Office Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
Visitation Hours: The National Cemetery is open to visitors every day of the year from dawn until dusk.
This cemetery has space available to accommodate casketed and cremated remains.
Cemetery is located approximately 30 miles Southeast of Lambert International Airport. From the airport take first right after leaving Airport Drive. Travel approximately one mile, then turn left onto Interstate 70 to Interstate 270 south approximately 24 miles. Turn left onto the Telegraph Road exit. Travel north to third traffic signal and turn right onto Sheridan Road. The cemetery is on your right.
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 speed limit on the cemetery grounds is 20 mph.
The grave location of your loved one is furnished on the map included in the burial document folder. There is a grave locator behind the Administration Building 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.
Immediately after each interment, the grave is filled and leveled. As soon as the headstone/marker is set, the site will be seeded. Until growing conditions are favorable and turf has been established, burial areas may be substandard in appearance. Because the soil continues to sink after a burial, a new grave requires repeated renovation. Matters which appear to need immediate corrective action should be brought to the attention of the Cemetery Administrator.
The United States flag is flown over national cemeteries every day. The flag is flown at half staff on the morning of Memorial Day and during interment services. Graves are decorated with small United States flags the day before Memorial Day and are removed immediately after the holiday. Flags are not permitted on graves at any other time.
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Fresh cut flowers may be placed on graves at any time. Metal temporary flower containers are permitted.
Artificial flowers may be placed on graves only during the period of Oct. 10 through April 15.
Floral items will be removed from graves as soon as they become withered, faded, or unsightly.
Plantings will not be permitted on graves at any time. Potted plants will be permitted on graves only during the period 10 days before and 10 days after Easter Sunday and Memorial Day.
Christmas wreaths or blankets are permitted on graves during the Christmas season commencing Dec. 1 and will be removed after Jan. 20 each year. Grave floral blankets may not exceed two by three feet in size.
Statues, vigil lights, glass objects of any nature and any other type of commemorative items are not permitted on graves at any time.
Floral items and other types of decorations will not be secured to headstones or markers.
Permanent flower containers are not authorized for placement in new national cemeteries or in new sections of existing cemeteries.
The national cemetery will decorate all graves prior to Memorial Day with small flags. These flags will be removed immediately after Memorial Day and are not permitted on graves at any other time.
It is suggested that artificial arrangements be marked so the donor can later identify, if needed. Wind sometimes will move arrangements off of the gravesites and this will help our employees to relocate them.
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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.
Jefferson Barracks, one of the National Cemetery Administrations oldest interment sites, has served as a burial place soldiers from all wars. The original military post was built south of St. Louis, Mo., on the banks of the Mississippi River to replace Fort Bellefontaine. Selected for its strategic geographic location, the post was opened in 1826. Jefferson Barracks became the army’s first permanent base west of the Mississippi River. By the 1840s, it was the largest military establishment in the United States. During the Civil War, Jefferson Barracks served as a training post for the Union Army. There was also a hospital at the post for the Union army’s sick and wounded.
Although Jefferson Barracks was formally established as a national cemetery in 1866 by passage of a join resolution, the first burial, at what is now Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery is believed to have occurred the year after the post’s founding, on Aug. 5, 1827. On that date, Elizabeth Ann Lash, the infant daughter of an officer stationed at Jefferson Barracks was interred at the post cemetery. The Civil War initiated the beginnings of a formal network of military cemeteries. The first general U.S. cemetery legislation was an omnibus bill enacted July 17, 1862, authorizing President Lincoln "to purchase cemetery grounds, and cause them to be securely enclosed, to be used as a national cemetery for the soldiers who shall have died in the service of the country." By the end of the year, the first 14 national cemeteries were created. Jefferson Barracks was formally established as a national cemetery in 1866 by passage of a joint resolution authorizing the Secretary of War to take action to preserve graves from desecration and "secure suitable burial-places in which they may be properly interred…."
The original portion of the cemetery is located in the northeastern section of the present acreage, appropriately delineated by four roads designated as Old Post Drive—East, West, North and South, respectively—containing Sections 1-4, and OPS-1, OPS-2, and OPS-3. It was set aside for the burial of military and civilian personnel who died at the garrison. In 1869 the cemetery experienced enormous growth when more than 10,200 recovered remains of soldiers originally buried at other Missouri locations including Cape Girardeau, Pilot Knob, Warsaw, and Rolla were removed here. About 470 victims of smallpox at Arsenal Island were also reinterred here.
