1. Welcome to the CivilWarTalk, a forum for questions and discussions about the American Civil War! Become a member today for full access to all of our resources, it's fast, simple, and absolutely free!
Dismiss Notice
Join and Become a Patron at CivilWarTalk!
Support this site with a monthly or yearly subscription! Active Patrons get to browse the site Ad free!
START BY JOINING NOW!

Golden Thread United States National Cemeteries

Discussion in 'Battlefield Preservation' started by James N., May 25, 2016.

  1. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
    Annual Winner
    Featured Book Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Messages:
    7,449
    Location:
    East Texas
    [​IMG]
    Monument in Stones River National Cemetery.

    Since @Buckeye Bill Bechmann created a thread on Confederate States of America Cemeteries http://civilwartalk.com/threads/confederate-states-of-america-cemeteries.99188/page-7#post-1332354 I thought for Memorial Day there should be a companion one for U. S. National Cemeteries, at least those containing a goodly proportion of Civil War dead. Please feel free to add any I have omitted, or additional photos of those included here; my selection is by no means complete and is no particular order but is limited to those I've visited fairly recently and have suitable photographs from.

    Stones River National Cemetery, Tennessee
    [​IMG]

    The first truly National Cemeteries were created during the Civil War and were usually placed on or near, to borrow Lincoln's phrase, a great battlefield of that war. One such was that at Stones River outside Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where surviving members of Hazen's Federal Brigade had already created a plot with what is reputed to be the first Civil War monument (above) at its center on ground they had defended during the battle. The present cemetery is a little north of that plot between the Nashville Turnpike and railroad that served as the Union lifeline and on ground where the Federals had made their successful final stand. Postwar, the cemetery was enlarged and beautified by a Murfreesboro Reconstruction garrison consisting of the members of a regiment of United States Colored Troops. The cannon in the photo below is not merely for "decoration" - it marks the position of a Union battery during the battle.

    [​IMG]

    Ball's Bluff National Cemetery, Virginia
    [​IMG]

    One of the first and smallest is that on the field of one of the early battles of the war that occurred October 21, 1861, atop Ball's Bluff near Leesburg, Virginia. The tiny walled cemetery above contains the graves of a mere fifty-four soldiers, only one of whom was identified; his grave stands at the center of the arc of tombstones ringing the flagpole below.

    [​IMG]

    Battleground National Cemetery, District of Columbia
    [​IMG]

    Another tiny cemetery is the easily-overlooked Battleground National Cemetery in a quiet suburb of Washington, D. C., which contains the graves of the Federal fallen from Jubal Early's abortive "raid" on the capital in July, 1864, culminating in the Battle of Fort Stevens. There are only forty-three graves here: forty victims of the battle (including one who died long postwar but chose to be buried here with his comrades), and three family members of the original groundskeeper. As at Ball's Bluff, they are arranged in a circular formation around the flagpole below.

    [​IMG]

    Winchester National Cemetery, Virginia
    [​IMG]

    A larger cemetery placed on a field of battle is that at Winchester, Virginia, located on a portion of that of the third battle of that name to have occurred there. However, this cemetery was created to hold the fallen from all the nearby battles of the Shenandoah Valley including those from as far away as Port Republic, Cedar Creek, and many other places. Like many others actually located on battlefields, Union veterans chose it as a place to locate some of the monuments commemorating their service there, like that of the state of Massachusetts below.

    [​IMG]


    Fayetteville National Cemetery, Arkansas
    [​IMG]

    Like most U. S. National Cemeteries with available room, that at Fayetteville has largely been taken over by the graves of more recent veterans, particularly those of the World Wars and Vietnam. The oldest graves tend to be those nearest the flagpole, including that of an officer of U.S.C.T. in the foreground below.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2016

  2. (Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
  3. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
    Annual Winner
    Featured Book Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Messages:
    7,449
    Location:
    East Texas
    Marietta National Cemetery, Georgia
    [​IMG]

    The Marietta, Georgia, National Cemetery, like that at Winchester, was created to hold the graves of those killed on nearby battlefields, in this case those of Sherman's Atlanta Campaign of 1864. In downtown Marietta, it is not located on a field of battle, though it is near those of nearby Kennesaw Mountain and Peachtree Creek. Also like Winchester, it became the repository for various state monuments like that of Wisconsin below.

