National Cemetery Administration
Cypress Hills National Cemetery
Office Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed federal holidays except Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
Visitation Hours: Open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Cypress Hills National Cemetery is closed to new interments. The only interments that are being accepted are subsequent interments for veterans or eligible family members in an existing gravesite. Periodically however, burial space may become available due to a canceled reservation or when a disinterment has been completed. When either of these two scenarios occurs, the gravesite is made available to another eligible veteran on a first-come, first-served basis. Since there is no way to know in advance when a gravesite may become available, please contact the cemetery at the time of need to inquire whether space is available.
J.F. Kennedy International Airport to Cypress Hills National Cemetery. Total distance is approximately 10 miles. Take the Belt Parkway westbound to Exit 17W - North Conduit Avenue.
Continue west on North Conduit Avenue and it will merge into Atlantic Avenue. Shortly after the merge, turn right into Hale Avenue. (There is a Sunoco Gas Station on the corner of North Conduit Avenue and Hale Avenue). Continue on Hale Avenue to the end and Cypress Hills National Cemetery will be directly in front of you.
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 Long Island National Cemetery manages this cemetery. You may contact the staff at the number listed above.
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.
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.
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.
Despite the early optimism of both the Union and Confederacy, by summer 1862, it was increasingly evident that the Civil War would be both long and costly. It was also apparent that additional burial grounds would be needed to accommodate the growing number of Union soldiers who died from battle injuries and disease.
While New York City and its outskirts were outside the area of military conflict, numerous hospitals were set up here to care for wounded Union troops. Cypress Hills began as a zone of the Interior Military Cemetery and was located within the boundaries of the large and private Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn. Almost three acres were set aside for the burial of Civil War dead in what became known as Union Grounds. In 1870, the Cypress Hills Cemetery Corporation deeded the property to the United States for a consideration of $9,600. An inspection report of September 1870 indicates that 3,170 Union soldiers and 461 Confederate POWs were already buried there. Most of the interments came from military hospitals in the area. There were also a number of reinterments from cemeteries on Long Island Sound and in Rhode Island.
Prior to 1873, eligibility for burial in a national cemetery was restricted to U.S. soldiers who died as a result of injury or disease during the Civil War. In 1873, however, Congress approved legislation extending burial rights to honorably discharged soldiers, sailors and Marines who served during the war. To accommodate the growing number of burials requested at Cypress Hills, more than 15 acres were purchased in 1884. In addition, in 1941, a small tract within the old Cypress Hills Cemetery, known as the Mount of Victory Plot, was donated by the State of New York. Today the cemetery consists of three parcels totaling a little over 18 acres: the Union grounds, a larger area on Jamaica Avenue, and the Mount of Victory. Although Cypress Hills was established to honor Civil War veterans, its grounds include the graves of soldiers who fought in the American Revolution, Spanish-American War, Korean and Vietnam wars. Cypress Hills National Cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.
Monuments and Memorials
The 12-foot granite French Cross monument was erected in memory of 25 French sailors who died while on duty in American waters during World War I. Of the sailors who died, 22 are buried in the cemetery and three were returned to France for burial.
The granite and bronze Second Division American Expeditionary Forces monument was erected near the cemetery’s rostrum.
The Eagle Monument was erected by laborers at Cypress Hill Cemetery about 1934. The stone eagle, with wings spread wide, was placed atop a stone pyramid erected by the Londino Construction Company, Bronx, N.Y., that same year.
The Ringgold Monument is a large obelisk that was erected by officers and soldiers who served under the command of Colonel Benjamin Ringgold.
The large, granite, British Navy Monument was erected in 1939 in memory of some British Revolutionary War soldiers whose remains were discovered in the 20th century and re-interred at Cypress Hills National Cemetery in 1909.
The 1881 Garfield memorial marks the former location of a commemorative oak tree that was planted in honor of President James A. Garfield, after he was assassinated. The James A. Garfield Oak Society, composed mostly of Germans residing in Eastern Brooklyn, sponsored the memorial tree.
Medal of Honor Recipients
Coxswain John Cooper, (Civil War), U.S. Navy. Awarded two Medals of Honor. On board the USS Brooklyn, Dec. 31, 1864, and April 26, 1865 (Section 2, Grave 5022).