The old cemetery contains approximately 20,000 gravesites, including more than 1,000 Confederate dead. During this era, Union dead were interred in sections by state, as far as that could be determined, including: 7,536 Whites, 1,067 African Americans, 1,010 Confederate POWs, and 556 "not of military service." Within the original cemetery tract, Sections 5 through 53 were laid out; the sections currently numbered 54-66, and 88, contain older burials but are irregularly numbered because the ponds, sink holes and administrative open space was converted to burial areas.
In 1870, the cemetery "quadrangle" at Jefferson Barracks measured approximately 750’ x 1,230’, and was surrounded by a standardized wooden picket fence "recently whitewashed." Within two years this fence was replaced by a stonewall 4,269 feet long and 1’-6" wide. A 16’-wide drive lined the interior of the wall, and crossed through the cemetery delineating large sections; narrower 10’ wide paths further subdivided the grounds. "These drives and paths are covered with coarse broken stone, and, being but little used, are very uncomfortable to drive or walk over." The major interior paths had brick gutters and were lined with dense rows of the same types of trees. In addition, there were eight painted artillery guns, "planted vertically, as monuments" throughout the cemetery. In August 1871, it was reported that more than $142,287 had been spent developing and maintaining the cemetery to date. The next year Jefferson Barracks was categorized as a "First Class" cemetery, an Army designation based on "the extent and importance" of the facilities, which also determined the superintendent’s salary of $75 per month. In 1875, the first enlargement of the cemetery took place.
During the early 1880s cast-metal tablets containing verse, "The Gettysburg Address" the War Department’s General Orders No. 80, and text of the 1867 Act to establish and protect national cemeteries.
As space within the enclosure walls became limited, an expansion that would more than double the size of the cemetery was underway by the early 1890s. The original entrance with its "double iron gates hung on handsome piers of rough dressed limestone" and the old administration building/lodge were located on the north side of the existing cemetery. The landscape in some areas of Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery was one of the most contentious. Behind this building there were:
…two deep depressions in the ground, similar to the "sink-holes" in limestone formations, each having in its bottom a small pond; one has been enlarged and surrounded by a stone wall, making a miniature lake; the other is in its natural state. The ponds have subterranean communications with each other and with the Mississippi, and are affected by the rise and fall of water in that river, but are never dry.
The superintendent’s personal domain included a grape arbor, privy and cistern, as well as evergreen trees and shaped planting beds of flowers and vegetables. By 1893 the approach to the entrance was established via a gravel road flanked by deciduous trees and "plank fences." Already there were a fountain, two sheds, two stables, a two-room cottage for seasonal laborers, and a rectangular rostrum (1872) located on the expanded property.
In 1922 an Executive Order assigned 170 acres of military reservation to the Veterans Bureau (now Department of Veterans Affairs). In July 1936, the War Department formally named Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as a component of Jefferson Barracks, along with similar designations of military reservations at instillations including those named in honor of persons, target ranges and national cemeteries.
From April 1936 through the early 1940s, Depression-era government make-work programs brought improvements to the cemetery. Works Progress Administration (WPA) laborers were responsible for building 23,000’ of hard-surfaced roads and walks, 46,000’ concrete curbs, nearly 16,000’ of "asphalt macadam" roads, and resurfacing of the same. They also removed some of the original stone wall and constructed nearly 4,600’ of "common ashler (sic) stone wall, as well as miscellaneous grading. In 1946 a new stone boundary wall and entrance gate were erected. The WPA renovated the 1872 brick rostrum that measured 23’x 38’ in 1941.
Gradually the importance of the post lessened and Jefferson Barracks was deactivated in 1946. Expansion of the cemetery, however, was granted by 1947 legislation authorizing the Secretary of War to "utilize and expand existing facilities" at Jefferson Barracks "when practicable, through the use of federally owned lands under the jurisdiction of the War Department" that were no longer needed for military purposes.
