Union soldier figure atop monument at Baxter Springs National Cemetery; Bivouac of the Dead plaque at Wood National Cemetery; Flagpole and graves at Togus National Cemetery
Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary
Civil War Era National Cemeteries: Honoring Those Who Served

Crown Hill Confederate Plot

Indianapolis, Indiana

Crown Hill Confederate Plot
Crown Hill Confederate Plot
Courtesy of the Department of Veterans Affairs,
National Cemetery Administration, History Program

Crown Hill Confederate Plot, within the confines of the privately owned Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the final resting place for more than 1,600 Confederate prisoners of war.  The mass grave is marked with a granite obelisk. The names of those believed to be buried there are listed on ten bronze plaques mounted on granite blocks in front of the monument.

Early in the Civil War, Camp Morton, located just north of Indianapolis served as an important recruitment and training center for the Union Army.  The camp later became a major detention facility after the Union victory at Fort Donelson, Tennessee, in February 1862, when the Union sent thousands of captured Confederates north as prisoners of war.  From 1862 to 1865, more than 9,000 prisoners passed through Camp Morton; an estimated 1,700 died from disease and injury, often exacerbated by the poor camp conditions. 

The Confederate dead from Camp Morton were first buried in Indianapolis’ Greenlawn Cemetery.  Initially, volunteers buried Confederate soldiers, as national cemeteries were built only for Union soldiers.  Until the turn of the 20th century, Congress made no effort to provide for or identify Confederate burial sites.  In 1912, the Federal Government erected a 27-foot tall monument to commemorate the Confederate dead at Greenlawn, as individual graves could not be identified and marked with headstones.  In 1928, this monument was relocated to Garfield Park, three miles south of downtown, where it still stands today.  In 1933, the remains of the Confederate soldiers were reinterred to a mass grave located in Crown Hill Cemetery and marked by a new six-foot tall granite monument.  A plaque dedicates the memorial to the “1,616 Unknown Confederate Soldiers who died at Indianapolis while Prisoners of War.”  Sixty years later, an effort led by two Indianapolis police officers to identify the remains buried in the mass grave culminated in the dedication of ten markers that list the names of Confederates who died at Camp Morton and are believed to be buried in the Confederate plot. 

The plot is located near the center of Crown Hill Cemetery, in Section 32, Lot 285, approximately 1,700 feet northwest of the main gate, and 1,300 feet northeast of the Crown Hill National Cemetery.  The plot is marked by a simple, white post-and-chain fence. 
Plan your visit

Crown Hill Confederate Plot is located within the confines of Crown Hill Cemetery, at 700 West 38th St., in Indianapolis, IN.  The cemetery is open for visitation daily from dawn to dusk.  No cemetery staff is present onsite.  The administrative office is located at Marion National Cemetery, and is open Monday-Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm; it is closed Federal holidays except Memorial Day.  For more information, please contact the cemetery office at 765-674-0284, or see the Department of Veterans Affairs website.  While visiting, please be mindful that our national cemeteries are hallowed ground.  Be respectful to all of our nation’s fallen soldiers and their families.  Additional cemetery policies may be posted on site.

The surrounding Crown Hill Cemetery is a featured stop of the National Park Service’s Indianapolis Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary.  The gateway, office building, and chapel and vault of Crown Hill Cemetery were photographed to the standards established by the National Park Service’s Historic American Buildings Survey.  For more information on Crown Hill Cemetery and its history, please see the cemetery website.

Crown Hill National Cemetery is also located within Crown Hill Cemetery.

Crown Hill Confederate Plot was photographed to the standards established by the National Park Service’s Historic American Landscapes Survey.

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