The Richmond National Cemetery on Williamsburg Road was established on September 1, 1866. Reinterments included 3,200 bodies, mostly unknown, removed from Oakwood Cemetery; 210 (115 known) from the cemetery of the Belle Isle Confederate Prison in Richmond; 12 deceased prisoners of war from a trench at the Rocketts Landing; 388 (all known but 18) from […]
The Richmond National Cemetery on Williamsburg Road was established on September 1, 1866. Reinterments included 3,200 bodies, mostly unknown, removed from Oakwood Cemetery; 210 (115 known) from the cemetery of the Belle Isle Confederate Prison in Richmond; 12 deceased prisoners of war from a trench at the Rocketts Landing; 388 (all known but 18) from Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond; and remains from the Cold Harbor and Seven Pines battlefields, as well as from locations in Chesterfield and Hanover Counties. Some seventy different locations within a maximum distance of 25 miles of the cemetery site were searched in order that Union dead might be accorded honored burial in a national cemetery.
One unknown Confederate soldier was reinterred in the cemetery on April 7, 1978. An employee of a local radio station was relic hunting near the banks of Beaverdam Creek in Hanover County and discovered the remains. There were several Minie balls, and the hunter had presumed that four had struck the soldier. There were buttons and a belt buckle among the items that had triggered the alarm on his metal detector.
By deed dated July 29, 1867, the first tract of land, consisting of 3+ acres, was purchased from Mr. William Slater for $900. A parcel containing 5 acres was purchased for $1,500 by deed dated July 10, 1868, from Mr. William L. Williams and Ms. Ann B. Brown. By deed dated June 23, 1906, a parcel
consisting of 1.74 acres was purchased from Mr. George Geffert for $1,392.
The graves were originally marked by headboards, painted white, and properly lettered. The boards were later replaced with upright marble markers. As of January 31, 1995, there were 7,325 graves used for the interment of 9,147 casketed remains and 38 sites used for the interment of 52 cremated remains. Of the 9,199 total interments, 5,706 are unknown Civil War soldiers.
The cemetery was officially closed in August 1963; however, interments in occupied graves, as well as interments of cremated remains, continue. As of January 31, 1995, there were 150 gravesites available for the interment of casketed remains (all reserved), and there were 63 sites available for cremated remains.
A 16-foot octagonal iron gazebo, Chinese Chippendale in style, was constructed circa 1890 in the northeast segment of the cemetery. The gazebo was removed in 1952, leaving only a concrete base and floor.
There are four monuments located in the area of the flagpole circle, each 7 feet 6 inches in height and made of an original cast-iron seacoast artillery tube, secured by a concrete base. The inscription on the cast-bronze plaque affixed to one of the monuments reads as follows: United States National Military Cemetery Richmond / Established September 1st, 1866 / Interments 6,529 / Known 838 / Unknown 5,691