Even though the hospital had an excellent staff, the death rate from wounds and disease was still high. A cemetery was created in Mound City for the sole purpose of burying soldiers from the Civil War. Initially, the Mound City National Cemetery was home to the graves of 1,644 soldiers according to the inspector of National Cemeteries in 1869. The total interned was much larger at 4,808 when including the 2,441 soldiers who could not be identified and were buried here as well.
In 1864, the Mound City National Cemetery became one of the original twelve national cemeteries. These twelve cemeteries were a result of President Abraham Lincoln's Act of June 17, 1862. This act permitted the purchase of land to provide a resting place for those who gave their lives in service to their countries. On November 1, 1874, the General Assembly of Illinois dedicated a memorial monument at the center of the cemetery to honor those who died fighting for the Union.