Missouri's Civil War 1861 - 1865
The Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery was established by joint resolution of Congress in 1866, among the first burial grounds officially designated in the wake of the Civil War. Under the care of the Veterans Administration, the facility is open to veterans of all of the armed services and their spouses. With over 190,000 burials, this is the second largest national cemetery in the nation, outranked only by Arlington National Cemetery in Washington.
The cemetery was the site of many Civil War burials, both Union and Confederate. This was due in part to the existence of the massive military hospital established at Jefferson Barracks in 1862. Casualties who died in the hospital were laid to rest near Jefferson Barracks old Post Cemetery. It was here that the remains of men and their dependents who died while serving at the barracks over the course of 35 years, since the founding of Jefferson Barracks in 1826, were laid to rest. Many other men were reinterred here in the years after the Civil War, their bodies removed from graves throughout Missouri in places where they died. The remains of more than 10,000 Union soldiers came to rest here in this fashion.
As surviving Union veterans of the Civil War passed away in the decades after the Civil War, many more were buried at the National Cemetery, to be joined by honored veterans
of all America's armed conflicts since that time.
The largest mass grave in the cemetery is located in Section 57. An obelisk marks the burial place of the enlisted men of the 56th Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops. These men died in 1865 as a result of cholera contracted in transit from Helena, Arkansas, by steamboat, as they were to be mustered out of the service in St. Louis. The dead of the 56th regiment were reinterred here in 1939, having been first buried in the old Quarantine Cemetery on the Mississippi River, which was located about a mile southeast of here. The 56th regiment was organized in St. Louis in 1863, originally as the 3rd Arkansas Infantry (African Descent).
Among the thousands of Civil War soldiers buried in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery are 164 Minnesotans. They represent each of the first ten regiments of infantry raised in Minnesota. The state of Minnesota was moved to erect a monument to their memory in 1922.
More than 1,100 soldiers and civilians allied with the Southern cause are buried here, most of them battle casualties. These graves are concentrated in sections 17 to 32 of the cemetery. Confederate grave markers are distinguished by pointed tops (unlike rounded Union counterparts), "so Yankees won't sit on them."
There is an especially poignant reminder of the viciousness of Missouri's Civil War in Section 20. Six Confederate prisoners of war were executed by firing squad in St. Louis on October 29, 1864, in retaliation for the execution of a like number of federal troops who were captured by Confederates during Price's 1864 Expedition to Missouri. Their remains lie in consecutively numbered graves (4605 through 4610).
Two Union soldiers who were awarded the Medal of Honor are buried here, as are three veterans of the Revolutionary War.
Monuments and Memories
In addition to the magnificent Minnesota Monument, located at Longstreet Drive and Monument Drive, and the monument to the men of the 56th Regiment U.S.C.T. (see main text), Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery contains a number of other public memorials that remember the Civil War.
Section 14 contains a monument to the Unknown Dead of the Civil War, erected in 1940. Three thousand unknown soldiers of the Civil War are buried at Jefferson Barracks. A monument dedicated to the Confederate dead is located in Section 66, and another, memorializing the Union dead, is situated at the border of Sections 12 and 13. A memorial stone in Section 13 of the Cemetery honors women who contributed to the defense of the Union in the years 1861-1865.
In 2007, a memorial headstone was placed at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery to honor Capt. Constantin Blandowski, the first Union officer mortally wounded in the American Civil War. Blandowski was wounded at an incident known as the Camp Jackson Affair, which occurred near St. Louis University on May 10, 1861.
A German-American company commanded by Blandowski, part of the Third Missouri Volunteer Regiment, participated in the arrest of men of the Missouri State Militia, assembled at Camp Jackson. Dozens of civilian onlookers were killed and wounded in the incident. Blandowski died on May 25, 1861 and is buried in an unmarked grave in south St. Louis.
Lorenzo Dow Immell
Lorenzo Dow Immell (1838-1912), son of a veteran of the War of 1812, was born in Ross County, Ohio. He moved with his family to Franklin County, Missouri as a young man. In 1860, prior to the Civil War, Immell enlisted in the Second Artillery, U. S. Army. He is one of two men buried in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for gallantry during the Civil War. Immell's medal, awarded in 1890, recognizes his actions under fire as a Lieutenant commanding a battery of the Second Artillery at the Battle of Wilson's Creek, Missouri, August 10, 1861. During the Civil War, Immell was engaged in sixty different battles, received seven wounds at different times, and was honorably mustered out of the army as captain of artillery. He lived after the war in Washington, Franklin County, Missouri, where he become [sic] a prominent farmer and businessman. Immell, who died in St. Louis in 1912, is buried in Section 4 of the Cemetery.
Martin Schubert (Section 4, Grave 12342) was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery at the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, in the service of the 26th New York Infantry Regiment. Six other recipients of America's highest military honor, heroes of the Indian Wars and World War II, are buried in the National Cemetery.
Learn more at www.mocivilwar.org