Cypress Hills National Cemetery is the only United States National Cemetery in New York City and has more than 21,100 interments of veterans and civilians. There are 24 Medal of Honor recipients buried in the cemetery, including three men who won the award twice. Although Cypress Hills was established to honor Civil War veterans, its grounds include the graves of soldiers who fought in the American Revolutionary War, Spanish-American War, Korean War and Vietnam War.
Cypress Hills National Cemetery opened in 1862 and gravesites were exhausted in 1954. However, burials of veteran’s spouses continues at the rate of approximately ten per year. The two sections of this national cemetery are located approximately one half mile apart (see below, three sections of Cypress Hills).The cemetery is located in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, and encompasses 18.2 acres (7.4 ha). It is easily reached on the J line at the Cypress Hills station, approximately 45 minutes from Manhattan.
Three Sections of Cypress Hills
The Union Grounds (within Cypress Hill Cemetery)
Located on the east slope of the Ridgewood Reservoir, the Union Grounds are in the southwest portion of Cypress Hills Cemetery, 833 Jamaica Avenue. There are more than 3,170 Union soldiers and sailors, and more than 461 captured or surrendered Confederates buried in the Union Grounds. Over the years the bowl-shaped space accepted veterans from other conflicts, up through World War I. Re-interments from other cemeteries added more graves. Most other interments, however, were largely local in nature, due to the cemetery's location in New York State (which contributed the largest numbers of fighting forces in the Civil War) and the adjacent proximity of the cemetery to New York City, the nation's most populous and hence the prime source of Federal enlistments for the war effort.
The Mount of Victory (within Cypress Hill Cemetery)
Several hundred yards southeast of the Union Grounds, at one of the highest parts of Cypress Hill Cemetery, is another section of the national cemetery. Less than an acre and possessing less than 30 graves, The Mount of Victory is the smallest parcel of federal land. It is dominated by the Eagle Monument (see below), and is easily visible from West Dolorosa Road. Many of those buried here are veterans of the War of 1812. The Mount of Victory is in Section 2 of the cemetery nearby West Dolorosa Road.
Cypress Hills National Cemetery
The largest of the three sections of the national cemetery is located at 625 Jamaica Avenue. Visitors enter through decorative wrought iron Gates constructed in 1886. The visitors lodge, built in 1887, is on the right. This Queen Anne style building has an office, meeting room and museum. There is a grave locator outside the lodge door. This section of the cemetery contains approximately 15,000 graves. Although the parcel is quite narrow, it is long, and leads to a hilltop. The cemetery is divided into 16 sections.