World War II casualties introduced a new focus to the cemetery as the central repository for group interments resulting from national disasters, when individual remains cannot be identified. Among the more than 560 group burials—meaning two or more veterans in a common grave—are 123 victims of a 1944 Japanese massacre of POWs in the Philippines, and the remains of 41 unidentified marines who perished in a South Vietnam helicopter crash in 1968.
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.
Monuments and Memorials
The Fort Bellefontaine Monument is a red granite boulder that was donated in 1904 by the Daughters of the American Revolution in honor of the officers and soldiers who died at Fort Bellefontaine. Fort Bellefontaine was de-activated as a military post in 1826 and those interred in the post cemetery were re-interred at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. (OPS-1)
The Minnesota Monument is one of seven such monuments commissioned by the State of Minnesota in honor of officers and soldiers from that state who died during the Civil War. This particular monument, a bronze female figure, was the last to be erected, in 1922. The remaining six Minnesota monuments were constructed at the following national cemeteries: Vicksburg (1906-7) and Shiloh (1908), managed by the National Park Service; Marion, Ind. (1913), Memphis (1916), and Little Rock (1920).
In 1939, the remains of 175 officers and soldiers of the 56th U.S. Colored Troops Infantry were removed from a cemetery at the former Koch Quarantine Hospital in St. Louis, and re-interred at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. The men died of cholera in August 1866. The monument to the 56th USCT was moved from its original location at Koch hospital and re-erected with a new sandstone base, new dowels, and a new plaque. The monument was dedicated in May 19, 1939. (Section 57, Grave 15009)
A granite monument dedicated to the Unknown Dead of 1861-65 was erected in 1940 by the Annie Wittenmyer Tent No. 3, Daughters of Veterans, USA. Annie Wittenmyer lived from 1827 until 1900 and worked to bring food and supplies to wounded Union soldiers. Instrumental in reforming the horrific conditions in hospitals and battle camps, she was well respected by Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S Grant for her philanthropy and heroism. The monument measures 45" high and 36" wide. (Section 14)
The 35th Division Association donated a decorative water fountain to the cemetery on May 30, 1952. (Monument Drive)
Memorial to the Confederate Dead (1861-1865), erected by the Jefferson Barracks Civil War Historical Association-Missouri Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, and the Missouri Society Military Order of the Stars and Bars. Dedicated May 1, 1988. (Section 66)
The Memorial Chapel was built to remember the selfless acts of Americans to defend their love for God, Home, and Country. The Korean and Vietnam Gold Star Mothers and Fathers sponsored the building, dedicated to the ultimate sacrifice of all veterans. Dedicated in 1978, this is the first memorial chapel donated to a national cemetery. (Miravalle & Truman Drive)
Memorial to the Union Dead, erected by the Julia Dent Grant Tent # 16, Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Dedicated Sept. 17, 1995. (Between Sections 12 & 13)
Memorial to honor the women who helped Union forces in the Civil War, erected by the Julia Dent Grant Tent # 16, Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Dedicated June 2, 1996. (Section 13)
Blue Star Memorial Marker to honor the Armed Forces that have defended the United States of America, erected by East Central District of Federated Garden Clubs of Missouri. Dedicated April 26, 1998. (Flagstaff & Rostrum Drive)
Memorial to honor all women who served in Navy related service, erected by the Gateway WAVES Unit # 5. Dedicated May 9, 1998. (Flagstaff & Rostrum Drive)
Memorial dedicated to the memory of Merchant Marine Seamen and Navy Armed Guard, erected by the S.S. Samuel Parker Chapter, American Merchant Marine and Navy Armed Guard Veterans. Dedicated Nov. 11, 1998. (Flagstaff & Rostrum Drive)
Memorial dedicated to Remember All Who Served & Sacrificed within the Khe Sanh, Vietnam region, erected by the Khe Sanh Veterans. Dedicated July 16, 1999.
