Natchez National Cemetery
Burial area at Natchez National Cemetery.
Visitation Hours: Open daily from dawn to dusk.
Office Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed federal holidays except Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
Bluff Stabilization Project Update (September 2021)
Construction on the bluff stabilization project has begun at the Natchez National Cemetery. The cemetery remains open for visitation, interments, and committal services.
Last month, the US Army Corps of Engineers awarded a contract for the bluff stabilization project. As a safety precaution during construction, the cemetery's expansion side is closed to vehicle traffic.
Families can visit their loved one's graves by parking in front of the administration building on the cemetery's east side. Visitors are asked to use caution when crossing the street and be conscious of construction vehicles entering and exiting the cemetery.
The cemetery remains open for interments and committal services are held in the old committal shelter. No gravesites will be impacted during construction. The project is expected to be completed next summer.
Bluff Stabilization Project Update (May 2021)
NCA and US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) have been working together to engineer a long-term bluff stabilization project at Natchez National Cemetery.
Due to the unprecedented rainfall this spring, USACE recently completed temporary mitigation efforts to reduce the risk of significant erosion along the bluff. Both organizations expect the award of a construction contract for the bluff stabilization project in mid-July.
No gravesites are impacted by the erosion, nor are any gravesites located near the recently placed mitigation measures. The immediate mitigation measures include tarps and sandbags placed along the bluff to direct rainfall toward the city's storm water drainage system. This should help significantly to reduce water soaking into the soil at the bluff's edge.
Additionally, as a preventative measure, the committal shelter has been closed along the bluff. Interments continue and committal services will be held in a temporary shelter in another part of the 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
Cemetery is located in the northwest section of Natchez. From Highway 61 South, turn right on Canal Street (near Mississippi River Bridge) and proceed north to the end of the street. Turn left, then immediately right onto Linton Avenue. Follow Linton Avenue to stop sign. Go straight through stop sign to Cemetery Road. The entrance to the cemetery is on your right.
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.
The Natchez National Cemetery is located on the Bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. It has several unique features, one being its gravel roads, the other being its wedding cake shape at the back of the cemetery, due to its five level terrace. The city of Natchez lies on the southwestern border of Mississippi and is the oldest city on the Mississippi River.
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.
Although there were two military engagements in the Natchez area in 1863 and 1864, the town surrendered early to Union troops and was spared extensive damage. Natchez National Cemetery was established during this period, north of town near the river bluff. The original 11-acre site was purchased in 1866 from local residents. Original interments were brought from locations in Louisiana and Mississippi within a 50-mile radius of Natchez in Adams County. One of the old Natchez homes, "The Gardens," served as a military hospital for federal troops, and some of the earliest interments are the men who died there. In a report dated June 30, 1866, Quartermaster Gen. Montgomery C. Meigs informed the secretary of war that many bodies had been buried in the levees near the west shore of the Mississippi. Subsequently, the removal of these remains and their reinterment at Natchez National Cemetery began the following fall.
Natchez National Cemetery was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.
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:
Landsman Wilson Brown (Civil War). Wilson Brown was born into slavery in 1841 at Natchez, Mississippi. During the Civil War, Brown escaped to the Navy gunboat U.S.S. Hartford and enlisted in 1863. Landsman Brown served until 1865, including on board the Hartford, and returned to Natchez at war's end. During the Battle of Mobile Bay (Alabama) on August 5, 1864, Brown was knocked unconscious in the ship's hold by a shell burst. He regained consciousness and returned to supplying cannon ammunition. Brown was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery. He died in January 1900 and is buried in Section G, Site 3152.
There are two Buffalo Soldiers of the 24th Infantry interred in the Natchez National Cemetery, they are:
- Sam Hall was born in February 1895 and he enlisted in the Army in April 1914. Private First Class Hall served in Company K, 24th U.S. Infantry. This regiment was long known as Buffalo Soldiers from its origin on the western frontier during the 19th century. Hall and the 24th Infantry spent World War I years patrolling the U.S. border with Mexico. He was discharged in August 1923 and died December 12, 1924. He is buried in Natchez National Cemetery (Section B, Site 3538).
- Felix Mathews (ca. 1846-1905) was born in Alabama and worked as a laborer before enlisting in the U.S. Army at age 24. Mathews served in Company G, 24th Infantry, from 1870 to 1875. He joined one of the regiments that became known as Buffalo Soldiers – all-black cavalries and infantries established in 1866 then consolidated in 1869. The 24th Infantry absorbed two of the original regiments and was based in Texas during these years. Private Mathews was discharged at Fort Brown. After military service, he married and raised a family near Natchez, Mississippi. Mathews was buried in Natchez National Cemetery in 1905. His widow remained in Natchez and on her death in 1930 she was buried in the national cemetery with him (Section G, Site 3222).
Roger J. Puckett, former Superintendent of Natchez National Cemetery, is buried in Section D, Site 3747.
58th U.S. Colored Troops, re-interred from below the bluffs and the forks of the roads and other sites in Adams County.
Union Navy soldiers re-interred in the Natchez National Cemetery. To cite a few:
- William Preston, Quartermaster on the USS Hartford (Section D, Site 459).
- John Keese, Seaman on the USS Osage (Section D, Site 423).
- T.W. Roberts, Acting Ensign on the USS Osark (Section D, Site 421).