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Hampton, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Hampton VAMC National Cemetery

 
 
Hampton VAMC National Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, January 30, 2019
1. Hampton VAMC National Cemetery Marker
Inscription.
National Soldiers Home
In 1870, the federal government bought the building that had served as Chesapeake Military Hospital during the Civil War. It became the Southern Branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, the fourth such facility. This Tidewater Virginia site was authorized for Civil War veterans, including former U.S. Colored Troops, who required a milder climate than other National Homes, at the time, located in Maine, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

The old hospital became part of a sprawling campus. Its buildings included a theater, library, chapel, and beer hall. Operated like the military, barracks at the National Home had company designations and men wore uniforms. It was initially open to disabled veterans of the Mexican and Civil wars who received pensions of less than $16 per month.

Yellow Fever Scare
In 1899, more than 3,700 veterans resided at the Southern Branch. On July 29 that year, the chief surgeon sought the services of a yellow fever expert. Doctors quarantined the National Home and the adjacent town of Phoebus.

Authorities relocated 1,500 veterans, nearly half of the National Home population. Men occupied tents set up on the grounds while residence halls were fumigated and bed linens were disinfected or burned. The decisive actions by medical
Marker detail: Hospital Building at the Southern Branch for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1902. image. Click for full size.
Library of Congress, circa January 30, 2019
2. Marker detail: Hospital Building at the Southern Branch for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1902.
authorities controlled the spread of the disease. About forty cases of yellow fever were confirmed at the Home; of those thirteen died.

The Cemetery
An earlier yellow fever outbreak had killed more than 2,000 people in Hampton. Thus, medical authorities and local, state, and federal government officials took an epidemic threat seriously. Though Hampton National Cemetery was just outside the National Home, the quarantine forbade anyone from leaving the campus. Home officials were forced to create a new cemetery on the grounds.

By September 1899, twenty Civil War and Mexican War veterans were buried in the small cemetery, including eight yellow fever victims. The rest died of other causes during the quarantine. Two civilians who died in 1909 and 1912 brought the total number of graves to twenty-two.

Established as the result of a short-lived health crisis at the National Home. The smallest national cemetery has no lodge or enclosing wall. It has been erroneously called the “Spanish- American War” cemetery because the yellow fever outbreak occurred while the United States was engaged in that war.
 
Erected by U.S Department of Veteran Affairs, National Cemetery Administration.
 
Location. 37° 1.114′ N, 76° 19.866′ 
. Marker detail: Newspaper headlines from the Daily Press, August 1 (front) and 16 (back), 1899. image. Click for full size.
January 30, 2019
3. . Marker detail: Newspaper headlines from the Daily Press, August 1 (front) and 16 (back), 1899.
W. Marker is in Hampton, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of Harris Avenue and Emancipation Drive, on the right when traveling west on Harris Avenue. Touch for map. The Hampton National Cemetery consists of two separate burial grounds, the ”Hampton Section”, on the west side of I-64, and the ”Phoebus Section,” on the east side of the highway. Marker is in this post office area: Hampton VA 23669, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Emancipation Oak (approx. 0.3 miles away); Hampton Monument (approx. 0.3 miles away); Hampton Institute (approx. 0.3 miles away); A National Cemetery System (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named Emancipation Oak (approx. 0.4 miles away); Phoebus (approx. 0.4 miles away); Second Church at Kecoughtan (approx. 0.4 miles away); John Baptist Pierce (approx. 0.4 miles away).
 
Regarding Hampton VAMC National Cemetery. The cemetery contains more than 30,000 interments, including Union soldiers, Confederate soldiers, and World War II prisoners of war. Additionally, 28 German sailors who perished in 1942 when the USS Roper sank the German U-boat U-85, off Cape Hatteras are buried here. Hampton National Cemetery is the final resting place for seven recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor.
 
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesScience & MedicineWar, Mexican-AmericanWar, Spanish-AmericanWar, US Civil
 
Marker detail: National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers campus image. Click for full size.
January 30, 2019
4. Marker detail: National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers campus
Photo taken at the time of the 1899 yellow fever outbreak. Annual Report of the Marine Hospital Service. Note the cemetery gate at bottom left, that led to Hampton National Cemetery. The new cemetery was established near the morgue, circled.
Hampton VAMC National Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, January 30, 2019
5. Hampton VAMC National Cemetery Marker
Veterans Administration National Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, January 30, 2019
6. Veterans Administration National Cemetery
Spanish-American War Soldiers 1898-1899
Germain Sailor Gravesite image. Click for full size.
Courtesy The Daily Press
7. Germain Sailor Gravesite
One of 28 German sailors buried in the Hampton National Cemetery that were killed when the USS Roper sank the German U-boat,U-85, off Cape Hatteras in 1942.
Hampton National Cemetery "Phoebus Section" gates image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, January 30, 2019
8. Hampton National Cemetery "Phoebus Section" gates
Gettysburg Address image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, January 30, 2019
9. Gettysburg Address
Each US National Cemetery displays a Gettysburg Address tablet. This one is located in the Phoebus section of the Hampton National Cemetery.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 22, 2019. This page originally submitted on February 20, 2019, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 42 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on February 20, 2019, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida.   7, 8. submitted on February 21, 2019, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida.   9. submitted on February 22, 2019, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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