National Cemetery Administration
Baxter Springs City Cemetery Soldiers' Lot
Office Hours: Monday thru Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Closed federal holidays except Memorial Day.
Visitation Hours: Open daily from sunrise to sunset.
This soldiers' lot 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.
From Kansas City International Airport, take Interstate 29 South 9.4 miles to Interstate 635 South. Travel Interstate 635 South for 12.3 miles. Bear right onto Interstate 35 South. Travel on Interstate 35 South for 4.7 miles, and then merge onto US 69 South for approximately 127 miles. Turn slight right onto US 69 ALT for 11.2 miles. US 69 ALT turns into Military Avenue when entering Baxter Springs. At 12th Street and Military Avenue, turn right onto US 166 West. Cemetery is approximately two miles on the right. Baxter Springs Soldier's Lot is located inside the Baxter Springs City Cemetery.
From Joplin Regional Airport, start out going west on Demott/MO-171 toward Elm Street. Turn slight left onto MO-43/N Main Street Road. Continue to follow MO-43 for 4.1 miles. Turn right onto MO-66 West. Continue to follow MO-66 West 11.4 miles. Turn left onto US-69 ALT. US 69 ALT turns into Military Avenue when entering Baxter Springs. At 12th Street and Military Avenue, turn right onto US 166 West. Cemetery is approximately two miles on the right. Baxter Springs Soldier's Lot is located inside the Baxter Springs City Cemetery.
From Fort Scott National Cemetery, take US 69 South approximately 45 miles. Turn slight right onto US 69 ALT for 11.2 miles. US 69 ALT turns into Military Avenue when entering Baxter Springs. At 12th Street and Military Avenue, turn right onto US 166 West. Cemetery is approximately two miles on the right. Baxter Springs Soldier's Lot is located inside the Baxter Springs City 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.
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 soldiers' lot is overseen by the Leavenworth 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.
Cemetery policies are conspicuously posted and readily visible to the public.
Floral arrangements accompanying the casket or urn at the time of burial will be placed on the completed grave. Fresh-cut flowers may be placed on graves at any time of the year. Cemetery visitors are free to use flower containers located in receptacles placed throughout the grounds. Flowers are picked up on Mondays from March 15 through November 15. Please check flower pickup sign at the entrance.
Artificial flowers and potted plants will be permitted on graves during periods when their presence will not interfere with grounds maintenance. As a general rule, artificial flowers and potted plants will be allowed on graves for a period extending seven days before through seven days after Easter Sunday and Memorial Day.
Christmas wreaths, grave blankets and other seasonal adornments may be placed on graves from Dec. 1 through Jan. 20. They may not be secured to headstones or markers.
Permanent plantings, statues, flags, vigil lights, breakable objects, balloons, pin wheels, shepherd hooks 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.
Permanent items removed from graves will be placed in an inconspicuous holding area for one month prior to disposal. Decorative items removed from graves remain the property of the donor but are under the custodianship of the cemetery. If not retrieved by donor, 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.
Baxter Springs Soldiers' Lot is located in the north-central portion of the city cemetery in Baxter Springs, Kansas, approximately 60 miles south of Fort Scott. The cemetery may have been in use before the city of Baxter Springs was incorporated in 1868.
The city of Baxter Springs donated the 0.7-acre soldiers' lot to the United States incrementally after the Civil War in 1869, 1875, 1877, and 1887. The earliest burials in the plot include 132 Union soldiers and officers killed on October 6, 1863, during the Battle of Baxter Springs. The battle, often referred to as the Baxter Springs Massacre, was just one of many murderous attacks on Kansas free-state citizens by the independent force of Confederate guerillas led by the ruthless border ruffian, William Clarke Quantrill.
The federal government intended to remove the bodies of the men who died during the massacre to Springfield National Cemetery, but the citizens of Baxter Springs petitioned to keep them. As part of the arrangement to retain the burials, the city of Baxter Springs donated the tract of land to the government and agreed to keep the graves in good order.
Monuments and Memorials
In 1886, the federal government erected a large marble and granite monument at the soldiers' lot in memory of the men killed in the Battle of Baxter Springs, as well as soldiers and officers killed in other nearby engagements. Funds were appropriated to build the monument after the local Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) post launched a petition drive in 1885, collecting signatures from more than 7,000 veterans. The monument was fabricated by Mitchell Granite Works of Quincy, Massachusetts, at a cost of $4,000. Dedicated on Decoration Day 1886, the monument is inscribed with the names of 163 soldiers and officers, including the names of the 132 soldiers killed during the Battle of Baxter Springs. The monument is over 20 feet high and is surmounted with a marble statue of a Union soldier at parade rest. Four 1853 24-pound siege-gun cannons, mounted in concrete bases, are located within the monument's perimeter, one at each corner.
More than half of VA's national cemeteries originated with the Civil War and many are closed to some burials. Other sites were established to serve World War veterans and they continue to expand. Historic themes related with NCA's cemeteries and soldiers' lots vary, but visitors should understand "Why is it here?" NCA began by installing interpretive signs, or waysides, at more than 100 properties to observe the Civil War Sesquicentennial (2011-2015). Please follow the links below to see the interpretive signs for Baxter Springs Soldiers' Lot.
Visit the Veterans Legacy Program and NCA History Program for additional information. Thank you for your interest.