Cave Hill National Cemetery
27th Iowa Top Banner

Roll of Honor

(No. XVII)

Names of Soldiers

Who Died in

Defense of the American Union

Interred in the

National and Public Cemeteries


Kentucky, and at New Albany, Jeffersonville, and

Madison, Indiana: Lawton, (Millen,) and

Andersonville, Georgia, (Supplementary.)

"Stranger! Go and tell the American people that we died that they might be free."

General Order No. 20
Quartermaster General's Office
Washington, D. C. June 9, 1868

The following list of names of 13,573 Union soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the government, and whose bodies are interred in various national and public cemeteries in Kentucky, Indiana, and Georgia, forwarded by Brevet Major General Thomas Swords, Assistant Quartermaster General U.S.A., is published by authority of the Secretary of War, for the information of surviving comrades and friends.

Quartermaster General, Brevet Major General U. S. A.


Headquarters Department of the Cumberland
Office Superintendent of National Cemeteries
Louisville, Kentucky, May 16th, 1868


I. I have the honor to forward for transmission to the Quartermaster General, prepared for publication, the following Rolls of Honor of deceased Union soldiers, with a special introduction to each.

First. Rolls of Honor of Union dead interred in the national cemeteries at Louisville, Perryville, Mill Spring, London, Tomkinsville, Camp Nelson, and Lebanon, Kentucky.

Second. Rolls of Honor of Union dead buried in the public cemeteries at Louisville, Frankfort, Lexington, Dannville, Richmond, and Covington, Kentucky, comprising chiefly original burials from hospitals, with the addition of a few reinterments of scattered dead from the adjacent country.

Third Rolls of Honor of Union dead interred at Madison, Jeffersonville, and New Albany, Indiana, (buried from hospitals).

Fourth. Roll of Honor of Union dead, (mostly prisoners of war,) interred at Lawton, Burke county, Georgia.

Fifth. Supplement to the original Andersonville Roll of Honor (as published in General Orders No. 69 1/2, Quartermaster General's Office series of 1865.)

The total number of dead thus reported is 13,573 of which 10,916 are Kentucky burials.

II. The special prefaces, together with the plats and sectional maps furnished with each list, will afford all the information of peculiar interest in each case; but a reference to some general facts connected with the preparation of all of these Rolls, as well as to some facts of special historical interest connected with the records from the State of Kentucky, will not, I hope, be considered inappropriate, as a general introduction to the whole.

III. The names of the known dead, as here furnished, have been derived from the records of the established cemeteries; from the "death registers" kept in a few cases by quartermasters; and in many instances from the inscriptions copied from head-boards at the original graves. (The origin of the Lawton list is fully explained in the preface to that Roll.) The names of the unknown, as they appear without record of section or grave, have been derived from various reliable sources; from regimental reports of dead, killed in battle and buried upon the field; from quartermasters', undertakers', or surgeons' records of dead buried at a known locality, but at one where the headboards (or other marks by which individual graves could be distinguished,) had disappeared; and often from records taken at the graves before the gravemarks themselves had disappeared, in explorations made previous to the disinterments.

IV. To some extent all these lists have been subjected to a critical examination and correction by comparing them with the published reports of the adjutants general of the several States. In cases where no such reports have been published, copies of the lists of the dead from each State were forwarded to the adjutant general of that State, in order that they might be corrected by comparing them with the original manuscript rolls on file in the several State offices. In many cases, however, these lists were not received back in season to be used for the correction of the present sheets. Such corrections will, however, be entered in full in the record prepared for reference at each cemetery, and in the consolidated record for deposit at Washington.

V. Whenever names have been found recorded as belong to any particular State, no alteration has been made (even where the State rolls show no such person to have been in the service,) unless the error could be traced and correct with certainty. A plan has, however, been suggested by the adjutant general of New Jersey by which these errors may, to a great extent, be rectified; but it cannot well be made available until all of the rolls shall have been reviewed and correct in all other particulars.

VI. The lists of dead buried in Kentucky, here offered, embrace, in addition the the hospital burials, the names of those who were killed or who died of wounds received in battles and skirmishes at the following places, viz.: Barboursille, Boston, Wildcat, Big Hill, Richmond, Mount Sterling, Perryville, Somerset, Logan's Cross Roads, Monticello (or "Gap in the Ridge,") Greasy Creek, (or "Horseshoe Bend"), Marrowbone Creek, Tompkinsville, Glasgow, Green River Bridge, Lebanon, Rolling Fork, Lexington, Cynthiana, Paris and Falmouth, on the banks of the Cumberland River, along the routes of our armies from the Ohio River to Tennessee, in the woods, by the roadside, in private yards, in isolated and obscure places among the mountains, or wherever they fell fighting in battle, or were shot down by bushwhackers or guerillas, or sickened and died from exposure and fatigue, comprising in all not less than 650 different localities.