Memorial dedicated to all individuals who faithfully served with the 3rd Infantry Division - U.S. Army, erected by Russell Dunham, Outpost 17. Dedicated May 20, 2000. (Flagstaff & Rostrum Drive)
The 3rd Army Infantry and the Marines Memorial was dedicated to those who served their country with the U.S. Marine Corps since November 10, 1775. It was erected by the 1st Marine Division Association, St. Louis Chapter, and dedicated June 25, 2000. (Flagstaff & Rostrum Drive)
The carillon bell tower was erected as part of the AMVETS international carillon program to provide living memorials in honor of American veterans. At the time of installation, it was as described as "a very fine instrument [whose] beautiful tones can be heard throughout the entire cemetery and beyond."
On July 12, 2003, the U.S. Submarine Veteran’s Memorial stone was dedicated.
Dedicated to honor dead & all soldiers who served with the 82nd Airborne Infantry Division. Erected by the Gateway Chapter, 82nd Airborne Div Association. Dedicated Aug. 14, 2004. (Truman Drive)
Dedicated to the memory of those who served with the 4th Marine Division. Erected by Gateway Chapter # 29, 4th Marine Division. Dedicated Sept. 24, 2005. (Flagstaff & Rostrum Drive)
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Medal of Honor Burials
First Lieutenant Donald D. Pucket, (World War II), U.S. Army Air Corps, 98th Bombardment Group. Ploesti, Romania, July 9, 1944. (Group Burial, Section 84, Graves 270-272)
Lieutenant Commander Bruce Avery Van Voorhis, (World War II), U.S. Navy, Bombing Squadron 102 and PBUY-I Patrol Bomber. Greenwich Island, July 6, 1943. (Group Burial, Section 79, Graves 279-281)
First Sergeant Alonzo Stokes, (Indian War Campaign) 6th U.S. Calvary. Wichita River, Texas, July 12, 1870. (Section 63, Grave 11450)
Sergeant David Ryan, (Indian War Campaign) 5th U.S. Infantry. Cedar Creek, Mont., Oct. 21, 1876. (Section 59, Grave 11715)
Major Ralph Cheli, (World War II) U.S. Army Air Corps. New Guinea, Aug. 18, 1943. (Group Burial Section 78, Graves 930-934)
First Lieutenant (then Private) Martin Schubert, (Civil War) 26th New York Infantry, Company E. Fredericksburg, Va., Dec. 13, 1862. (Section 4, Grave 12310)
First Lieutenant (then Corporal) Lorenzo D. Immell, (Civil War) Company F, 2nd U.S. Artillery. Wilson’s Creek, Miss., Aug. 10, 1861. (Section 4, Grave 12342)
Private George Hobday, (Indian Campaigns) Company A, 7th U.S. Cavalry. Wounded Knee Creek, S.D., Dec. 29, 1890. (Section 59, Grave 11649)
There are 3,255 Unknowns interred in this cemetery.
The first known burial was Elizabeth Ann Lash, infant child of an officer stationed at Jefferson Barracks. (OPS-1, Grave 2229-A)
The 2-year old son of Lieutenant Zebulon Pike, famous soldier-explorer for whom the mountain peak in Colorado is named. (OPS-1, Grave 2288-E)
Major Aeneas MacKay, veteran of the War of 1812, Indian Wars, and Mexican War. (OPS-1,Grave 2287-B)
First Lieutenant Michael Joseph Blassie was interred in Arlington National Cemetery's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from May 28, 1984 to May 14, 1998. After DNA testing, Lieutenant Blassie's remains were identified and interred at Jefferson Barracks. (Section 85, Grave 1)
Sergeant Robert N. Lincoln, turret gunner of a B-17G Flying Fortress bomber, shot down on September 13, 1944 near Furth, Germany. By DNA testing, his remains were identified and returned for burial on June 30, 2000. (Section 84, Grave 193)
Second Lieutenant Sherman J. Andrews, Navigator/Bombardier of a B-24J Liberator bomber, lost over France on Dec. 11, 1944. By DNA testing, his remains were identified and returned for burial on Sept. 10, 2001. (Section 86, Grave 12A)
Private Richard Gentry was born in the Colony of Virginia on Sept. 26, 1763. A Private in the Continental Army at the age of 17, he was present at the capture of Lord Cornwallis at the Battle of Yorktown on Oct. 19, 1781. After the Revolution, he moved westward, fighting in the various Indian Wars. He died Feb. 12, 1843 near Richmond, Ky. He was removed to Jefferson Barracks on June 20, 1958. (OPS-2, Grave 2093-A)
