burial system has been used at Chattanooga National for many years. Recently that system has been modified so as to replace digging individual graves with pre-positioned underground crypts (double depth). This enables more burials per acre and also speeds up the burial process so that more burials per day can be accommodated. If the tandem system had not been instituted years ago, the cemetery would have been filled to capacity long ago.

Will
 

Will Posey

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It's so BIG ( in area covered ) it doesn't have the feeling of overcrowding I get at Murfreesboro or some others I've seen recently.
It's my understanding that Chattanooga National Cemetery is second only to Arlington in land area. The Chattanooga cemetery has been expanded by acquiring adjacent land, but many National Cemeteries across the country have been unable to expand and have closed to new burials.

Will
 

theoldman

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The tandem burial system has been used at Chattanooga National for many years. Recently that system has been modified so as to replace digging individual graves with pre-positioned underground crypts (double depth). This enables more burials per acre and also speeds up the burial process so that more burials per day can be accommodated. If the tandem system had not been instituted years ago, the cemetery would have been filled to capacity long ago.

Will
The same is true for Arlington National Cemetery. A close friend's parents are buried there and the headstone has his father's information on one side and his mother's on the other side. Arlington is also expanding with an additional 38 acres that used to hold the Navy Annex to the Pentagon.
 
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Gen Cleburne

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I have spoken to Chattanooga Natl Cemetery officials, who have assured me that they will remain open until at least 2025. They better, because I claim my spot!
 

Will Posey

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Before the recent changes in their burial system, their estimated full date was 2014. With more and more cremations, they may be able to stay open to burials after 2025, especially if they are able to expand the cemetery land space.

Will
 
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WRC

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>The Marietta National Cemetery contains the remains of soldiers killed at nearby Kennesaw Mountain and other battles of Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. Said to have over 10,000 burials, it's hard to tell just how many of them are of Civil war vintage...

From the VA National Cemetery Administration:

A granite memorial arch at the cemetery gate is inscribed: "Here rest the remains of 10,312 Officers and Soldiers who died in defense of the Union 1861-1865."
 

SJU5

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As you all know, I trace all the footsteps and the fallen of the 13th NJ in the War. There were 70 KIA and another 40 from disease. We have 11 buried in Chattanooga, 1 at Stones River, 5 at Marietta. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to find their graves, and make picture collages of them and post each grave on Find A Grave from Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Chattanooga, Stones River, Marietta. Still to locate are the men who died after Atlanta to NC.
 

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nitrofd

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As you all know, I trace all the footsteps and the fallen of the 13th NJ in the War. There were 70 KIA and another 40 from disease. We have 11 buried in Chattanooga, 1 at Stones River, 5 at Marietta. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to find their graves, and make picture collages of them and post each grave on Find A Grave from Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Chattanooga, Stones River, Marietta. Still to locate are the men who died after Atlanta to NC.
Nice work.hopefully more success in your quest.
 
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