    [​IMG]

    Chattanooga National Cemetery, Tennessee
    [​IMG]

    The cemetery at Chattanooga, Tennessee was originally created to contain the graves who fell in the various battles in and around the town and nearby Chickamauga, Georgia, but has recently been greatly expanded in order to accommodate veterans of much more recent conflicts. Probably the most famous group of graves is that above of several members of the famous Andrews Railroad Raid or Great Locomotive Chase, before which stands a monument topped by a model of the locomotive General. Since part of this ground figured in the Battle of Orchard Knob, Nov. 23, 1863, it too contains unit markers like that of one of the brigades of Sheridan's Division below. Notice on the horizon the profile of Lookout Mountain, scene of the battle of that name which occurred the following day, Nov. 24, 1863.

    [​IMG]

    Shiloh National Cemetery, Tennessee
    [​IMG]

    Another relatively small cemetery that seems full and therefore hopefully beyond enlarging is that completely surrounded by Shiloh National Military Park, Tennessee. It is located exactly where Pittsburg Landing on the Tennessee River once was, so includes ground that formed part of Grant's Last Line of April 6, 1862; above, a marker indicates the small cabin that temporarily sheltered the general before he abandoned it for use as a field hospital.

    [​IMG]

    Gettysburg National Cemetery, Pennsylvania
    [​IMG]

    No survey of Civil War-era U. S. National Cemeteries can omit that at Gettysburg; unfortunately, this view of the gatehouse to the City Cemetery which featured in the battle there is as close as I can come! Therefore I appeal to someone who has visited more recently for photos, preferably of the U. S. Monument at its center or the Gettysburg Address Monument. Below, just outside the cemetery stands the Masonic Monument featuring the mortally wounded Brig. Gen. Lewis Armistead.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2016
  4. Buckeye Bill

    Buckeye Bill 1st Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    3,885
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Wonderful idea, @James N.!

    Great minds think alike......(lololol)

    Bill
     
  5. donna

    donna Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Messages:
    23,860
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Both James and Bill have such wonderful photos on so many places. I really enjoy both threads on the cemeteries.

    Thanks to both of you.
     
  6. bankerpapaw

    bankerpapaw 2nd Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    2,883
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Thanks for the great pictures!!!
     
  7. Buckeye Bill

    Buckeye Bill 1st Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    3,885
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    The Cold Harbor National Cemetery was established in 1866 on the site of the Battle of Cold Harbor, an American Civil War engagement. Interments were collected from a 22-mile area, taken from the battlefields and field hospital sites of Cold Harbor, Mechanicsville (Beaver Dam Creek), Gaines's Mill, and Savage's Station. The land was appropriated in April 1865 during the first post-war search and re-burial operations conducted on local area battlefields, but not fully purchased until the cemetery was officially established the following year. Another search for buried and unburied remains occurred in 1867 and yielded over 1,000 full and partial skeletons that had been missed the previous year. Due to space limitations at Cold Harbor these remains, of which only a handful were identified, were re-interred in the larger Richmond National Cemetery.

    * The Cold Harbor National Cemetery Entrance.

    DSC_0931.JPG

    * Rest in Peace, Heroes.......

    DSC_0936.JPG

    * Mortuary Cannon and Flagpole.

    DSC_0939.JPG

    * Tomb of the Unknown Federal Soldiers.

    DSC_0941.JPG

    * The 8th New York Heavy Artillery Monument.

    DSC_0942.JPG

    * The Pennsylvania Monument.

    DSC_0929.JPG

    * Photos courtesy of William Bechmann (2016).
     
  8. Buckeye Bill

    Buckeye Bill 1st Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    3,885
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Thanks for the kind words, Donna!

    I have been a member since 2013......

    James was my early inspiration!!!

    Bill
     
  9. Legion Para

    Legion Para 1st Lieutenant Forum Host Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,654
  10. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
    Annual Winner
    Featured Book Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Messages:
    7,449
    Location:
    East Texas
    Other Cemeteries of Note Containing Federal Dead
    [​IMG]

    Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Tarrytown, New York
    Of course throughout the northern states there are also many public cemeteries with concentrations of veterans' graves, often in a separate Grand Army of the Republic section. One of my favorites is the one at Sleepy Hollow, made famous by Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Above is the G.A.R. Monument in its veterans' section, and below, the grave of one of its notables - other than Irving, who is also buried here, and Grant's aide Adam Badeau - Secretary of the Interior in R. B. Hayes' cabinet Maj. Gen. Carl Schurz.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    City Cemetery, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
    Lancaster, Pennsylvania's City Cemetery has the large G.A.R. section above, here decorated for July 4th; it also boasts the grave of its own local hero, Maj. Gen. John F. Reynolds, killed on the first day at Gettysburg, below.

