Rewatching the Ken Burns series, I was struck anew by the close-packed headstones at Andersonville. I’m surprised to learn its 13000 graves does not make it the largest Civil War cemetery – the Mississippi campaign’s widespread bodies were collected after the war and consolidated in the plots at Vicksburg.
Vicksburg National Cemetery was established by an act of Congress in 1866. It has the distinction of having the largest number of Civil War interments of any national cemetery in the United States. Of the approximate 17,000 Union veterans, only 5,000 are known. There are no Confederate burials here. Confederate soldiers were interred at Cedar Hill Cemetery in the City of Vicksburg.
After the establishment of the Cemetery, extensive efforts were made to locate the remains of the Union Soldiers throughout the Southeast and move them to Vicksburg for reinterment. At the time this occurred many of the markers had faded or were lost to the elements making identification impossible.