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
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Civil War Era National Cemeteries: Honoring Those Who Served

Woodland Cemetery Soldiers' Lot

Cleveland, Ohio

Woodland Cemetery Soldiers' Lot
Grave Markers in Section 10,
Woodland Cemetery Soldiers’ Lot
Courtesy of the Department of Veterans Affairs,
National Cemetery Administration, History Program

In 1868, the U.S. government purchased two parcels of land within Cleveland’s Woodland Cemetery to bury Union troops who died in the northern Ohio area. Originally planned by landscape gardener Howard Daniels in 1853, Woodland Cemetery served as Cleveland’s primary public cemetery for generations and holds the remains of many prominent citizens.  The two parcels of land owned by the Federal Government, collectively known as the Woodland Cemetery Soldiers’ Lot, contain the graves of 48 Civil War veterans.

In 1851, the Cleveland City Council purchased 60 acres east of the city to establish a rural, landscaped cemetery outside of the city proper.  The council chose Howard Daniels to design a 20-acre portion of the property. Both an architect and landscape expert, Daniels worked on a number of other cemetery and park designs, including Cincinnati’s Spring Hill Cemetery, Syracuse’s Oakwood Cemetery, and Baltimore’s Druid Hill Park.  Daniels’ design for Woodland incorporated curving pathways radiating from a mound near the cemetery’s entrance.  The placement of trees and other plants added a scenic and tranquil element to the informal radial plan.

On June 14, 1853, the city council dedicated the new cemetery and offered several hundred lots at auction. The first burial, that of an infant girl, occurred nine days after the dedication.  As the city’s main burial ground, Woodland Cemetery’s monuments and grave markers reflect the city’s history and its prominent business and political leaders. Interments in the cemetery include four Cleveland mayors, four Ohio governors, and two members of Congress.  Elaborate mausoleums in Classical, Egyptian, and Richardsonian Romanesque styles dot the landscape.

In the 1850s and ’60s, the cemetery’s peaceful and scenic landscapes drew visitors seeking relaxation and outdoor recreation.  Reaching the cemetery by streetcar, the city’s residents could walk along the pathways and enjoy the green open spaces. 

In 1868, the Federal Government purchased two parcels of land within the cemetery for the burial of Civil War dead.  The areas are located in Section 10 and 14 of the cemetery, not far from the entrance.  The first interments in the plots were the remains of 27 Union soldiers transferred from Cleveland’s West Side Cemetery.  Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs manages the two plots, together known as the Woodland Cemetery Soldiers’ Lot.  These plots contain the remains of 48 Union soldiers.

Woodland Cemetrey Soldiers' Lot
Woodland Cemetery Soldiers' Lot
Courtesy of the Department of Veterans Affairs,
National Cemetery Administration, History Program

The graves of many Civil War soldiers are located in other sections of Woodland Cemetery. Additionally, the cemetery is home to three monuments dedicated to the service and sacrifice of Union men.  The monuments honor the 7th and 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiments, and the Grand Army of the Republic.  Veterans from the War of 1812 and conflicts after the Civil War are also buried at the cemetery.

Overall, the 60-acre cemetery is rectangular in shape, bounded by Woodland Ave. to the south, Quincy Ave. to the north, 66th St. to the east, and 71st St. to the west.  Initially, the layout of the burial sections followed on Howard Daniels’ pastoral design. However, the final portion developed in the northeastern corner consists of narrow rectangular sections.  By the early 19th century, Woodland Cemetery began to lose its status as the city’s most prominent place to be buried. Today, managed by the city and still open for interments, the cemetery continues to reflect significant swaths of history, told in the monuments, mausoleums, and solemn grave markers found along the cemetery’s curving paths.

Plan your visit

Woodland Cemetery Soldiers’ Lot is located at 6901 Woodland Ave. in Cleveland, OH, within Woodland Cemetery.  The Soldiers’ Lot is overseen by Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery; its administrative office is open Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm. The office is closed on all Federal holidays except for Memorial Day.  For more information about the Soldiers’ Lot, please contact the national cemetery office at 330-335-3069, or see the Department of Veterans Affairs website

Woodland Cemetery is open for visitation daily from sunrise to sunset.  The city of Cleveland owns and manages the cemetery. The Woodland Cemetery’s administrative office is located at Highland Park Cemetery and can be contacted at 216-348-7210. The Woodland Cemetery Foundation is a nonprofit association dedicated to protecting and preserving the property. While visiting, be mindful that our national cemeteries and soldiers’ lots are hallowed ground, and be respectful to all of our nation’s fallen soldiers and their families.  Additional cemetery policies may be posted on site.

Woodland Cemetery Soldiers' Lot was photographed to the standards established by the National Park Service’s Historic American Landscapes Survey.

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