Santa Fe National Cemetery
Office Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed federal holidays except Memorial Day.
Visitation Hours: Sunrise to Sunset.
This cemetery has space available to accommodate casketed and cremated remains.
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 on the north side of Santa Fe. Travel north from Albuquerque on Interstate 25 – Take exit 276 (Santa Fe Bypass) and take a left at the light – approximately 15 miles follow signs for downtown Santa Fe – Move into left hand lane following sign for (downtown/Museums) – You will see the cemetery on your left – Immediately after crossing the overpass take the first left into the cemetery.
Traveling from south from Las Vegas on Interstate 25 – Take exit 282, St. Francis Drive/Plaza. Stay on St. Francis Drive and travel about eight miles and turn right onto Alamo Drive and follow to the stop sign. At stop sign go straight across Guadalupe Street directly into 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.
Santa Fe National Cemetery is a national shrine, which serves as a reminder of the untold histories of the veterans who helped preserve our freedom. Our director, office personnel, caretakers and specialists combine efforts toward learning, listening and compassion to better the organization.
At the Santa Fe National Cemetery the flag of the United States is proudly flown. The grounds are well-kept and orderly rows of headstones and monuments that commemorate the lives and services of those who, each in their own way and according to their talents and abilities, contributed to the growth, development and preservation of the Nation. A grateful Nation honors those who served it well.
Military Funeral Honors
The Santa Fe National Cemetery has available contacts for all branches of service that will perform Military Honors. In addition to the branches of service we can complement any service locally from Santa Fe with the New Mexico Army National Guard Honor Guard Team as well as the VFW. Contact your funeral director or call the Santa Fe National Cemetery for contact numbers.
Fresh cut flowers may be placed on graves at any time. Metal and plastic temporary flower containers are permitted. Glass Vases are not permitted.
Permanent vases are no longer permitted and will not be replaced or repaired.
Artificial flowers may be placed on graves only during the period from Nov. 1 to April 1.
Potted plants and artificial flowers will be permitted on graves during the period 10 days before and 10 days after Easter Sunday and Memorial Day. Plantings will not be permitted on graves at any times.
Christmas wreaths, grave blankets and other seasonal adornments are permitted on the graves from Dec. 1 and will be removed on Jan. 20. They may not be secured to headstones or markers.
Trees are the property of the cemetery and are not to be decorated with Christmas ornaments.
Statues, vigil lights, glass objects, floral items, candles, other flammable items and mementos of any kind are not permitted on the headstones and markers or gravesites at any time.
The cemetery will decorate each grave prior to Memorial Day with small gravesite flags, which will be removed the day after Memorial Day. Flags are not permitted on graves at any other time.
Floral items will be removed from graves as soon as they become faded and unsightly. During the mowing and ground maintenance season, all unsightly floral items will be removed each Friday.
All items placed on gravesites become the property of the U.S. Government and will be disposed of under Federal Regulations. Flowers are placed at your own risk. They will not be replaced by the cemetery if they are damaged, lost or stolen.
For further information please contact the Administration Office.
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.
Santa Fe National Cemetery is located within the city limits of Santa Fe, N.M., approximately one mile northwest of the main plaza.
Thirteen years before the Pilgrims settled in Plymouth Colony, the Spanish had established a small settlement in Santa Fe, N.M. Santa Fe would soon become the seat of power for the Spanish Empire north of the Rio Grande and the oldest capital city in North America. Santa Fe is the site of both the oldest public building in America, the Palace of the Governors, and the nation's oldest community celebration, the Santa Fe Fiesta, established in 1712 to commemorate the Spanish reconquest of New Mexico in summer 1692. Conquistador Don Pedro de Peralta and his men laid out the plan for Santa Fe at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains on the site of the ancient Pueblo ruin of Kaupoge, or “place of shell beads near the water.”
