NATIONAL CEMETERY
700 Government Avenue

Fayetteville AR 72701


The National Cemetery in Fayetteville is one of three such cemeteries in Arkansas. The other two are in Ft. Smith and Little Rock.

The Fayetteville Cemetery, at the south end of Government Avenue, was established in 1867. Most of the early burials were those of Union soldiers who fell in the battles of Pea Ridge in Benton County (March 7-8, 1862) and Prairie Grove in Washington County (December 7,1862).

These were, of course, re-interments at Fayetteville, since the soldier dead of the Civil War were usually buried on the field of battle. And since the United States did not acquire title to the Cemetery land until 1867, it is probably safe to assume that many of the Civil War dead reposed for five years or longer in graves at Pea Ridge, Cross Hollows, Keytsville, Cassville, Prairie Grove, Cane Hill, Rhea's mill, Tollett's Orchard, Walker's Farm and other places, all of which are named in the Cemetery records as "Original place of burial".

It would be difficult at this late date to ascertain the names and dates of the first burials are Fayetteville's National Cemetery. The earliest were probably Union soldiers who died in Fayetteville and were buried just south of town - on some land belonging to Stephen K Stone, prominent local merchant. Stone had obtained the land in 1860 from Jane T Butler. S K Stone was a public spirited man and probably gave permission for burials on his land in 1862. It does not seem probable that the Federal Government, in 1867, would have selected this place for a National Cemetery unless some soldier burials had already been made on the site. Also, the record shows that Fayetteville was the "original" place of burial for 103 "known" Union soldiers. The dead of Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove were buried on those fields and were not removed to Fayetteville until some years later.

Bibliography:
The National Cemetery at Fayetteville Arkansas, WCHS Bulletin 25, W Lemke 1956



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