The private and community cemeteries that contain NCA soldiers' and government lots, and Confederate cemeteries, do not always have staffed offices on site. When administrative information for the larger cemetery is available, it is provided below.
Forest Hill Cemetery
Phone: (608) 266-4720
This soldiers' lot is overseen by Wood National Cemetery.
Please contact the national cemetery for more information.
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Forest Hill Cemetery was established in 1858 by the city of Madison, Wisconsin. Burials occurred at this location for more than a thousand years, as American Indians built effigy mounds on the site between 900-1200 A.D. It is an example of the rural cemetery movement, sparked in the United States with the creation of Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The 140-acre cemetery contains the interments of many local notables, including administrators and faculty members at the University of Wisconsin.
Burials in the soldiers' lot began in 1862. The federal government did not own the soldiers' lot until 1886, when the city of Madison donated the 0.36-acre plot, located in Section 34 of the parent cemetery. Deceased Civil War Union veterans from the local general hospital constitute the majority of the interments. However, there are also Spanish-American War and World War I veterans buried at the site. The last burial was in 1931.
A Confederate plot known as “Confederate Rest” is located approximately 100 yards from this soldiers' lot, but it is not affiliated with the National Cemetery Administration.
Monuments and Memorials
In 1866, Harvey Hospital in Madison was converted into a home for the children of Union soldiers from Wisconsin whose parents were either killed or unable to care for them. For nine years, the Soldiers' Orphans Home cared for these children; during this time eight orphans died at the home. These orphans were buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, and the Soldiers' Orphans Monument was erected and dedicated in the soldiers' lot on Decoration Day, 1873. The monument is a tall marble obelisk inscribed with the children's names.
The Woman's Relief Corps, No. 37, erected a large boulder memorial dedicated to the memory of the unknown dead in 1891.
A granite bench inscribed and dedicated to the Grand Army of the Republic is situated at the front of the soldiers' lot.
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Cemetery policies are conspicuously posted and readily visible to the public.
Floral arrangements accompanying the casket or urn at the time of burial will be placed on the completed grave. Natural cut flowers may be placed on graves at any time of the year. They will be removed when they become unsightly or when it becomes necessary to facilitate cemetery operations such as mowing.
Artificial flowers and potted plants will be permitted on graves during periods when their presence will not interfere with grounds maintenance. As a general rule, artificial flowers and potted plants will be allowed on graves for a period extending 10 days before through 10 days after Easter Sunday and Memorial Day.
Christmas wreaths, grave blankets and other seasonal adornments may be placed on graves from Dec. 1 through Jan. 20. They may not be secured to headstones or markers.
Permanent plantings, statues, vigil lights, breakable objects and similar items are not permitted on the graves. The Department of Veterans Affairs does not permit adornments that are considered offensive, inconsistent with the dignity of the cemetery or considered hazardous to cemetery personnel. For example, items incorporating beads or wires may become entangled in mowers or other equipment and cause injury.
Permanent items removed from graves will be placed in an inconspicuous holding area for one month prior to disposal. Decorative items removed from graves remain the property of the donor but are under the custodianship of the cemetery. If not retrieved by the donor, they are then governed by the rules for disposal of federal property.
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