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

Lebanon National Cemetery

Lebanon, Kentucky

Lebanon National Cemetery
Entrance gate to Lebanon National Cemetery
Courtesy of the Department of Veterans Affairs,
National Cemetery Administration, History Program

Lebanon National Cemetery, located just outside Lebanon, Kentucky is the final resting place for more than 800 Union Civil War veterans, many of whom are buried as unknown soldiers.  Although the town of Lebanon did not see fighting during the Civil War, it was an important supply depot, hospital center, and the home of Camp Crittenden, a major recruitment and training facility.  Today, the cemetery features a superintendent’s lodge designed by Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs and a stone wall enclosing the original burial sections. 

Colonel John M. Harlan established Camp Crittenden in 1861, and during the course of the war more than 2,000 African Americans, many of them former slaves, formed regiments of the United States Colored Troops here.  The camp also served as the home of the 10th Kentucky Infantry and as a key staging site in support of General George H. Thomas at Mill Springs, 60 miles to the southeast. 

The nearest Civil War battle to Lebanon occurred on October 8, 1862, at Perryville in Boyle County, 20 miles to the northeast.  The battle was an important turning point for the Union army led by Major General Don Carlos Buell, as they defeated Confederate General Braxton Bragg’s army.  Although the Union lost more than 4,200 men, while the Confederacy lost nearly 3,200, the battle was a strategic victory for the North, as it marked the end of the Confederate invasion of Kentucky, allowing the Union to maintain control of the state for the remainder of the war.

Initially, the Union casualties from the battle were buried near Perryville where they fell during the battle, but in 1867, the new cemetery at Lebanon opened and the remains were reinterred there.  Other Union soldiers were reinterred from sites at Rolling Rock, Green River Bridge, Greensburg, New Market, Campbellsville, and various other locations within a 50 mile radius.  In all, the remains of 865 Civil War soldiers were reinterred at Lebanon National Cemetery.

The original cemetery was a two-acre triangular site with a stone wall, four feet in height, enclosing the grounds.  The historic entrance is a double wrought-iron gate at the north corner of the site, near the superintendent’s lodge.  Built in 1870, the Second Empire-style lodge was constructed of brick and set upon a stone foundation and topped by a mansard roof, which originally featured multi-colored slate shingles.  Changes to the lodge in 1927 include the enclosure of the front porch and the replacement of colored slate shingles with modern asphalt shingles.  The cemetery has expanded to the south several times and now consists of 26 burial sections over 15 acres.  The new main entrance is located approximately 500 feet south of the historic entrance.
Plan your visit

Lebanon National Cemetery is located at 20 Highway 208 in Lebanon, KY.  Click here for the National Register of Historic Places file: text and photographs.  The cemetery is open for visitation daily from sunrise to sunset.  No cemetery staff is present onsite.  The administrative office is located at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, and is open Monday-Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm, and is closed on all Federal holidays except for 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.

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

Next page
Comments or Questions

Itinerary Home | List of sites | Maps | Learn More | Credits | Other Itineraries | NR Home | Search