Hot Springs National Cemetery
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The Battle Mountain Monument at Hot Springs National Cemetery.
Visitation Hours: Open daily from sunrise to sunset.
Office Hours: Contact Black Hills National Cemetery Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed federal holidays.
Hot Springs National Cemetery is closed to new interments. The only interments that are being accepted are subsequent interments for veterans or eligible family members in an existing gravesite. Periodically however, burial space may become available due to a canceled reservation or when a disinterment has been completed. When either of these two scenarios occurs, the gravesite is made available to another eligible veteran on a first-come, first-served basis. Since there is no way to know in advance when a gravesite may become available, please contact the cemetery at the time of need to inquire whether space is available.
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.
» Eligibility for Burial in a VA National Cemetery
From Rapid City Regional Airport, travel State Highway 44 West 9 miles to Rapid City. Then travel South on State Highway 79 for 52 miles to junction of 79 and 385. Turn right on Highway 385 and travel 5 miles to Hot Springs. Turn right on 5th Street and travel until you come to a T. Turn right at the T onto Veteran Administration Road, take the right to VA Cemetery Road and then turn left at the first intersection onto Cemetery Access Road.
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.
This cemetery is managed by the Director of the Black Hills National Cemetery, 20901 Pleasant Valley Drive, Sturgis, S.D.
For educational materials and additional information on this cemetery, please visit the Education section, located below.
You can place fresh cut flowers on your loved one's grave throughout the year.
Floral items will be removed from graves when they become faded or unsightly. They may also be removed to allow mowing.
You can place artificial flowers on graves from the second Saturday in October through the second Sunday in April, when we do not mow the grounds. Artificial flowers are also allowed the Thursday prior to Easter, Memorial Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day and the Fourth of July. They will be removed the following Sunday after the holidays.
Holiday wreaths less than 18 inches in diameter and no higher than the headstone may be placed on graves beginning on Thanksgiving. Floral grave blankets may not be used. Holiday wreaths will be removed January 15.
To preserve the dignity and appearance of your loved one's final resting place, the following items aren't allowed at headstones or columbariums:
- Alcoholic products
- Balloons, candles, or vigil lights
- Decorative and breakable glass, plastic items, or objects
- Non-government supplied floral containers (pots, planters, glass vase, etc.)
- Objects such as rocks or other durable items, that when mowing or performing maintenance could become projectiles
- Offensive items or those deemed contrary to honoring Veterans
- Permanent in-ground plantings
- Pinwheels or windchimes
- Statues or stuffed animals
- Weapons of any kind, explosives, or ammunition
- Floral items or decorations may not be secured to headstones.
- In-ground floral containers may not be placed in new cemeteries or new sections of national cemeteries.
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.
Hot Springs National Cemetery is located in Fall River County, S.D., on the northeast edge of Hot Springs, S.D.
In 1902, a National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers was approved for the Hot Springs area and construction was completed in 1907. The home was originally named the Battle Mountain Sanitarium after a nearby mountain peak. The cemetery was established for the interment of veterans who died while residing at the home. In 1930, the home became part of the Veterans Administration and, in 1973, the cemetery was one of 21 cemeteries transferred to what was then known as the National Cemetery System.
Hot Springs National Cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
Monuments and Memorials
The Battle Mountain Monument is a 32-foot tall obelisk tower situated on the cemetery’s highest point. The monument was dedicated in 1914 in memory of the men who gave their lives in defense of the country.
The Squire Monument is a granite block memorial erected in 1940 to honor Army Chaplain Guy P. Squire. He served in the Spanish-American War and World War I, and later served as chaplain at the Hot Springs VA Medical Facility. The monument was erected by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, District 10.
Bivouac of the Dead erected 2004.
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:
Lieutenant Charles L. Russell (Civil War). He received the Medal of Honor while serving in the U.S. Army, Company H, 93rd New York Infantry, for actions at Spotsylvania, Virginia, May 12, 1864. Russell died in 1910 and is buried in Section 3, Row 1, Site 12.