View of wooden markers at Dayton National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers cemetery, now Dayton National Cemetery; Entrance to Alexandria (VA) National Cemetery, circa 1865; Rostrum, circa 1890, Loudon Park National Cemetery
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Civil War Era National Cemeteries: Honoring Those Who Served

Danville National Cemetery

Danville, Kentucky

Danville National Cemetery
Danville National Cemetery
Courtesy of the Department of Veterans Affairs, National Cemetery Administration, History Program

Danville National Cemetery, located in Danville, Kentucky, consists of six burial sections (lots 10-13, 14-16, 30-33, 35-36, 38-39, and 40-41) within the confines of the public Bellevue Cemetery.  Rectangular in form, the cemetery is three sections long by two sections wide.  Two lots—34 and 37—located in the center of the north side of the cemetery were set aside as an asylum lot for civilians. These lots were never purchased by the Federal Government, but are currently maintained as part of the national cemetery.  In total, the national cemetery encompasses 0.3 acres and 394 burials, the majority of which are Civil War veterans laid out in orderly rows.

The city of Danville served as the first seat of government in Kentucky and was the site of the state’s first constitutional convention in 1784.  During the Civil War, several hospitals existed in the vicinity, necessitating the creation of a cemetery for mortally wounded soldiers.  The Federal Government purchased 18 burial lots from Danville City Cemetery, now Bellevue Cemetery.  The cemetery was founded just north of downtown in 1847 as a Victorian cemetery featuring narrow, tree-lined pathways.  The first interments of soldiers from area hospitals began in 1862.  In 1868, the soldiers’ lot at Bellevue Cemetery officially became the Danville National Cemetery, and burials continued until 1952 when the cemetery closed to new interments.

The only structures at Danville National Cemetery are a flagpole in the middle of the north central section, and four marble boundary posts at each corner inscribed with “U.S.”  No walls, fences, or gates exist at the national cemetery, and the only access is through the surrounding Bellevue Cemetery.  Just east of the national cemetery, on a lot controlled by Bellevue Cemetery, is a Confederate burial section containing 66 graves.
Plan your visit

The Danville National Cemetery is located within the confines of Bellevue Cemetery at 277 North First St., in Danville, KY.  Click here for the National Register of Historic Places file: text and photographs.  The cemetery is open for visitation daily from dawn to dusk; however, no cemetery staff is present on site.  The administrative office is located at Camp Nelson National Cemetery Nicholasville, KY, and is open Monday-Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm; it is closed on all Federal holidays.  For more information, please contact the cemetery office at 859-885-5727, or visit 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.

Danville National Cemetery was photographed to the standards established by the National Park Service’s Historic American Landscapes Survey.

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