To schedule a burial: 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 grave location of your loved one is furnished on the map included in the burial document folder. There is a grave locator in front of the Maintenence Building adjacent to the visitor parking area 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 that appear to need immediate corrective action should be brought to the attention of the Cemetery Director.
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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Springfield National Cemetery is located on what was once the Kickapoo Prairie in Green County, Mo.
Settlers began arriving in southwest Missouri in 1822, making their way north up the James River and its tributaries. But it was only after removal of the Kickapoo and Delaware Indians in 1830 that permanent settlement became possible. John Polk Campbell is credited as the founder of Springfield. He arrived with his brother Madison in 1829, and upon finding a viable water supply carved his initials on an ash tree to establish his claim. Other settlers arrived almost daily and it was not long before a settlement developed, complete with stores, mills, a school and post office. By 1838 the town had been officially incorporated.
In 1861, Springfield was the site of the Missouri State Convention to determine its future as part of the Union. The governor favored secession. Delegates urged approval of the Crittendon Resolutions (then before Congress), which would have legalized slavery where it already existed, and would let new states decide their own rights and would reimburse slave owners for losses caused by abolitionist raids. Delegates ultimately decided against secession and opposed any military action by either side; but if the federal government declared war on the South, they would join the Confederate ranks.
The Battle of Wilson Creek, the first major Civil War engagement west of the Mississippi River, was fought in Springfield on Aug. 10, 1861, and involved about 5,400 Union troops and 12,000 Confederates. Although the battle was a Confederate victory, the South failed to capitalize on its success; it led to greater federal military activity in Missouri and set the stage for the Battle of Pea Ridge in March 1862.
Many men who died at the Battle of Wilson Creek would eventually be buried at Springfield National Cemetery, established in 1867 when the city purchased five acres for a burial plot. In 1911, the Confederate Cemetery Association (CCA) donated six acres, two of which were enclosed by a stone wall. Along with the land came the provision that burials would be restricted to men who died serving the Confederacy. Through a series of amendments to this provision in 1948, 1957 and 1984, all eligible veterans are now permitted in this portion of the cemetery. An 1871 cemetery inspection report recorded 832 known and 689 unknown interments in the cemetery. It continued, “A very worthless superintendent was in charge last year, and the cemetery was sadly neglected. This year it has been put in good order.”
Springfield National Cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.
Monuments and Memorials
The U.S. government erected a marble pillar in 1888 in memory of Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, a Union officer during the Civil War.
On Aug. 10, 1901, a monument in the form of a bronze figure was dedicated in honor of Missouri soldiers and Gen. Sterling Price, a Confederate officer during the Civil War. The sculptor was Chevalier Trentanove of Italy. The United Confederate Veterans of Missouri sponsored the monument.
The Union Memorial, also known as the T.J. Bailey monument, was erected in 1907. A lone infantry soldier stands atop its pedestal.
A small granite marker was dedicated Sept. 27, 1958, in honor of the unknown Confederate dead who fell in the Battle of Wilson’s Creek.
A small granite slab marks the location of a time capsule that was buried by the Lakes Counties 4H clubs during the Bicentennial in 1976. The time capsule will be opened on America’s tri-centennial.
The Battle of Wilson Creek Memorial is a bronze tablet mounted on the rostrum. The memorial commemorates 501 Confederate soldiers who died of wounds or sickness at the Battles of Wilson Creek and Springfield.
A granite and bronze monument erected in honor of Pearl Harbor survivors was dedicated on Aug. 8, 1992.
The Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution memorial is a granite monument dedicated in memory of patriots of the Continental Army or militia that gave their lives during the Revolutionary War. The memorial was installed in 1999.
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Medal of Honor Recipients
Sergeant Harrison Collins, (Civil War), Company A, 1st Tennessee Cavalry. At Richland Creek, Tenn., Dec. 24, 1864 (Section 26, Grave 1357B).
Captain Patrick Pentzer, (Civil War), Company C, 97th Illinois Infantry. Blakely, Ala., April 9, 1865 (Section 24, Grave 1696).
Corporal Orion P. Howe, (Civil War), Company C, 55th Illinois Infantry. Vicksburg, Miss., May 19, 1863 (Section 4, Grave 207A).
Pharmacist’s Mate Third Class Jack Williams, (World War II), U.S. Naval Reserve. Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, March 3, 1945 (Section 30, Grave 2375).
Pharmacist’s Mate Chief Petty Officer Fred H. McGuire, (Action Against Outlaws – Philippines, 1911) U.S. Navy. Island of Basilan, Philippines Islands, Sept. 24, 1911 (Section 29, Grave 332).
The following Buffalo Soldiers are buried at the cemetery:
James McBroom, Section 29, Grave 26
Arthur Wilburn, Section 29, Grave 21
Johnnie L. Burston, Section 29, Grave 30
Ed G. Rickman, Section 29, Grave 495
Pryor Sharp, Section 29, Grave 466
Other notable burials in the cemetery include:
William Freeman, Revolutionary War, Section 23, Grave 1312A
Malinda M. Moon, Civil War Nurse, Section 1, Grave 1-A
Major General Ralph E. Truman, Spanish American War, World Wars I & II, Section 30, Grave 2073.
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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.
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.
Floral items will be removed from graves as soon as they become withered, faded, or unsightly.
During the lawn mowing and ground maintenance season all floral items will be removed from graves when unsightly.
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.
All graves will be decorated with small flags by the national cemetery staff prior to Memorial Day. 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 that the donor can later identify them, if needed. Wind sometimes will move arrangements off of the gravesites and this will help our employees to relocate them.
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