View of soldiers graves near City Point General Hospital, circa 1865; historic cemetery ID shield; Lithograph of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument at Hampton National Cemetery
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Civil War Era National Cemeteries: Honoring Those Who Served

New Albany National Cemetery

New Albany, Indiana

New Albany National Cemetery

View southeast along the central axis, New Albany National Cemetery
Courtesy of the Department of Veterans Affairs,
National Cemetery Administration, History Program

New Albany National Cemetery in New Albany, Indiana, across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the original 14 national cemeteries established in 1862.  During the Civil War, New Albany was an important hospital center for the Union.  One of the hospital’s doctors designed the 5.5-acre cemetery.

The town of New Albany boomed in the mid-19th century, as its strategic location just below the Falls of the Ohio River made it an ideal ship building center.  With the onset of the Civil War, New Albany became an important supply center and training ground for Union troops, and in 1862, the city became a major hospital center.  The Federal Government rented several schools and other buildings in town, converting them into infirmaries to care for wounded soldiers transported here on steamers on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.

Dr. Thomas Fry, a former brigade surgeon who supervised the New Albany hospitals, recommended the creation of a cemetery to inter soldiers who died at the local hospitals and those who died while training at Camp Noble.  In 1862, Congress established the New Albany National Cemetery, along with 13 others across the nation, to provide a resting place for Union soldiers who gave their lives for their country.  Most of the first interments at New Albany came from the city’s hospitals, but the remains of other soldiers were reinterred from battlefields in Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The rectangular cemetery is enclosed by a two-foot four-inch tall sandstone wall set with limestone coping.  The main entrance, located along Ekin Avenue on the southeast side of the grounds, is marked with a double steel gate and flanked by stone piers with a single pedestrian entrance on the west side of the gate.  From this entrance, a central axis runs nearly the entire length of the cemetery, looping around three small circular plots.  The first circle, 175 feet inside the main gates, contains the cemetery’s flagpole.  The second circle, 350 feet inside the main gates, contains a Bicentennial tree with a small plaque dedicated to Medal of Honor recipients. The third circle, 550 feet from the main gates, is the site of the rostrum.  Dr. Crozier, a member of the New Albany hospital staff, created this distinctive landscape design.

Rostrum and POW flag

Rostrum and POW flag, New Albany National Cemetery
Courtesy of the Department of Veterans Affairs,
National Cemetery Administration, History Program

The cemetery’s original superintendent’s lodge, a one-story, three-room frame building, dates to the 1860s.  In 1869-1870, a new lodge, designed by U.S. Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs, was built in the Second Empire style.  A third lodge, a two-story, Colonial style structure, replaced the Meigs lodge in 1942; this lodge, too, was eventually demolished.  The rostrum, built in 1931, is two bays wide by three bays long, with each bay divided by square brick columns that support the tin gable roof and exposed rafters.

Site decorations at New Albany National Cemetery are limited. Two seacoast cannons are planted upright in concrete bases in Section G. Affixed to one of the guns is an 1874 “shield” plaque with the cemetery name, date of establishment, and the number of known and unknown interments. Also onsite is a circa 1909 cast-iron tablet featuring the text of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Located just outside the cemetery wall is a bronze interpretive plaque dedicated by the Floyd County Historical Society.

New Albany National Cemetery contains more than 5,000 interments, including nearly 700 unknown Union soldiers.  Veterans of the Indian Wars, the Spanish American War, World Wars I and II, Korea, and Vietnam lie here as well.  Thirteen members of the locally prominent Vance family are interred in a family plot located in Section D, with burials dating from 1872 to 1915. 
Plan your visit

New Albany National Cemetery is located at 1943 Ekin Ave., in New Albany, IN.  The cemetery is open for visitation daily from sunrise to sunset.  No cemetery staff is present on site.  The administrative office is located at the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, KY, and the office is open Monday-Friday from 8:00am to 4:30p, and is closed Federal holidays except Memorial Day and Veterans Day.  For more information, please contact the cemetery office at 502-893-3852, 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.

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

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