When Mexico gained its independence from Spain, Santa Fe became the capital of the province of New Mexico. With the Spanish defeat came an end to the policy of a closed empire; American trappers and traders journeyed into the region along the 1,000 mile Santa Fe trail beginning in Arrow Rock, Mo. For a brief period in 1837, northern New Mexico farmers rebelled against Mexican rule, killing the provincial governor in what has been called the Chimayó Rebellion, and occupying the capital. The insurrectionists were soon defeated and peace returned to Santa Fe for almost a decade.
In 1846, at the outset of the Mexican-American War, President James K. Polk asked General Stephen Watts Kearny to muster an army and march 1,000 miles into the Southwest to claim that region for the United States and organize territorial governments along the way. Kearny, faced with a Mexican administration weakened by years of occupation and political turmoil, was able to take Santa Fe without firing a shot. In quick succession, he won over the local leadership, assured a peaceful transition to a new civilian government and implemented a new legal code for the territory before continuing on to Arizona and California.
While there was little armed conflict in the territory of New Mexico during the Civil War, there were some engagements in the area of Santa Fe. Confederate General Henry H. Sibley raised and equipped a column to secure the secessionist claims in the New Mexico and Arizona region. Undermanned, often commanded by secessionist sympathizers and largely abandoned, the U.S. installations in the region were initially unable to defend themselves. News of the Confederate advance into New Mexico quickly raised volunteers from the Colorado Territory who took up the march. In addition, a large "California column" was raised to help defend the city of Santa Fe.
Toward the end of March 1862, Union Major John M. Chivington encountered a Confederate force southeast of the city, where the Santa Fe Trail crossed the mountains. Several days of skirmishes culminated in a battle at Glorieta Pass. Although the Confederates held their own, several hundred Union soldiers moved to the far end of the canyon and attacked the unprotected supply train. After bayoneting the pack animals and burning the wagons, the Union forces left Sibley's men little choice but to make the long trek back to Texas. The campaign not only ended Southern ambitions in the Southwest but it also forced the Confederate abandonment of Fort Bliss outside El Paso, Texas.
At the close of the Civil War, the federal government established a cemetery for the reinterment of Union soldiers who died during the brief military activity in the area. The ground initially chosen was located just west of Santa Fe and is currently part of Santa Fe National Cemetery. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Santa Fe, who owned the property, donated the land to the United States in 1870. Santa Fe’s initial designation as a national cemetery was short lived. In July 1876, the War Department decided that, to save expenses, its status should be downgraded to that of a post cemetery. The superintendent was transferred to Mound City National Cemetery, Ill., and the quartermaster was transferred to Fort Macy, a local post in Santa Fe. Nine years later, however, it was re-established as a national cemetery.
Monuments and Memorials
A granite and bronze memorial to World War II Glider Pilots was dedicated on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 1994.
A granite memorial to Women Who Served in the Navy was erected in November 1995. The Roadrunner Unit No. 4, New Mexico Chapter, sponsored the memorial.
The China-Burma-India Veterans Memorial is a granite block memorial erected in 2002. It is dedicated to the memory of the men and women who fought in World War II.
Ft. Craig Post Cemetery Memorial is dedicated to the men, women and children who perished at Fort Craig, New Mexico, in the late 1800s. Soldiers stationed there conducted military campaigns against the Apaches and Navajos and, during the Civil War, engaged the Texas Army in the Battle of Valverde in February 1862. Dedicated July 2009.
A granite and bronze memorial to Glorietta Pass Confederate Dead was erected April 1993.
Medal of Honor Recipients
Santa Fe National Cemetery is also the burial place of nine Medal of Honor recipients whose surnames are a cross section of New Mexican heritage.
Yuma Indian and Army Scout Sergeant Y. B. Rowdy, (Indian Campaigns), Company A, Indian Scouts. May 15, 1890 (Section A, Grave 894).
Private Edwin L. Elwood, (Indian Campaigns), Company G, 8th U.S. Cavalry. Chiricahua Mountains, Ariz., Oct. 20, 1869 (Section H, Grave 705).
