The National Cemetery in Little Rock is an amazing place to visit. It opened in 1866 when the Federal Government bought land from the city cemetery to relocate the remains of Union soldiers from the state to a more central location. The site was officially established in 1868 as a national cemetery.
The cemetery is among the few national cemeteries where Confederate soldiers were buried. The collection includes burials through 2010 for more than 21,000 people. Information on the markers varies as some only contain a number of initials, others written “unknown”. Other markers have facts such as name, birth date, death date, age, rank, and state of origin.
In 1996, Little Rock National Cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic places. The National Cemetery is situated at 2523 Confederate Boulevard, roughly two miles southeast of the state capital in Little Rock.
The eastern half of the cemetery contains the oldest sections while the southwest corner is the cemetery’s main entrance. There is a place at the southwest corner of the property specially kept for the burial of troops from the garrison at the post.
The Oakland Cemetery, a city-owned cemetery, lies next to the National Cemetery.
Two major monuments are mounted down in the cemetery, the Confederate monument and the Minnesota monument. Each monument has been listed in the National Register of Historic places. The confederation monument is a making of a marble obelisk set on top of a two-part base. It is situated in the Confederate section near the rostrum.
The Minnesota monument is a 16-foot tall bronze sculpture depicting a Union soldier, with the head bowed down, his cap held against his heart, hand on his rifle and the barrel pointing downward.
Two of the most notable people buried in Little Rock National Cemetery are Simon A. Haley and Maurice L. Britt. Haley was a World War I veteran and the father to Alex Haley, the author of roots. Britt was a medal of Honor recipient and was a lieutenant governor under Winthrop Rockefeller in the U.S. Army during the World War II.
The National Cemetery is beautiful and well kept. There are avenues that you can drive and places to park. The cemetery is open for visitation daily from morning to evening, except for the Federal holidays.
Below is a link of a drone footage of the Little Rock National Cemetery: