Brief Historical Sketch From Memorial Day 2012 Handout
The Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery was established in 1866. It is situated on high bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River, and covers 345 acres of gentle rolling hills including the original tract of the Jefferson Barracks Military Reservation Cemetery established in 1826. The Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery ranks as the 5th largest United States Cemetery in the nation with interment numbering around 185,000 former servicemen and women of the Armed Forces. They ” GAVE THEIR LAST FULL MEASURE OF DEVOTION” and answered the call of duty from the War of Independence to Iraq. Interred beneath these hollowed grounds are the remains and final resting place of over 13,000 men of the Civil War; over 1,100 of these were members of the Confederate States Army. Eight recipients of the nation’s highest award of valor, The Medal of Honor, are interred here. Row upon row of white marble headstones stand as pages from which American history can be read. Here rest the remains of 3,255 former servicemen “ KNOWN BUT TO GOD”. Many of these are interred in group burials. To date, there are 564 such interments located throughout the cemetery, which is the largest number of such burials in the nation. Three of these burials hold the remains of over 100 Soldiers, Sailors and Marines in a single Tomb . Private to General, equal in the eyes of God, they now rest in eternal sleep beneath this Sacred Ground.
Submitted by Past Dept CDR Olin Parks.