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


Albany Rural Cemetery Soldiers' Lot

Albany, New York

Albany Rural Cemetery
Albany Rural Cemetery Soldiers' Lot
Courtesy of the Department of Veterans Affairs, National Cemetery Administration, History Program
Nestled on the grounds of one of the nation’s oldest rural cemeteries, the Soldiers’ Lot in the Albany Rural Cemetery is the final resting place for 149 Union soldiers, many who died of injury or illness in hospitals around Albany during the Civil War. The lot is located in the North Ridge section of the 467-acre cemetery.

In 1841, Albany’s citizens organized to establish a new cemetery in response to the city’s overcrowded and deteriorating church burial grounds.  Following the precedent set by Massachusetts' Mount Auburn Cemetery and other rural style cemeteries, Albany Rural Cemetery opened in 1844, sited on an elevated plateau overlooking the Hudson River just outside the city.  Landscape architect Major D. B. Douglass created the cemetery’s plan in keeping with Romantic ideals of pastoral beauty.  Curving drives follow the natural contours of the landscape, with trees and other plantings placed to enhance scenic vistas.  In 1866, the Albany City Council authorized the transfer of all burials in Albany’s church cemeteries to Albany Rural Cemetery.

The Soldiers’ Lot is located along North Ridge Road at Lot 7, Section 75.  The Albany Rural Cemetery Association donated the 0.16-acre lot to the Federal Government in June 1862 for the purpose of interring soldiers who died in the Albany region.  Most of the interments are soldiers who died while in Albany’s Civil War hospitals. The last burial in 1897 brought the total number of interments in the lot to 149.

Standing 15-feet high, the only monument in the Soldiers’ Lot is the Grand Army of the Republic monument, which commemorates the local men who lost their lives during the Civil War.  The monument, constructed in 1873, features a bronze statue of a Union soldier atop a tall granite base. Bronze plaques attached to the base list the names of the fallen soldiers.  Also attached to the base is a bronze plaque featuring a bas-relief portrait of President Abraham Lincoln.

Albany Rural Cemetery is the final resting place for numerous political leaders. Chester A. Arthur, the twenty-first president of the United States, is buried in the cemetery, as are eight presidential cabinet secretaries, five U.S. senators, 32 U.S. representatives, and two U.S. Supreme Court justices.  The cemetery also contains the remains of Colonial and Revolutionary-era figures, including twelve assemblymen of the New York Colony and six members of the Continental Congress.
Plan your visit

The Albany Rural Cemetery Soldiers’ Lot is located at Cemetery Ave. (off New York Route 32 between New York Route 378 and First St.) in Albany, NY.  The cemetery is open for visitation daily from sunrise to sunset.  The soldiers’ lot is overseen by the Gerald B. H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery; its administrative office is open Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm; it is closed on Federal holidays.  For more information about the soldiers’ lot, please contact the national cemetery office at 518-581-9128, or see the Department of Veterans Affairs website.  The Albany Rural Cemetery’s administrative office is located on site and may be contacted at 518-463-7017 or by visiting their website. 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.

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

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