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Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery is a United States National Cemetery located on Fort Leavenworth, a United States Army installation north of Leavenworth, Kansas. It was officially established in 1862, but was used as a burial ground as early as 1844. The cemetery is the resting place of eight Medal of Honor recipients, but most are the unknown soldiers of war.[1] It was named for Brigadier General Henry Leavenworth, who was re-interred there in 1902 from Woodland Cemetery in Delhi, New York. It occupies approximately 36.1 acres (14.6 ha) and was site to 22,679 interments, as of the end of 2005. It is maintained by Leavenworth National Cemetery.


On July 17, 1862, Congress enacted legislation that authorized the purchase of cemetery grounds to be used "for soldiers who shall have died in the service of the country". By 1870, the remains of nearly 300,000 Union dead had been buried in 73 national cemeteries. Most of the cemeteries were located near former battlefields or what were once war time camps. Fort Leavenworth National cemetery was one of the largest, at 36.1 acres. The Leavenworth cemetery was also closely associated with the Western Branch National Military Home, "old soldiers' home" (now VA Eisenhower Medical Center) and became a National Cemetery in 1973.[2]

Due to military tradition, the cemetery was originally divided into burial areas for enlisted personnel and a separate area for officers, but in 1858 the remains were re-interred into a single site. In the years following the Civil War, the bodies of Union soldiers from Kansas City, Kansas and Independence, Missouri, were re-interred at Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery. In addition, the cemetery was used as the burial ground for soldiers who served at frontier posts of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming. By 1870, there were more than 1,000 Union soldiers interred at Fort Leavenworth, along with approximately 170 civilians and 7 Confederate prisoners of war. After the Indian Wars, between 1885 and 1907 many of the western Army outposts were vacated and as many as 2,000 remains were re-interred at Fort Leavenworth.

Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 15, 1999.

Notable burials[]

See also[]


  2. United States Department of Veterans Affairs, "Cemeteries - Leavenworth National Cemetery" at (accessed January 3, 2010).

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