National Cemetery Administration
Bath National Cemetery
Visitation Hours: Open daily from sunrise to sunset.
Office Hours: Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed federal holidays.
This cemetery has space available to accommodate casketed remains. Burial of cremated remains are available in the columbarium or traditional in ground.
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 Rochester, NY, take Interstate 390 south to Interstate 86 east approximately 80 miles. From Binghamton, NY, take Interstate 86 west approximately 95 miles. Take Bath, NY, exit #38. The cemetery is located on the west side of the Bath VA Medical Center located in the village of Bath. Once on the VA Medical Center grounds, stay on the main road until you reach the corner of San Juan and Argonne. Turn right and proceed up the hill to the left.
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.
Military Funeral Honors
The cemetery staff can assist funeral homes by providing the telephone numbers for the Military Funeral Honors contacts.
Military Funeral Honors are organized under the Department of Defense and should be arranged by the funeral director. In the event there is not a funeral director involved in making arrangements please refer to the telephone numbers listed below or contact your local American Legion or VFW.
Air Force: 716-236-3182 or 518-344-2586
Army and National Guard: Phone: 585-783-5356 / Fax: 716-374-3269
Coast Guard: 216-902-6117
Marine Corps: 866-826-3628
Navy and Merchant Marine: 860-694-3475
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. 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 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 will be allowed on graves from October 15 to April 15. Artificial flowers and potted plants may be placed on graves for a period extending 10 days before through 10 days after Easter Sunday and Memorial Day.
Christmas wreaths, grave blankets and other seasonal adornments may be placed on graves from December 1 through January 31. 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.
Permanent items removed from graves will be placed in an inconspicuous holding area for two weeks 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 the 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.
Bath National Cemetery is located in Steuben County, NY, adjacent to the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
The cemetery was originally a part of the New York State Soldiers and Sailors Home, which was established in 1877; the cemetery was dedicated in December 25, 1879. In 1930, the Soldiers and Sailors Home and cemetery became two integrated components of the Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC). When 82 national cemeteries were transferred from the Department of Army to the Veterans Administration in 1973, the Bath VAMC cemetery became part of the National Cemetery System and was designated appropriately.
Bath is the final resting place of the "first and oldest" U.S. MIAs (Missing in Action). On October 26, 1987, an archeologist discovered a skeleton during the construction of a house in Fort Erie, Canada. Scientists and military historians were subsequently sent to investigate the site and ultimately, they discovered 28 remains. The bones were initially believed to be remains of the area's indigenous population. The discovery of buttons, however, led authorities to believe that the men buried at the site were British soldiers.
The 28 soldiers had been interred in a traditional manner, lying east-west with hand crossed; this indicates that they had been buried during a lull in the fighting by fellow soldiers rather than the enemy. Further investigation by the military indicated that the men had fought during the Niagara Campaign with clashes at Chippaw and Lundy's Lane before they died at Snake Hill, a battery overlooking Fort Erie. The Department of the Army, working with Canadian officials, held a repatriation ceremony at Fort Erie, Canada, on June 30, 1988 and the soldiers were reinterred with full military honors.
Monuments and Memorials
The 40-foot high granite Preservation of the Union Monument whose benefactor, Samuel Dietz, was dedicated to Civil War soldiers and sailors. It was erected in 1892.
The 1812 monument marks the location of 28 soldiers from the War of 1812 who were repatriated from another site and re-interred at the cemetery in 1988.
Medal of Honor Recipients
The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force that can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. Recipients receive the Medal of Honor from the president on behalf of Congress. It was first awarded during the Civil War and eligibility criteria for the Medal of Honor have changed over time.
Recipients buried or memorialized here:
Corporal George M. Grueb (Civil War). He received the Medal of Honor while serving in the U.S. Army, Company E, 158th New York Infantry, for gallantry at Chapin's Farm, Virginia, September 29, 1864. Grueb died in 1893 and is buried in Section A, Row 2, Site 3.
Sergeant John Kiggins (Civil War). He received the Medal of Honor while serving in the U.S. Army, Company D, 149th New York Infantry, for actions at Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, November 24, 1863. Kiggins died in 1914 and is buried in Section H, Row 32, Site 9.
Private George Ladd (Civil War). He received the Medal of Honor while serving in the U.S. Army, Company H, 22nd New York Cavalry, for actions at Waynesboro, Virginia, March 2, 1865. Ladd died on August 13, 1889 and is buried in Section C, Row 6, Site 6.
Sergeant Charles E. Morse (Civil War). He received the Medal of Honor while serving in the U.S. Army, Company I, 62nd New York Infantry, for actions at Wilderness, Virginia, May 5, 1864. He was born in France, and enlisted in June 1861. Morse died in 1920 and is buried in Section J, Row 4, Site 24.
Private James Roberts (Civil War). He received the Medal of Honor while serving in the U.S. Navy for actions on board the U.S.S. Agawam, December 23,1864. Roberts also served in the U.S. Army, Company K, 8th Connecticut Infantry. Private Roberts died in 1908 and is buried in Section I, Row 26, Site 2.
Private Robert Knox Sneden, noted for his paintings/drawings of the battles and leaders of the Civil War. His scrapbook albums are on display at the Virginia Historical Society (Section J, Row 11, Site 14).
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 Bath National Cemetery.
Visit the Veterans Legacy Program and NCA History Program for additional information. Thank you for your interest.