Mound City National Cemetery
NCA marks 50 years (1973-2023) of serving America's Veterans, Service Members, and Families.
Learn more and watch NCA's 50th Anniversary Ceremony.
The Illinois State Soldiers and Sailors Monument at Mound City National Cemetery.
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.
» Eligibility for Burial in a VA National Cemetery
The nearest airport is in Marion. Take Interstate 57 south to Mounds exit (approximately 50 miles). Follow signs to Highway 51. Turn left and travel four miles to 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.
Fresh cut flowers may be placed at gravesites at any time.
Artificial floral arrangements may be placed on gravesites starting the second Saturday in October through the second Sunday in April.
Fresh or artificial floral arrangements should be no taller than 24".
Floral arrangements should not completely cover the headstone or marker and should not encroach upon adjacent gravesites.
Floral items will be removed from gravesites when they become faded or unsightly.
Christmas wreaths (18" or smaller) and grave floral blankets (not to exceed 2' x 3') may be placed on gravesites beginning December 1st. These items will be removed by January 20th.
Easter, Mother's Day, and Memorial Day decorations and artificial floral arrangements may be placed the Thursday prior to the holiday and must be removed by the Sunday following the holiday.
Please do not secure floral items or other types of decorations to headstones or markers.
Permanent flower containers are not authorized.
The national cemetery will honor all Veteran gravesites prior to Memorial Day with a small U.S. flag. These flags will be removed immediately after Memorial Day.
We suggest that items placed at a gravesite be marked with the section and site number of your loved one. This is so they can be identified by the person who placed them, as well as for assisting employees in returning them to the correct gravesite if items are moved during inclement weather.
The following items are prohibited for placement at a gravesite, columbarium, or memorial wall and are subject to removal by cemetery staff:
- Alcoholic products
- Balloons, pinwheels, wind chimes, lights, candles, statues, stuffed animals, or other similar items
- Decorative and breakable glass or plastic items
- Non-government supplied floral containers (pots, planters, vases, etc.)
- Any objects that could become projectiles when caught in grounds maintenance equipment (such as rocks, coins, or other small durable objects)
- Offensive items or those deemed inconsistent with the cemetery setting
- Permanent in-ground plantings
- Weapons of any kind, explosives, or ammunition
- Any object attached to headstones, markers, or niche covers
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.
Mound City National Cemetery is located in Pulaski County, approximately one mile from Mound City, IL. This area was the home of large naval shipyards that provided warships to the Union's Mississippi Squadron during the Civil War. The Mississippi Squadron was composed of 80 vessels including the famous ironclads USS Cairo, USS Cincinnati, and USS Mound City.
Mound City was also the site of a large Civil War hospital complex. Originally, the city's hotel and foundry were converted to hospitals to house both Union and Confederate wounded pouring into the city in the wake of battles at Shiloh, Vicksburg and elsewhere. In April 1862, the gunboat Mound City captured the steamer Red Rover, which had been used as a Confederate floating barracks. Union officials refitted the vessel as a hospital ship and assigned it to the U.S. Naval hospital at Mound City. The Red Rover sailed with the Mississippi Squadron in its engagements. Although the shipyards have largely vanished, one hospital building remains near the Ohio River levee.
In 1864, the federal government designated a plot of land near the general hospital to serve as a national cemetery. The original 1,644 interments at Mound City National Cemetery were men who had died there. Later interments would include casualties of battles at Cairo, IL; Belmont, MO; and Paducah, KY. A 1871 report by the inspector of national cemeteries lists approximately 2,300 known service men interred at Mound City and over 2,400 unknowns.
Mound City National Cemetery was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.
Monuments and Memorials
The Illinois State Soldiers and Sailors Monument is a marble and concrete construction honoring 2,637 unknown soldiers and sailors who lost their lives in defense of the country during the Civil War. It was erected in 1874 by the state of Illinois.