National Cemetery Administration
Hot Springs National Cemetery
Office Hours: Contact Black Hills National Cemetery Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed federal holidays.
Visitation Hours: Open daily from sunrise to sunset.
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.
From Rapid City Regional Airport, travel State Highway 44 West nine 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 five miles to Hot Springs. Turn right on fifth Street and travel 10 blocks to the VA Medical Center. Take first right beyond the main parking lot into the 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.
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.
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.
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, holiday decorations and potted plants will be allowed on graves for a period extending 10 days before through 10 days after Easter Sunday. Memorial Day floral decorations may be placed the Friday prior to Memorial Day and must be removed by the Sunday following Memorial Day. Artificial flowers are allowed on graves starting the 2nd Saturday in October and must be removed by the 2nd Sunday in April.
Holiday 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, 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.
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.
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 Hot Springs National Cemetery.
Visit the Veterans Legacy Program and NCA History Program for additional information. Thank you for your interest.