Captain of the Hold Louis Williams (Interim), U.S. Navy. Awarded two Medals of Honor. On board the USS Lackawanna, March 16, 1883, and on board the USS Lackawanna, June 13, 1884 (Section 6, Grave 12616).
Sergeant Daniel Joseph Daly, (Boxer Rebellion), U.S. Marine Corps. Awarded two Medals of Honor. In Peking, China, Aug. 14, 1900, and Fort Liberte, Haiti, Oct. 24, 1915 (Section 5, Grave 70).
Sergeant Wilbur C. Colyer, (World War I), U.S. Army, Company C 9th Infantry, 2nd Division. Near Verdun, France, Oct. 9, 1918 (Section 2, Grave 8588).
First Sergeant Henry Wilkens, (Indian Campaigns), U.S. Army, Company L, 2nd U.S. Cavalry. Little Muddy Creek, Mont., May 7, 1877 (Section 2, Grave 5325).
Sergeant Bernhard Jetter, (Indian Campaigns), Company K, 7th U.S. Calvary. Sioux Campaign, Dec. 1890 (Section 5, Grave 1).
Private James Dougherty, (Korean Campaign, 1871) U.S. Marine Corps. On board the USS Carondelet, Feb. 8, 1872 (Section 6, Grave 12374).
Sergeant Patrick Golden, (Indian Campaigns), Company B, 8th U.S. Cavalry. In Arizona, August to October 1868 (Section 2, Grave 4316).
Private Henry Rodenburg, (Indian Campaigns), Company A, 5th U.S. Infantry. At Cedar Creek, Mont., Oct. 21, 1876 to Jan. 8, 1877 (Section 2, Grave 5825).
Sergeant John Nihill, (Indian Campaigns), Company F, 5th U.S. Cavalry. At Whetstone Mountains, Ariz., July 13, 1872 (Section 2, Grave 5540).
Lieutenant Mons Monssen, U.S. Navy. On board the USS Missouri, April 13, 1904 (Section OS, Grave 190).
Gunnery Sergeant Peter Stewart, (Boxer Rebellion), U.S. Marine Corps. In China, June 1900 (Section 2, Grave 7303).
Chief Watertender Eugene P. Smith, U.S. Navy. On board the USS Decatur, Sept. 9, 1915 (Section 2, Grave 7742).
Gunner's Mate First Class Wihelm Smith, U.S. Navy. On board the USS New York, Jan. 24, 1916 (Section 2, Grave 9493).
Quartermaster Third Class Anton Olsen, (War with Spain), U.S. Navy. On board the USS Marblehead, May 11, 1898 (Section 2, Grave 9158).
Sergeant John Maples Adams, (China Relief Expedition-Boxer Rebellion), U.S. Marine Corps. Near Tientsin, China, July 13, 1900 (Section 2, Grave 8286).
First Sergeant Edward P. Grimes, (Indian Campaigns), Company F., 5th U.S. Cavalry. At Milk River, Colo., Sep. 29 to Oct. 5, 1879 (Section 2, Grave 7210).
Private James Webb, (Civil War), Company F, 5th New York Infantry. At Bull Run, Va., Aug. 30, 1862 (Section 2, Grave 7401).
Chief Watertender Johannes J. Johannessen, U.S. Navy. On board the USS North Dakota, Sep. 8, 1910 (Section 2, Grave 7425).
Sergeant Major Frederick W. Gerber, (Indian Campaigns), U.S. Army. For a period of service covering 32 years (Section 2, Grave 6101).
Private Christopher Freemeyer (Indian Campaigns), Company D, 5th U.S. Infantry. At Cedar Creek, Mont., Oct. 21, 1876 to Jan. 8, 1877 (Section 2, Grave 5259).
Sergeant Valentine Rossbach (Civil War), 34th New York Battery. At Spotsylvania, Va., May 12, 1864 (Section 2, Grave 5427).
Pvt John Schiller (Civil War), Company E, 158th New York Infantry. At Chapin's Farm, Va., Sept. 29, 1864 (Section 5, Grave 3).
Quartermaster Edward S. Martin (Civil War), U.S. Navy. On board USS Galena at Mobile Bay, Aug. 5, 1864 (Section 2, Grave 5966 - note that the headstone lists his alias first name Edwin).
Sergeant John Martin (born in Italy as Giovanni Martini), 90 Coast Artillery – Trumpeter, 7th Cavalry at the Battle of the Little Bighorn 1876.