    [​IMG]

    United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
    The historic cemetery beside the Old Chapel contains the graves of many of America's earliest heroes, a number of which were veterans of the war, including Winfield Scott, John Buford, and others. Below is that of Maj. Gen. George A. Custer, with that of his wife Elizabeth (Libby) Bacon Custer in the foreground.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2016
  11. Anna Elizabeth Henry

    Anna Elizabeth Henry 2nd Lieutenant Silver Patron

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2015
    Messages:
    2,923
    Location:
    New York, New York
    Thanks for this great thread!

    Thought I'd add this local one to the list as it's the only National Cemetery in NYC, its a short drive from my house Queens.

    Cyprus Hills National Cemetery - Brooklyn, NY

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
    Annual Winner
    Featured Book Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Messages:
    7,449
    Location:
    East Texas
    I followed the link and found that one of the later (post-Civil War) turn-of-the-century burials was that of one Sergeant Giovanni Martini, otherwise known as Trumpeter John Martin, who in 1876 was a recent immigrant from Italy and was serving as orderly to Lt. Col. George A. Custer at the Little Big Horn! He was noted as the last man to have seen Custer and his command alive and was himself spared the fate of the others because he was detailed by his chief to carry the last message to Capt. Fred Benteen.
     
  13. Anna Elizabeth Henry

    Anna Elizabeth Henry 2nd Lieutenant Silver Patron

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2015
    Messages:
    2,923
    Location:
    New York, New York
    What a lucky man! I'd always heard about him and until today I didn't know he was buried so close to where I live. Wonder if he grumbled about the task at the time since he went alone?

    I also noticed the cemetery has a Civil War Medal of Honor recipient who was one of few to receive the medal twice for two different acts of bravery. John Cooper received one in 1864 for his actions on the USS Brooklyn in Mobile Bay and second time in 1865 for piloting a vessel through fire to rescue a man.
     
  14. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
    Annual Winner
    Featured Book Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Messages:
    7,449
    Location:
    East Texas
    If he grumbled, it was in Italian because at that point in his career his command of the English language was pretty poor! I also noticed that about Cooper - another double recipient of the Medal of Honor was Custer's brother Tom who got them for capturing Confederate flags during the retreat to Appomattox while he was serving as his brother's aide-de-camp. Tom was another who died at Little Big Horn as a captain commanding Company C of the 7th Cavalry.
     
  15. Anna Elizabeth Henry

    Anna Elizabeth Henry 2nd Lieutenant Silver Patron

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2015
    Messages:
    2,923
    Location:
    New York, New York
    LOL! The swearing Italian soldier! It's just such a funny image somehow, muttering under his breath about that dandy Custer sending him off alone with a message :giggle: I have a feeling afterwards if he grumbled he thanked every saint he could name for his luck!

    I didn't realize Custer's brother won the Medal of Honor twice as well during the Civil War! I knew he died along with his brother though. Had to be a horrible time for everyone in that family after Little Big Horn. His other brother died as well and his brother-in-law, too, I think.
     
  16. 16thVA

    16thVA First Sergeant

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,187
    Location:
    Philadelphia
  17. Buckeye Bill

    Buckeye Bill 1st Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    3,885
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    The Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio

    * Brigadier General William H. Lytle (Killed at the Battle of Chickamauga).

    DSC_0721.JPG

    * The Fighting McCook Family.

    DSC_0742.JPG

    * Major General Joseph "Fighting Joe" Hooker.

    DSC_0754.JPG

    * The American Civil War Federal Soldier Memorial (Graves surround this statue).

    DSC_0764.JPG

    * Photos courtesy of William Bechmann (2015).
     
  18. Buckeye Bill

    Buckeye Bill 1st Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    3,885
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    O'ahu Cemetery, O'ahu, Hawai'i

    * Grand Army of the Republic Section - Federal Officers and Enlisted.

    DSC_0458.JPG

    * Private J.R. Kealoha (Richmond - Petersburg - Appomattox).

    DSC_0455.JPG

    * Hawai'i Sons of the American Civil War Plaque.

    DSC_0450.JPG
     
  19. bdtex

    bdtex Brigadier General Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,890
    Location:
    Houston,TX area
    I was there in January. It is a beautiful little cemetery. As you know, it's just a few feet off the highway.
     
  20. bdtex

    bdtex Brigadier General Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,890
    Location:
    Houston,TX area
    If all goes as planned,and weather permitting,I will be visiting Chattanooga National Cemetery on June 7th.
     
  21. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    Messages:
    9,834
    Has anyone considered being buried in a National Cemetery? I am eligible but not sure I want to be buried there. We have one at Fort Custer Michigan and it is a nice place. Second question, my dad died this year and dad severed overseas in World War Two. Should I bother to have one those government bronze veteran plaques put on his grave?
     

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)

Share This Page


(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)