Hampton National Cemetery


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Hampton National Cemetery
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Hampton National Cemetery

Just outside the original city limits of Phoebus is the Hampton National Cemetery. 

Resting here are almost 28,000 souls.

Included in that number are those whose service antedated the Civil War, those who fought on both sides of that conflict, and veterans of virtually every war or military conflict since.  Click here to learn more about eight, who are recipients of the Medal of Honor.

Scattered throughout are stones marking the graves of children and spouses who qualified for interment with a family member.

Also buried at Hampton National Cemetery are 26 German and five Italian World War II prisoners of war who died in prison camps during or immediately after World War II. 

In compliance with the spirit of the Geneva Convention, 29 German servicemen whose remains were recovered after the German submarine U-85 went down off the Virginia Coast in April, 1942 are also interred here.

Although the Hampton National Cemetery was officially established in 1866, burials from the Hampton Military Hospital took place in a portion of the cemetery prior to that date.

The cemetery’s first superintendent was James Browning, a discharged principal musician of the Fifth Regiment of Artillery.

By the time the Inspector of National Cemeteries, Major General Lorenzo Thomas, visited the site on November 29, 1868, 5,122 interments – including 475 unknowns – had already taken place.

Of that number, he reported that the graves of known decedents included the remains of 25 officers, 3,519 white soldiers, 66 sailors, 985 black soldiers, 17 employees and 35 citizens.

Of those buried in graves with wooden headboards marked “unknown,” he reported that 402 were white soldiers, 6 were sailors, 53 were black soldiers and 10 were citizens.

In addition to interments from the military hospital and nearby Fort Monroe, burial records in 1868 indicated that remains had been brought to Hampton National Cemetery from

Big Bethel in Elizabeth City County
Newport News in Warwick County
Jamestown in James City County
Craney Island in Norfolk County
Deep Creek in Norfolk County
Norfolk in Norfolk County
Portsmouth in Norfolk County
Blackwater in Norfolk County
Smithfield in Isle of Wight County
Suffolk in Nansemond County
Cherry Stone in Northampton County

By 1891, the increase in the number of interments made in the original cemetery required the purchase of additional areas for cemetery use.

In consequence, an eight-acre site located in Phoebus about 3/4 of a mile from the original cemetery was purchased in 1891, with additional acreage acquired in Phoebus in 1894 and 1934.

Although the cemetery is closed to new interments, space may be available in the same gravesite of previously interred family members.