Alton National Cemetery
Office Hours: Cemetery is maintained by Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.
Visitation Hours: Open daily from dawn until dusk.
This cemetery has space available for cremated remains. We may be able to accommodate casketed remains in the same gravesite of previously interred family members.
Burial in a national cemetery is open to all members of the armed forces who have met a minimum active duty service requirement and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. A Veteran’s spouse, widow or widower, minor dependent children, and under certain conditions, unmarried adult children with disabilities may also be eligible for burial. Eligible spouses and children may be buried even if they predecease the Veteran. Members of the reserve components of the armed forces who die while on active duty or who die while on training duty, or were eligible for retired pay, may also be eligible for burial. For more information visit our eligibility web page.
From St. Louis Airport, E. Alton, Ill., take State Highway 111 (in front of airport) Alton to Broadway Street. Turn right on Broadway Street to Pearl Street. Turn right on Pearl Street and proceed three blocks to the cemetery.
Fax all discharge documentation to the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 1-866-900-6417 and follow-up with a phone call to 1-800-535-1117.
The Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery maintains this cemetery. Please contact Jefferson Barracks at the telephone number listed above.
Cemetery cannot be used as a picnic grounds.
Visitors should not litter the grounds, cut, break or injure trees, shrubs or plants or otherwise conduct themselves in a manner not in keeping with the dignity and the sacredness of the cemetery.
All graves will be decorated on the workday immediately preceding Memorial Day with small United States flags, which will be removed on the first workday after Memorial Day. Flags are not permitted on graves at any other time.
Cut flowers may be placed on graves at any time. Metal temporary flower containers are permitted. Floral items will be removed from graves as soon as they become faded and unsightly.
Artificial flowers may be placed on graves only during the period of Oct. 10 through April 15. Plantings, statues, vigil lights, glass objects of any nature and any other type of commemorative items are not permitted on graves at any time. Potted plants will be permitted on graves 10 days before through 10 days after Easter Sunday and Memorial Day.
During the Christmas season, Christmas wreaths, grave floral blankets and potted plants will be permitted commencing Dec. 1 and are allowed to remain on the grave through Jan. 20. Grave floral blankets may not exceed two by three feet in size.
VA regulations 38 CFR 1.218 prohibit the carrying of firearms (either openly or concealed), explosives or other dangerous or deadly weapons while on VA property, except for official purposes, such as military funeral honors. Possession of firearms on any property under the charge and control of VA is prohibited. Offenders may be subject to a fine, removal from the premises, or arrest.
Alton National Cemetery was originally a soldiers lot in the Alton City Cemetery, in Madison County, Ill. Despite the existence of the lot as early as 1870, the government did not own the half-acre tract until July 1, 1940, when the Alton Cemetery Association donated the land. An estimated 163 Union soldiers and 12 unknowns were initially buried here, according to an inspection report of 1870. The men died at the Alton hospital and onboard steamboats passing up the Mississippi River.
The government paid the cemetery administrators $30 a year to care for the plot. After the war, there were plans to move the 163 Alton soldiers to Springfield National Cemetery, but the community protested and exerted sufficient influence to prevent the removal.
In 1938, the Alton Cemetery Association made an initial offer to donate land for a national cemetery with a proviso that the government build a rostrum or permanent speaker’s stand for use on Memorial Day. Once the offer was accepted, Works Progress Administration laborers constructed a permanent rostrum. Between 1941 and 1942, the remains of 49 Union soldiers were removed from a nearby, but separate, section of Alton City Cemetery, and were reinterred on the federal land.
The cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 5, 2011.