Lafayette Boulevard, Fredericksburg, Virginia
The Fredericksburg National Cemetery is located on Willis Hill which is part of historic Marye’s Heights in Fredericksburg.
Approximately 20,000 soldiers died in this region during the Civil War, their remains scattered throughout the countryside in shallow, often unmarked, graves. In 1865 Congress established Fredericksburg National Cemetery as a final resting place for Union soldiers who died on battlefields. Confederate soldiers were buried in cemeteries located at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania Court House.
Work on Fredericksburg National Cemetery commenced in 1866 and was completed in 1869. Veterans erected two major monuments here in the late 19th century, and the remains of 300 veterans of later wars were interred before 1945, when the cemetery closed to new burials. Of the 15,300 men buried here, the identities of fewer than 3,000 are known.
Rounded granite headstones mark the graves of identified Union soldiers. The graves of unknown soldiers are marked by a small square stone bearing two numbers. The number identifies the plot, the bottom number indicates the number of soldiers buried in the plot.
The above postcard shows an early 1900s view of the cemetery entrance. (See the back of the card postmarked June 5, 1911.) The monument on the left is the Butterfield Monument erected to honor the valor of the Fifth Army Corps.