On March 3, 1873, Congress passed an act that allowed for all honorably discharged veterans of the Civil War to be buried in national military cemeteries. In February of 1879 Congress passed another act which stated that the government would erect the same gravestones for Union soldiers buried in private cemeteries as those buried in national cemeteries.
This database contains over 166,000 cards of headstone contracts provided by the government for deceased Union veterans. A few veterans of the War of 1812 are also included. Most soldiers included in this database died between ca. 1861 and ca. 1903, but the gravestones were erected between ca. 1879 and ca. 1903. The majority of the burials were in private cemeteries. These cemeteries were most likely located in the county of the soldier’s residence.
Cards are arranged alphabetically by surname, then given name. Cards may include the following information for each soldier:
- Rank, company, and regiment
- Burial place (cemetery name as well as town, county, and state in which it’s located)
- Grave number, if applicable
- Death date
- Name of contractor that supplied the headstone
- Date of contract in which the headstone was provided
Some of the above information may only be available by viewing the card image.
Some of the above information was taken from the Publication Details of Card Records of Headstones Provided fro Deceased Union Civil War Veterans, ca. 1879-ca. 1903; National Archives Microfilm Publication M1845; National Archives, Washington, D.C., 1996.