|600 Pearl Street|
Postal Code: 62002
Phone: (314) 260-8691 or 86
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
FAX: (314) 260-8723.
The Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery maintains this cemetery. Please contact Jefferson Barracks at the telephone number listed above.
Alton National Cemetery was originally a soldiers lot in the Alton City Cemetery, in Madison County, Ill. Despite the existence of the lot as early as 1870, the government did not own the half-acre tract until July 1, 1940, when the Alton Cemetery Association donated the land. An estimated 163 Union soldiers and 12 unknowns were initially buried here, according to an inspection report of 1870. The men died at the Alton hospital and onboard steamboats passing up the Mississippi River.
The government paid the cemetery administrators $30 a year to care for the plot. After the war, there were plans to move the 163 Alton soldiers to Springfield National Cemetery, but the community protested and exerted sufficient influence to prevent the removal.
In 1938, the Alton Cemetery Association made an initial offer to donate land for a national cemetery with a proviso that the government build a rostrum or permanent speakerís stand for use on Memorial Day. Once the offer was accepted, Works Progress Administration laborers constructed a permanent rostrum. Between 1941 and 1942, the remains of 49 Union soldiers were removed from a nearby, but separate, section of Alton City Cemetery, and were reinterred on the federal land.