National Cemetery Administration
Winchester National Cemetery
Office Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed federal holidays.
Visitation Hours: Open daily from dawn to dusk.
Winchester 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 Washington National or Washington Dulles International Airports, travel Virginia State Highway 7 West. State Highway 7 passes the entrance gate to the cemetery. Visitors traveling on Interstate 81 will take Exit 316, putting them on Highway 7 West. Cemetery is approximately 80 miles west of Washington, D.C.
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 administered by Culpeper National Cemetery. Please contact them at the number listed above.
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 and potted plants will be allowed 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 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.
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.
Winchester National Cemetery was established on land appropriated for burials during the Civil War. Although the land was used for burial purposes as early as 1862, the cemetery was not officially dedicated until April 8, 1866, and the land was not legally transferred to the U.S. government until Dec. 1, 1870, when Jacob Baker was paid $1,500 for the 4.89-acre tract and the deed was signed and executed.
Winchester National Cemetery was the final resting place for Union soldiers who fought and died at the battles of Winchester, New Market, Front Royal, Snickers Gap, Harper’s Ferry, Martinsburg, and Romney.
Physically, it was typical of first-generation national cemeteries built before 1870: the grounds were surrounded by a fence and thereafter a wall, a flagpole was centrally located, and a frame lodge followed by a masonry lodge served as an office and dwelling for the superintendent.
The Winchester cemetery benefited from federal programs initiated during the Great Depression. In 1930, the original tool house/comfort station was removed and a new, brick and stucco tool house/storage/comfort station building was erected by Civil Works Administration labor. During 1934 and 1936, headstones were reset and realigned, sunken graves were filled in, existing trees trimmed, new trees and roses planted, and the wall was repointed and repaired. In 1936, a brick and stucco gasoline storage building was constructed and a one-story addition and basement was added to the superintendent’s lodge by Workers Project Administration laborers. On Aug. 28, 1939, the original flagstaff was replaced with a new tubular steel one.
Winchester National Cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.
Monuments and Memorials
Winchester National Cemetery contains 15 monuments, most commemorating units that fought in the battles of the Shenandoah Valley during the Civil War:
-The marble 38th Massachusetts Volunteers Monument was erected in 1864.
-The 14th New Hampshire Regiment Monument was erected by that state in 1868.
-The granite 8th Vermont Volunteers Monument was erected in 1885 by Herbert E. Hill.
-The granite 3rd Massachusetts Cavalry Monument was dedicated in 1888.
-The Pennsylvania Monument is a large granite structure surmounted by a bronze figure. The monument was erected in 1890 by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
-A granite monument honoring the 12th Regiment Connecticut Volunteers was erected by that state on Oct. 19, 1890.
-The 123rd Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry Monument is made of granite and faced with cut rifles, installed in 1899 by the State of Ohio.
-The Massachusetts Monument features a bronze soldier atop a granite base. The monument was erected by the State of Massachusetts in 1907.
-The 114th New York Volunteer Infantry Monument is made of cut granite. It was erected by the State of New York.
-The 34th Massachusetts Infantry Monument is a marble bust of Col. George D. Wells that sits atop a granite base.
-The granite 18th Connecticut Volunteers Monument was erected by the State of Connecticut.
-A granite monument in memory of the 13th Connecticut Volunteer Regiment was erected by the State of Connecticut.
-The granite 8th Regiment Vermont Infantry Monument was erected in memory of soldiers from that regiment who died in the Civil War.
-A granite monument in honor of the 6th Army Corps was erected shortly after the Civil War.
-A memorial in remembrance of the Third Battle of Winchester, Sept. 19, 1864, is located near the entrance to the cemetery.
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 Winchester National Cemetery.
Visit the Veterans Legacy Program and NCA History Program for additional information. Thank you for your interest.