Currently, the National Park Service manages 14 national cemeteries. Eleven of these cemeteries were transferred from the War Department to the Department of the Interior by Executive Order No. 6166 in 1933. Three national cemeteries were authorized or transferred after 1933. These cemeteries represent a continuum of use dating to a period before the establishment of the historical parks of which they are an integral part and are administered to preserve the historic character, uniqueness, and solemn nature of both the cemeteries and the historical parks of which they are a part.
National Cemeteries administered by the National Park Service are classified as either "active" or "inactive." Active cemeteries have casket or cremation gravesites available for first interments. A first interment is the initial burial of human remains following the death of the individual. Inactive cemeteries have no available unassigned gravesites for either casket or cremation first interments, but may inter eligible family members in the same gravesite as previously interred individuals.
There are two active national cemeteries currently administered by the NPS: Andersonville and Andrew Johnson National Cemeteries. Antietam, Battleground, Chalmette, Fort Donelson, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Poplar Grove, Shiloh, Stones River, Vicksburg, Yorktown and Custer National Cemeteries are inactive.