National Cemetery Administration
Corinth National Cemetery
Visitation Hours: Open daily from 8:00 a.m. to sunset.
Office Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed federal holidays except Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
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.
Cemetery is located in the Southern section of Corinth. From Memphis International Airport, travel north on Parking toward Winchester Road. Turn left onto Airport Exit. Turn slight left to take ramp toward Interstate 240. Merge onto Plough Road. Merge onto Interstate 240 east toward Nashville. Merge onto Bill Morris Parkway/TN-385 East via exit number 16. Merge onto US-72 E approximately 67 miles to Corinth, Mississippi. Turn left onto S. Johns Street and travel about three blocks. S. Johns Street is located 1 ½ miles east of Highway 72 and Highway 45 intersection. Turn left onto Horton Street. Entrance is on the right. Total distance from the airport to the cemetery is approximately 90 miles.
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.
Memphis National Cemetery supervises Corinth National Cemetery. Questions may be answered by contacting the Cemetery Director, Memphis National Cemetery, 3568 Townes Ave., Memphis, TN 38122. Phone: (901) 386-8311.
A burial register is available on the grounds for grave location assistance.
The graves are decorated annually on Memorial Day and the grounds are enhanced by many volunteers.
The Corinth National Cemetery is situated in Alcorn County, approximately three-fourths (3/4) mile southeast from the Alcorn County Courthouse at Corinth, Mississippi, and can be reached by U.S. Highway No. 72. The cemetery is a point of interest to the tourist not only as a shrine of our heroic dead, but also as a Memorial to one of the important battles of the Civil War.
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.
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 10 days before through 10 days after Easter Sunday and Memorial Day.
During the lawn mowing and grounds maintenance season, all floral items will be removed from graves on the first and third Fridays of each month. All floral items will be removed when they become unsightly. Christmas wreaths, grave blankets and other seasonal adornments may be placed on graves from December 1 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.
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 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.
Corinth National Cemetery is located in Alcorn County, within the city limits of Corinth, MS. In 1854, the citizens of Tishomingo County, MS, invited both the Mobile & Ohio and the Memphis & Charleston rail companies to build track through their jurisdiction. The companies quickly accepted the offer and within a year the surveys were complete. The proposed routes for the new lines crossed at a right angle on a section of property owned by William Lasley. Lasley sold the land and a town quickly grew up around the pending railroad intersection. Originally, the town was pragmatically called Cross City, but the local newspaper editor decided it did not fit the growing community. The name was changed to Corinth with the stipulation that the citizens could change it back in a year should they not like it. The name stuck.
Corinth flourished throughout the remainder of the1850s until the election of Abraham Lincoln, Mississippi's secession and the beginning of the Civil War. Many Tishomingo County men served in the Confederacy and as early as 1861 Corinth served as an assembly point for Confederate soldiers traveling by rail to various points in Florida, Alabama, Kentucky and Virginia. In spring 1862, Corinth became the focal point in the Civil War's Western Theatre, as both northern and southern leaders recognized the necessity of holding the city because of its valuable rail crossings. Corinth was also in proximity to ports on the Tennessee River, including Hamburg, Eastport and Pittsburg Landing. Whoever controlled Corinth held an important logistical key to the entire lower Mississippi Valley.
The fall of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson in Tennessee, in February 1862 initiated a series of events that led to Union and Confederate advances on Corinth. The Confederates, under the leadership of General Albert Sidney Johnston, saw their trans-Appalachian defense line broken with the capture of these forts by General Ulysses S. Grant. Subsequently, Corinth became the new anchor for a Confederate defense of the lower South.
In early April 1862, federal troops led by Grant camped at Pittsburg Landing, TN, 22 miles northeast of Corinth. The Confederate Army made a surprise attack upon the federal encampment, and although they had an initial measure of success, on the second day Grant received reinforcements and the Confederates fell back toward Corinth.
While the Confederates were caring for their sick and wounded in Corinth, the Union army began a march on the city. Aware that federal troops were closing in, Confederate commander General P.T. Beauregard made plans to abandon the city. The evacuation was carried out in utmost secrecy and on May 30, Union troops cautiously marched into an empty city. Corinth, once again, became the focal point of the war. On October 4, Union and Confederate forces took part in one of the bloodiest battles in Mississippi. The Battle of Corinth was the last major Confederate offensive in North Mississippi and its failure opened the way to Vicksburg and Union control of the Mississippi River.
Corinth National Cemetery was established in 1866 as a central burial site for approximately 2,300 Union casualties of the Battle of Corinth and similar clashes in the surrounding area. By late 1870 there were more than 5,688 interments in the cemetery—1,793 known and 3,895 unknown soldiers; Roll of Honor, No. 20. The dead represented 273 regiments from 15 states. In addition, there are three Confederate interments in the cemetery—one unknown and two known soldiers.
The cemetery was originally enclosed with a wooden picket fence, which was replaced by a brick wall in 1872. The first lodge was a wooden cottage that was replaced in 1872 and again in 1934. Corinth National Cemetery was listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1991 as part of several sites associated with the Battle of Corinth; it was later listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.
Monuments and Memorial
In 2016, the Navy Seabee Veterans of America donated a granite monument to the cemetery; it is located near the main entrance.
Julius "Junior" Ellis McKinney was born in Alabama in 1927 and he enlisted in the U.S. Army at age 21. Corporal McKinney was deployed to Korea with the Heavy Mortar Division, 7th Infantry. He was listed as missing in action after a December 2, 1950, battle at the Chosin Reservoir. McKinney was posthumously promoted to sergeant and awarded the Purple Heart among other commendations. In March 2018, Sgt. McKinney's remains were identified using DNA by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. He was reburied in Corinth National Cemetery on June 8, 2018. A rosette placed by his name on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, indicates he now rests in a marked grave (Section B, Site 723).
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 Corinth National Cemetery.
Visit the Veterans Legacy Program and NCA History Program for additional information. Thank you for your interest.