“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Pineville in Rapides Parish, Louisiana — The American South (West South Central)

Alexandria National Cemetery

Alexandria National Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
June 29, 2019
1. Alexandria National Cemetery Marker
Civil War Alexandria
Alexandria, Louisiana, served briefly of the Confederate Department of the Trans-Mississippi, as the headquarters a vast area encompassing states and territories west of the Mississippi River.

In spring 1863, the Confederates moved this base north Shreveport, just before a U.S. Army-Navy operation captured Alexandria on May 7. Union forces abandoned the city by summer

In spring 1864, Alexandria became the target of Union Gen. Nathaniel Banks' Red River Campaign. In March, a combined land and sea operation captured Fort DeRussy, downriver from the city, and the Union reoccupied the city.

Banks marched west where he was defeated by Confederate troops under Gen. Richard Taylor. He then retreated to Alexandria on April 9, where low river levels trapped the naval fleet. Troops constructed a dam to raise the water level and the gunboats escaped. The Union Army withdrew from Alexandria May 13, burning part of the city as they departed.

National Cemetery
In 1867, the federal government established Alexandria National Cemetery on 8.24 acres seized from
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a private citizen. By 1874, there were 1,283 interments here. All but twelve graves contained the remains of Union soldiers or sailors. The majority were buried as unknowns.

By 1880, a brick wall surrounded the cemetery. A brick Second Empire-style lodge housed the superintendent and his family. Large artillery pieces flanked the cemetery entrance. Trees planted along the road created a shady avenue from the main gate to the flagstaff at the center of the cemetery. In 1931, the old lodge was razed and the current one was constructed.

Moving the Brownsville Dead
In July 1906, the all-black 25th U.S. Infantry arrived at Fort Brown near Brownsville, Texas, for duty. These soldiers experienced discrimination and physical abuse in the town. On August 13, 1906, unknown persons killed a bartender and wounded a police officer. The army summarily discharged "without honor" all 167 enlisted men. As a result of the incident, the War Department decided to close the fort and remove the remains from Brownsville National Cemetery. The former post cemetery, established during the Mexican-American War, had been designated a national cemetery in 1867.

In 1909, a contractor, using local labor, exhumed more than 3,000 dead from this cemetery. Five freight-train cars transported the remains to Alexandria. The identified remains were interred along the northwest

Alexandria National Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
June 29, 2019
2. Alexandria National Cemetery Marker
wall, and the area designated Section B. Unknown remains were placed in a mass grave on the southeast side of the flagpole circle. The federal government erected a group monument on this grave.
Erected by U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesMilitaryWar, Mexican-AmericanWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the National Cemeteries series list.
Location. 31° 19.336′ N, 92° 25.937′ W. Marker is in Pineville, Louisiana, in Rapides Parish. Marker can be reached from East Shamrock Street (Business U.S. 165) near Main Street, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 209 East Shamrock Street, Pineville LA 71360, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Address by President Lincoln (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Alexandria National Cemetery (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); 800 Block Main Street (about 500 feet away); 835 Main Street (about 600 feet away); City of Pineville (about 700 feet away); Intersection of Shamrock and Main Streets (about
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700 feet away); Main Street (about 700 feet away); First Baptist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pineville.
More about this marker. Located at the Flagpole Circle, inside the cemetery.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 28, 2019. It was originally submitted on July 2, 2019, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 190 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 2, 2019.

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Dec. 9, 2023