Major Russell Bissell was born in the Colony of Connecticut and was a veteran of the Revolutionary and Indian Wars. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in the 2nd U.S. Infantry on March 4, 1791 and to the rank of Captain on Feb. 19, 1793. He transferred to the 1st U.S. Infantry on April 1, 1802, and was promoted to Major upon return to the 2nd U.S. Infantry on Dec. 9, 1807. He was the Commanding Officer at Fort Bellefontaine at the time of his death on Dec. 18, 1807. He was removed to Jefferson Barracks in April of 1904. (OPS-1, Grave 2289-B)
Colonel Thomas Hunt was born in the Colony of Massachusetts. He was a Sergeant in Captain Croft's Company of Minutemen at the Battle of Lexington and Concord in April 1775. On Jan. 1, 1776 he became a member of the 25th Continental Infantry and transferred to Jackson 19s Continental Regiment as a Captain on Feb. 1, 1777. Wounded at the Battle of Stoneypoint on July 16, 1779, he transferred to the 9th Massachusetts Regiment on Jan. 1, 1781, and was wounded again at the Battle of Yorktown on Oct. 14, 1781. After the Revolution he remained in the Army, transferring to the 3rd Massachusetts Regiment on Jan. 1, 1783 and returning to Jackson’s Continental Regiment as a Captain on Feb. 1, 1777. Wounded at the Battle of Stoneypoint on July 16, 1779, he transferred to the 9th Massachusetts Regiment on Jan. 1, 1781, and was wounded again at the Battle of Yorktown on Oct. 14, 1781. After the Revolution he remained in the Army, transferring to the 3rd Massachusetts Regiment on Jan. 1, 1783 and returning to Jackson 19s Continental Regiment in November 1783. He became a Captain in the 3rd U.S. Infantry on March 4, 1791 and was promoted to the rank of Major on Feb. 18, 1793. He was reassigned to the 1st U.S. Infantry on Nov. 1, 1796, promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on April 1, 1802 and Colonel on April 11, 1803. Colonel Hunt died Aug. 18, 1808 and was buried at Fort Bellefontaine. He was removed to Jefferson Barracks in April of 1904. (OPS-1, Grave 2289-C)
There are 1,140 Confederate Soldiers buried in Sections 19, 20, 21, 22, 66 and 67.
The lone female interred is Jane N. Foster from Randolph County, Arkansas, who died Nov. 4, 1864. (Section 20, Grave 4613)
John Lyden was a fireman on the Gunboat Star of the West. (Section 22, Grave 5257)
John Murraim was a conscript. Records from the time indicate he probably was a soldier detailed to gunboat service. (Section 20, Grave 4655)
Samuel Marion Dennis was founder of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at the University of Arkansas. (Section 21, Grave 4841)
Six Confederate Prisoners of War executed by the Union Army to avenge the death of Major James Wilson (Section 39, Grave 4319) and a six-man patrol executed by Confederate guerrillas under the command of Major Timothy Reeves during the battle of Pilot Knob on Oct. 3, 1864. (Section 20, Graves 4605-4610)
There are 15 Confederate Unknowns buried in the cemetery. Most of the Unknowns were reported as having died from smallpox and buried on Smallpox Island, from whence the remains were subsequently removed to Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. The individual graves on the island were not identifiable at the time of removal.
Two German and five Italian Prisoners of War are buried in Section 57 1/2.
German: Max Suemnick Grave 325 Gustave Pfarrerr Grave 326
Italian: Cirolamo Pugliesi Nicola DiSalvo Talete Vivaldi
Cesare Binetti Alfredo Ossemer (Graves 330-334)
There are approximately 564 Group Burials consisting of the remains of two or more service men interred in a common gravesite. The largest single group burial consists of 175 victims of the 56th United States Colored Infantry who died of cholera during August 1866. This burial is in Section 57, Grave 15008-15010. Other group burials are Sections 70, 78, 79, 81, 82, 84, 85 and Section B.
Sections MA, MB, MC and MD are Memorial Markers to commemorate those veterans whose remains were buried at sea, cremated with the remains scattered, non-recoverable, or whose bodies were donated to science.