National Cemetery Administration
Timeline: Civil War and National Cemeteries (1870)
March 12 Secretary of War William Belknap submits an inspection report of national cemeteries to the Senate. This valuable report is one of the earliest studies of the cemetery system as a whole.
and municipal cemeteries. Courtesy of the U.S. Army Military History Institute.
August 2 In a letter to General Meigs, the noted landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted suggested that national cemeteries should be "studiously simple ... the main object should be to establish permanent dignity and tranquility ... a sacred grove--sacredness being expressed in the enclosing wall and in the perfect tranquility of the trees within." As a result of Olmsted's recommendations, trees, shrubs, and flowers beds embellished the sacred grounds of national cemeteries.
Left, New Bern National Cemetery, 1884. William Garrison Reed Photo Album, courtesy of the New Bern-Craven County Public Library. Right, Frederick Law Olmsted, 1893. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.