Watertender Edward A. Clary, U.S. Navy. On board the U.S.S. Hopkins, Feb. 14, 1910 (Section O, Grave 335).
Corporal Jacob Gunther, (Indian Campaigns), Company E, 8th U.S. Cavalry. Arizona, 1868 and 1869 (Section A-3, Grave 1055).
First Lieutenant Alexander Bonnyman, Jr., (World War II), U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. Gilbert Islands, Nov. 20-22, 1943 (Section MA, Grave 84).
Private First Class Jose F. Valdez, (World War II), U.S. Army, Company B, 7th Infantry, 3rd Infantry Division. Near Rosenkrantz, France, Jan. 25, 1945 (Section Q, Grave 29).
Specialist Fourth Class Daniel D. Fernandez, (Vietnam), U.S. Army, Company C, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry (mechanized) 25th Infantry Division. Cu Chi, Hau Nghia Province, Republic of Vietnam, Feb. 18, 1966 (Section S, Grave 246).
Captain Robert S. Scott, (World War II), U.S. Army, 172nd Infantry, 43rd Infantry Division. Near Munda Air Strip, New Georgia, Solomon Islands, July 29, 1943 (Section 9, Grave 460).
Second Lieutenant Raymond G. "Jerry" Murphy, (Korean War), U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein). Korea, Feb. 3, 1953 (Section S, Grave 282).
Initial interments at the cemetery site were the remains of 265 U.S. soldiers from the battlefields of Glorieta, Koslouskys and Fort Marcy.
Subsequent to its second designation in 1892 as a national cemetery, Santa Fe National Cemetery was chosen as the final resting place for the mortal remains of many soldiers who had served and died at the lonely outpost of the southwestern frontier. Remains from the post cemeteries at Fort Apache and Fort Grant, Ariz.; Fort Hatch and Fort Wingate, N.M.; and Fort Duchesne, Utah, are reinterred in this cemetery.
The remains of Governor Charles Bent, the first American governor of the Territory of New Mexico, were among 47 bodies removed in 1895 from the old Masonic Cemetery in Santa Fe to the national cemetery. Governor Bent was killed on Jan. 19, 1847, in an Indian uprising at Taos. The remains of five Confederate soldiers, who died in April 1862, were also among those removed from the Masonic Cemetery to Santa Fe National Cemetery.
On June 23, 1987, the remains of 31 Confederate soldiers (ranging in age from 17 to 42) of the 4th, 5th, and 7th Regiments of the Texas Mounted Volunteers, who were killed or died as a result of wounds during the Battle of Glorieta Pass, March 28, 1862, were discovered in a mass grave on the New Mexico Battlefield of Glorieta Pass. Three soldiers were identified and reinterred in separate graves. The remains of 28 Confederate soldiers who could not be identified are buried in Section K, Grave 330C. A monument honors these confederate soldiers who were reinterred at the Santa Fe National Cemetery on April 25, 1993.
Santa Fe National Cemetery is the burial place of Major General Patrick J. Hurley, Secretary of War in the cabinet of President Herbert Hoover. He served with distinction in World Wars I and II, and as U.S. Ambassador to China during the period of 1944-45. General Hurley died on July 30, 1963 and was interred with full military honors in Section S, Grave 149.
The cemetery is also the burial place of Oliver LaFarge who won a Pulitzer Prize for literature in 1930 for his book "Laughing Boy," a story of an Indian youth caught between his tribe's traditional life and forces of modern society. He was the author of many books and articles concerning the American Indian and was a special friend and champion of the Navajo Indians in New Mexico and Arizona. LaFarge served as a Lt. Col. with the Army Air Force during World War II. He died on Aug. 2, 1963, and was interred in Section O, Grave 300 on Aug. 5, 1963.
Also buried at the Santa Fe National Cemetery is Warrant Officer John W. Frink, MIA from 1972-1994, who was interred with his father, Harry Wallace Frink, in Section O, Grave 371 on May 25, 1994.