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Wood National Cemetery was designed by Thomas B. Van Horne as part of the Soldiers Home's Picturesque landscape and opened for use on May 22, 1871.  It was originally known as the Soldiers Home Cemetery and the design was created with no one section being more prominent than any of the others in order to create a sense of unity. Graves were laid out in straight rows with upright granite headstones.
The cemetery was designed to possess a sense of serenity, and makes up the western boundary of the Soldiers Home. To continue the feeling of peace and quietude, many of the cemetery’s paths led through lush vegetation and provided a true retreat for residents and visitors.

Today, the cemetery is home to 37,000 graves, a portion of which are visible from almost every building on campus. Veterans of every American conflict except the Revolutionary War are buried here, including members of the famed Massachusetts 54th Infantry Regiment and the US Cavalry “Buffalo Soldiers.” Other graves include those of the U.S. Colored Troops from Wisconsin, and five Medal of Honor recipients.


Learn more about Wood National Cemetery from the National Parks Service.

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