Louisville in Jefferson County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
Cave Hill National Cemetery
When the Civil War began, Louisville was the largest city in Kentucky and the twelfth largest in the nation. Because its commercial and industrial economy was not dependent on slave labor, less than 10 percent of the city's population was enslaved. A major transportation hub, Louisville railroads connected it to other Kentucky cities, as well as Cincinnati, Ohio, to the east and Nashville, Tennessee, to the south. The Ohio River provided another transportation route. More than 100,000 Union soldiers passed through the city either by railroad or river.
By 1862, Louisville was vital to the Union war effort. The Louisville & Nashville (L&N) Railroad carried supplies from northern states to Union troops in Tennessee and beyond. After the October 1862 Battle of Perryville, several hundred Confederate prisoners were confined in the city. Wounded Union soldiers were treated in Louisville's nineteen military hospitals. Many soldiers who died of wounds or sickness were buried here.
"Harvest of Death"
Early in 1866, Capt. E. B. Whitman began gathering information in preparation for the
Captain Whitman, later lieutenant colonel, placed newspaper notices seeking locations of Union graves. Citizens, chaplains, soldiers, and officers replied. Whitman made three major expeditions across the region, stopping at hundreds of battlefields and engagement sites. Because of his work, thousands of Union dead were moved to twelve new national cemeteries.
In May 1869, Whitman submitted a detailed summary of this difficult project to the quartermaster general. The report contained sketches and site plans of each cemetery, and data on interments and service affiliations.
Prior to 1869, ten federally established or public cemeteries in Kentucky contained the remains of Union soldiers. The work of re-interring the dead was almost complete when the army changed its plan and reduced the number of cemeteries in the state to six.
The private Cave Hill Cemetery, established 1848, had donated a half acre to the government for the burial of Union dead in 1861. Federal acquisitions between 1863 and 1868 brought the size of the lot to 2.9 acres. By 1869, the national cemetery contained 3,910 interments. Only 563 were unknown. The remains came from several
One of the nation's oldest Civil War monuments, honoring soldiers of the 32nd Indiana Infantry, was moved here in 1867. The Union Soldiers and Sailors Monument Association dedicated a memorial to the unknown dead buried in the national cemetery on July 25, 1914.
In September 1862, Union Maj. Gen. William "Bull” Nelson ordered women and children out of Louisville. Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper (October 18, 1862).
Drawing of Soldiers' Lot, later designated a national cemetery, at Cave Hill Cemetery, c. 1866. National Archives and Records Administration.
Superintendent's lodge, 1892. The Second Empire-style building, constructed in 1877 outside the cemetery wall, was sold in 1938.National Archives and Records Administration.
Erected by U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial Sites • War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the National Cemeteries series list.
Location. 38° 14.917′ N, 85° 43.167′ W. Marker is in Louisville, Kentucky, in Jefferson County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Baxter Avenue (U.S. 31E/150) and Cherokee Road, on the right when traveling north. Located in Cave Hill Cemetery. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 701 Baxter Ave, Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Augustus E. Willson (1846-1931) (here, next to this marker); A National Cemetery System (within shouting distance of this marker); Nathaniel Wolfe (within shouting distance of this marker); The 32nd Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment Civil War Monument (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Croghans of Locust Grove / Major William Croghan (approx. 0.2 miles away); Unknown Union Soldiers Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Oldest Existing Civil War Monument (approx. 0.2 miles away); Governor Thomas E. Bramlette (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Louisville.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 30, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 30, 2020, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 42 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on November 30, 2020, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.