National Cemetery Administration
North Alton Confederate Cemetery
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: Open daily from sunrise to sunset.
This cemetery is closed to interments.
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.
From St. Louis Airport (East Alton, Illinois) take State Highway 111 to Broadway Street. Turn right on Broadway Street. Follow Broadway Street to College Avenue. Turn left on College Avenue. Follow College Avenue to Piasa Street. Turn right on Piasa Street then bear left on Belle Street. Continue on Belle Street to Rozier Street. Turn right on Rozier Street and travel approximately 500 feet the entrance of the cemetery.
From the North: Interstate 55 South to Exit 30. Turn right towards Illinois-140. Continue straight on SR-111. Approximately four miles turn left onto Godfrey Road. Name changes to State Street. In .1 mile turn right onto Rozier. From the South: Interstate 255 north. Make left turn onto SR-143 (Edwardsville Road). Approximately three miles make right turn onto SR-3 (Lewis and Clark Boulevard). Road name changes to SR-111. 3.5 miles turn left onto Godfrey Road. This becomes State Street. Turn right onto Rozier.
From the West: Interstate 70 to Interstate 270 North. Interstate 270 to Exit 31B onto SR-367 (Lewis and Clark Boulevard). Changes to SR-67. Cross bridge and turn left onto Landmarks Boulevard. 1.3 miles turn left onto West 10th Street, then immediately turn right onto Belle Street. .9 miles turn left onto Rozier.
From the East: Interstate 70/St. Louis to Interstate 270/Kansas City. Take right on Interstate 255/Wood River. At exit 6 road name changes to 6. Turn left onto SR-143 (Edwardsville Road). Approximately three miles turn right onto SR-3 (Lewis and Clark Boulevard) Changes to SR-111. Make left turn onto Godfrey Road. Changes to State Street. Turn right onto Rozier.
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.
For information on scheduled burials in our national cemeteries, please go to the Daily Burial Schedule.
The private and community cemeteries that contain NCA soldiers' and government lots, and Confederate cemeteries, do not always have staffed offices on site. When administrative information for the larger cemetery is available, it is provided below.
This cemetery is overseen by Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.
Please contact the national cemetery for more information.
For educational materials and additional information on this cemetery, please visit the Education section, located below.
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.
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.
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.
The prison building in Alton, Illinois, was constructed in 1833 to serve as the Illinois State Prison. Located in a low area close to the Mississippi River, the State of Illinois abandoned the prison in 1860 at the urging of social reformer Dorthea Dix, who complained about the unhealthy conditions there.
Soon after the outbreak of the Civil War, the federal government re-opened the facility as a Confederate prison. The maximum capacity of Alton prison was estimated at 800; in the last year of the war it held close to 1,900 Confederate prisoners.
As in many Confederate prisons, the inmate population was ravaged by disease, and over the course of the war smallpox claimed the lives of hundreds of prisoners. In an attempt to minimize the number of smallpox deaths, prison officials quarantined those stricken with the disease in a hospital on Tow Head Island, in the Mississippi River. Prisoners who died of smallpox were buried on the island itself. In the years after the Civil War, frequent flooding of the river eroded all of the grave markers. Today, the location of the smallpox hospital and the burials is unknown.
Confederates who died from causes other than smallpox were interred two miles north of Alton, in an area known as “Buck Inn.” This became the official prison burial ground, and today is the location of the North Alton Confederate Cemetery.
Monuments and Memorials
A Confederate monument erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1909 marks the collective graves of the soldiers. The names of 1,354 Confederate soldiers who died in the prison or on Tow Head Island are inscribed on six bronze plaques attached to the 58' high granite obelisk.
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.