National Cemetery Administration
Fort McPherson National Cemetery
Office Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed federal holidays except Memorial Day.
Visitation Hours: Open daily from dawn until dusk.
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 south spur 56A, four miles south of Maxwell, or two miles south of exit 190 on I-80. The nearest commercial airport is Lee Bird Field, 11 miles west of Maxwell on Highway 30. Access to 56A is gained from Highway 30 through Maxwell or from I-80, exit 190.
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.
Grave Location: At the time of interment, we will provide a packet to the next of kin that includes a map of the cemetery with the grave location information. To locate graves of others who are buried here, please visit our public information center where you will find both automated and printed grave locators. To locate gravesites of veterans elsewhere, please visit the VA locator at http://gravelocator.cem.va.gov/. To locate gravesites of service members buried overseas, visit the American Battle Monuments Commission at http://www.abmc.gov/home.php.
Military Funeral Honors
Any veteran who is buried in a national cemetery is entitled to military funeral honors that include folding and presentation of the U.S. flag to the next of kin and the playing of Taps. The flag detail will include two members of the armed forces, at least one of whom is from the branch of service in which the veteran served. A rifle volley may be provided if a qualified rifle detail is available. A volunteer rifle detail is available in North Platte and can be scheduled through the funeral home or by calling (308) 534-4350 ext. 267. Members of the armed forces can be scheduled through the funeral home or by calling the following numbers:
Army (785) 239-3741
Marine Corps (866) 826-3628
Navy (877) 478-3988
Air Force (402) 294-6667
Coast Guard (314) 539-3900
The Department of Veterans Affairs does not provide military funeral honors and, while our staff is always willing to assist families in any way possible, the Department of Defense is responsible for providing military funeral honors. Additional information may be found at www.militaryfuneralhonors.osd.mil/hnrs/owa/director.show_select or by writing to the following address:
Department of Defense
Directorate for Public Inquiry and Analysis
Room 3A750 The Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1400
Cemetery policies are conspicuously posted and readily visible to the public.
Up to three floral arrangements accompanying the casket or urn at the time of burial will be placed on the completed grave. Natural cut flowers may be placed on graves at any time of the year. They will be removed when they become unsightly or when it becomes necessary to facilitate cemetery operations such as mowing.
Artificial flowers are permitted on graves from November through March. Artificial flowers are permitted on graves for a period extending 7 days before through 7 days after Easter Sunday and Memorial Day. Potted plants are permitted on graves on Easter and Memorial Day through the following Thursday.
Christmas wreaths not to exceed 18 inches, floral blankets not to exceed 2 feet x 3 feet and other seasonal adornments may be placed on graves from December 1st through January 20. They may not be secured to headstones or markers.
Permanent plantings, statues, vigil lights, breakable objects and similar items are not permitted on the graves. The Department of Veterans Affairs does not permit adornments that are considered offensive, inconsistent with the dignity of the cemetery or considered hazardous to cemetery personnel. For example, items incorporating beads or wires may become entangled in mowers or other equipment and cause injury.
Items removed from graves remain the property of the donor but are under the custodianship of the cemetery. If not retrieved by the donor within 30 days, they are then governed by the rules for disposal of federal property.
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.
Built in 1863, Fort McPherson was established to ensure peace along the western frontier between the immigrants traveling along the Oregon Trail and the Native American inhabitants. The troops originally stationed at the post provided military protection from hostile Native Americans during the construction of the railroad.
To meet the burial needs of the soldiers stationed at the post, a cemetery was established early in its history. The old post burial ground was later moved to southwest of the post and some 50 remains were moved to this location.
Establishment of the 20-acre Fort McPherson National Cemetery in 1873 afforded the space to relocate remains from the cemeteries abandoned when the number of settlers decreased. Burial records testify that life on the frontier was full of hardships and dangers similar to battlefield camps during times of war.
The cemetery lodge was built in 1876 and rehabilitated in 1951 and 2000. About one mile southeast of the cemetery a monument marks the site of the flagstaff of the old military post. Another monument marks the route used by the Pony Express over the Oregon Trail, which passes through the cemetery.
The cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 5, 2012.
Monuments and Memorials
The cemetery has a digital carillon system that was donated by the Nebraska chapters of the American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion. The carillon rings during the week to mark the time of day and plays selected devotional music on the weekend.
Medal of Honor Recipients
Fort McPherson National Cemetery is the final resting place for four recipients of our nation’s highest award for valor in military combat. The date shown for each man is the date of the combat engagement for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor. An asterisk (*) in front of the name indicates the award was posthumous and that the recipient was killed in action.
Private Daniel A. Miller, (Indian Campaigns) Company F, 3rd. U.S. Cavalry. Whetstone Mountains, Ariz., May 5, 1871 (Section A, Grave 380).
Sergeant Emanuel Stance, (Indian Campaigns) Company F, 9th U.S. Cavalry. Kickapoo Springs, Texas, May 20, 1870 (Section F, Grave 1040).
Sergeant George Jordon, (Indian Campaigns) Company K, 9th U.S. Cavalry. Fort Tularosa, N.M., May 14, 1880 (Section F, Grave 1131).
*Private First Class James W. Fous, (Vietnam) U.S. Army, Company E, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. Kien Hoa Province, Republic of Vietnam, May 14, 1968 (Section G, Grave 685).
Fort McPherson National Cemetery is the final resting place for 63 Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th and 10th Cavalry. The soldiers were all buried at Fort Robinson, Nebraska, and were relocated to Fort McPherson National Cemetery in 1947 when Fort Robinson was deactivated.
Fort McPherson National Cemetery has served as the final resting place for American men and women who have served their country at many different times in many wars throughout the years. In some instances positive identification has been impossible due to the circumstances of the deaths. There are 81 group burials at Fort McPherson National Cemetery, which represent 350 Americans who gave the supreme sacrifice.
In section A, graves 384-389 contain the remains of six members of Company F, 3rd U.S. Cavalry: Edward Doe, Louis Cohn, Theodore Froendle, Dennis Mahony, Daniel Taylor and William Mars, who were drowned on May 31, 1873 in a flash flood which swept through their campsite on Blackwood Creek in the Republican River Valley.
Pvt. Cyrus Fox, 7th Iowa Infantry, was the last surviving Union veteran of the Civil War in Lincoln County, Nebraska. Pvt. Fox, who died in 1942, served under General McPherson for whom the cemetery is named (Section C, Grave 1270).”
An impressive white marble monument marks the group burial of 28 enlisted soldiers who were killed in an encounter with the Sioux on August 19, 1854 near Fort Laramie, Wyoming Territory. The incident, commonly known as the Grattan Massacre after Lt. John L. Grattan who led the soldiers, is generally considered by historians to be the opening salvo in a 36 year period of intermittent hostilities between the U.S. and the Sioux Nation, ending with the massacre at Wounded Knee, South Dakota in 1890. Lt. Grattan is interred at Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery in Kansas.