Civil War Prisoner Burials
A. J. Riddle/National Archives
The burial trenches used to provide a final resting place for the Union prisoners who died here during the operation of Camp Sumter in 1864 & 1865 form the bulk of the graves found in today's National Cemetery.
The dead were buried side by side, and each body was identified by name when possible and assigned a number. Grave numbers were placed on primitive wooden markers, later replaced by the United States Army in 1865.
Did You Know?
The earliest commemorative service in the National Cemetery was held on Emancipation Day, January 1, 1869. Teachers and students of the Freedman's school, along with the Rev. Dr. Hamilton Pierson held memorial services and superintended the decoration of the the National Cemetery.