National Cemetery Administration
Knoxville National Cemetery
Office Hours: This cemetery is administered by Chattanooga National Cemetery.
Visitation Hours: Open daily from sunrise to sunset.
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.
The cemetery is located in the northern section of Knoxville. From the Knoxville Airport, travel Interstate 129 north approximately 12 miles to Interstate 275. Then travel north about two miles and exit at Baxter Avenue East to first stop light (Wray Street). Turn right and travel three blocks to 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.
Chattanooga National Cemetery administers this cemetery. Please contact them at the telephone number listed above. A contractor is onsite daily to provide grave maintenance.
The grave location of your loved one is furnished on the map included in the burial document folder. There is a grave locator as you enter the main gate to assist weekend visitors who may not know the location of the gravesite.
A temporary grave marker is used to mark the grave following the interment. A permanent grave marker will be furnished free of charge by the Government without application from the family. Every effort is made to have the grave marker delivered and set within 60 days from the day of interment.
The United States flag is flown over national cemeteries every day and is flown at half-staff on the morning of Memorial Day and during interments. Graves are decorated with small United States flags a few days before Memorial Day and are removed immediately after the holiday. Flags are not permitted at any other time.
For educational materials and additional information on this cemetery, please visit the Education section, located below.
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.
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.
Knoxville National Cemetery is located in Knox County, in the northern section of the city of Knoxville, Tenn.
Union Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside established the cemetery during the Civil War after the siege of Knoxville and subsequent Battle of Fort Sander.
Capt. E.B. Chamberlain, the assistant quartermaster, was assigned the task of designing the national cemetery at Knoxville. The first interments were remains exhumed from Cumberland Gap, Concord and many other regional sites. Chamberlain’s design and system for recording interments was so effective that, in 1866, Gen. E.G. Whitman, observed that the cemetery had been "the only burial ground of Union soldiers…originally laid out and conducted to the present time in a manner and on a system that render[ed] it suitable to be converted into a national cemetery without material alteration or change, or removal of a single body."
Knoxville National Cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.
Memorial and Monuments
The Union Soldier monument, known locally as the Tennessee or Wilder monument, is an unusual, large Gothic Revival-style memorial that was erected between 1890 and 1901.
Medal of Honor Recipients
Sergeant Troy A. McGill, (World War II) U.S. Army, Troop G, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. Los Negros Islands, Admiralty Group, March 4, 1944. Sergeant McGill was returned to the U.S. from the Air Force Mausoleum Manila #1, Philippine Island and interred at Knoxville on Jan. 25, 1951 (Section B, Grave 6294).
Private Timothy Spillane, (Civil War) Company C, 16th Pennsylvania Cavalry. Hatcher's Run, Va., Feb. 5-7, 1865 (Section A, Grave 3319).
Among those interred at Knoxville National Cemetery is Brigadier General Robert Reese Neyland, retired US Army. While General Neyland was attending West Point Military Academy, he was an aide to the Commandant of West Point, General Douglas Macarthur. After he assumed his military duties he was assigned as an ROTC instructor at the University of Tennessee, where he also served as football coach. During World War II General Neyland was recalled to serve his country. He was elevated to the rank of Brigadier General at that time and was one of the top-ranking officers in the China-Burma-India field of operation. Brigadier General Robert Reese Neyland and his wife Ada are interred in Section X, Grave 16A.
We have several group burials in Knoxville National Cemetery:
13 are interred in Section X, Grave 7, 8, 9 A/B from World War II.
5 are interred in Section X, Grave 46 A/B from World War II.
3 are interred in Section X, Grave 31 A/B from World War II.
6 are interred in Section X, Grave 57 A/B from World War II.
4 are interred in Section X, Grave 58 A from World War II.
19 are interred in Section C, Grave 3255 war period is unknown.
US Confederate Soldier:
Captain George M. Coleman, Company D, 9th Kentucky Regiment, Civil War (Section D, Grave 2538).
Educational content is being developed for this national cemetery. New materials will be posted when the information becomes available. For additional information on the Veterans Legacy Program or the NCA History Program, please visit the web page for the Veterans Legacy Program and the NCA History page. Thank you for your interest in learning about the National Cemetery Administration.