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The Fort Scott National Cemetery is one of fourteen national cemeteries in the United States. Though it was named by Abraham Lincoln in 1862, it was started by the community as Presbyterian Graveyard in 1861. Burials in Fort Scott National Cemetery include many Civil War casualties, including 13 Confederate soldiers, 63 Colored Troops and 16 Indian Troops. Other graves of particular interest are group graves used for WW2 flight crews where the individual bodies could not be identified.

  • The rows of tombstone create a somber but poignant reminder.
  • An example of the different tombstones that you can find within the cemetery.
The fort at Fort Scott was established in 1842 and named for Lieutenant General Winfield Scott, then, General-in-Chief of the U.S. Army. During that time, the Army established a cemetery on the west side of town to accommodate the burial of soldiers who died from injuries or disease while stationed at the Fort Scott garrison.

However, space soon ran out so they purchased approximately four acres southeast of the old post for use as a community burying ground in 1981. Since the cemetery was controlled by the Presbyterian Church, it was known as the Presbyterian Graveyard. After the start of the Civil War, the new cemetery was used for the interment of soldiers stationed at Fort Scott. When Congress approved the creation of national cemeteries in 1862, the cemetery became one of 14 national cemeteries.

After the war’s end in 1865, the remains of those buried in the old military cemetery, as well as other soldiers buried in the vicinity, in Missouri and Kansas, were re-interred at Fort Scott National Cemetery. Following the close of the Indian Wars and resettlement of Native Americans, the Army closed or consolidated many of its small military outposts in the West. As a result, between 1885 and 1907, the federal government vacated numerous military post cemeteries, such as Fort Lincoln, Kansas, and re-interred the remains at Fort Scott National Cemetery.

The cemetery has one of the largest collections of military grave sites in the United States, outside of Washington DC and Virginia.