VII. A portion of the Union dead originally buried on Kentucky soil have been removed from the State, and will appear on the Rolls of Honor of other cemeteries as they may be prepared, as follows, viz.: 211 have been removed from Flat Lick, Cumberland Ford, and Cumberland Gap, to Knoxville, Tennessee; 1,143 from Columbus, Paducah, and Fort Holt, to Mound City, Illinois; 13 from Hickman to Memphis, Tennessee; 32 from Hopkinsville to Fort Donelson, Tennessee; and 1,092 from Bowling Green and other points on the line of the Nashville and Louisville railroad, to Nashville, Tennessee. About 200 remain yet to be removed from Russellville and Elkton to Nashville; and about 1,000 from Smithland and Princeton, from the Green River, and from eastern Kentucky, on the Big Sandy, to New Albany, Indiana, making the entire number of original interments in Kentucky soil nearly 14,500.

VIII. The manner in which the graves were widely scattered throughout the entire State of Kentucky is a noticeable feature. On some of the army routes they averaged as high as two to the mile. This is accounted for by the fact that very many of the troops, in their advance through Kentucky to the front, were raw recruits, unaccustomed to the hardships and exposure of a campaign. In many instances they gave out through fatigue, wilting and dropping out of the ranks at the very outset of the march, to be picked up by some kind Samaritan, or to die alone and uncared for by the roadside.

In addition to deaths from this cause, it was often the case when the hospitals at the front were crowded that those least sick, called "convalescents," (often a sad misnomer,) were sent to the rear, compelled to travel in army wagons, and at times over impassable roads. Exposure to wet and cold caused them to die by scores. in some cases they froze and died in the wagons, and sometimes they were left at cheerless cabins by the wayside to experience a more lingering fate, and at length to be buried by stranger hands in door-yards, or in rude family burying grounds. On one occasion no less than 19 deaths occurred in a company of convalescents sent from Cumberland Gap, before they reached London, a distance of 50 miles.

IX. On the more important battle-fields of Kentucky the search for the dead proved remarkable successful, chiefly from the fact that the battles were fought in settled neighborhoods and upon cultivated farms. In such cases the inhabitants themselves assisted frequently at the burials, or marked the graves carefully soon after. By a reference to such sources for information most of the graves were easily found.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. B. Whitman
Brevet Lieutenant Colonel, Assistant Quartermaster,
Sup't National Cemeteries, Department of the Cumberland

Brevet Major General Thos. Swords,
Assistant Quartermaster General U.S. A., Louisville, Kentucky

Assistant Quartermaster General's Office
Louisville, Kentucky, May 19, 1868

Respectfully forwarded to the Quartermaster General United States Army.

Thomas Swords
Assistant Quartermaster General,
Chief Quartermaster Department of the Cumberland.

Cave Hill National Cemetery, Louisville, Ky.

Soldiers' burial lot in the Cave Hill Cemetery, at Louisville, Ky.

During the continuance of the rebellion, and for some time after the cessation of hostilities, extensive hospitals for the reception of the sick and wounded sent back from the front, were maintained at Louisville. Of those who died in these hospitals many were taken away by their friends and buried at their homes; this was the case especially with those belonging in the States which border on the Ohio River.

Very large numbers were, however, interred on grounds purchased by the United States in Cave Hill Cemetery. The burials were all made under the immediate supervision of the regularly appointed keeper of the cemetery, and a careful and accurate record of each interment was kept on the books of the cemetery, and the graves were so numbered that all can be identified with unerring certainty. This record has been the chief source of information in the preparation of the list of original burials. Of the entire number of deaths which occurred in hospitals at Louisville, only 934 can now be found on record in the office of the Surgeon General at Washington.

In the spring of 1867, 732 additional interments were made in this cemetery of the dead gathered up at various points on the Louisville and Nashville railroad as far south as Rowlett station, and from points on the Kentucky side of the Ohio river as far down as Henderson. The dead thus removed are buried chiefly in section D, a few only in section C. Among the latter are 12 men of the 32d Indiana infantry, graves Nos. 1 to 12, who were killed at Rowlett station on the 17th of December 1861, in a fight between the rebels, numbering 3,000 and 500 men of Generals Willich's Command. They were honorably buried within the enclosure at Fort Willich, near Munfordsville, and the graves were appropriately marked by a stone tablet, bearing the following inscription neatly sculptured in German:

"Here rest the first heroes of the 32d Indiana German regiment, who laid down their lives for the preservation of the free Constitution of the republic of the United States of North America. They were killed December 17, 1861, in a fight with the rebels at Rowlett station, Kentucky, in which one regiment of Texas rangers, two regiments of infantry, and a battery of six cannon, (over 3,000 strong) were defeated by 500 German soldiers."

The State of Kentucky gratefully recognized the sacrifice of these men by purchasing the ground on which they were buried and protecting it by an enclosure. With the consent of the governor of Indiana, they were removed to the Cave Hill cemetery, and reinterred in the order of their original burial. The stone tablet was also transferred, and it has been handsomely mounted upon a solid stone pedestal or base, contributed by the loyal Germans of Louisville.

The total number of interments of Union soldiers in this cemetery is 3,871, representing the extraordinary number of 596 regiments. Of the original burials all are identified, and of the additions 196 are knows, and 536 unknown.

A portion of the graves occupy a level plat upon the summit of a hill, where a foundation has been laid for a monument, but no funds have as yet been provided for its erection. The larger number of graves are arranged in curved lines occupying the slope of the hill, and are overlooked by the monumental site.

An appropriation by each State represented, of a small sum per head for each of its soldiers buried in this cemetery, would create a respectable fund for the erection of an appropriate monument; and this sum could be, if necessary, largely increased by contributions from the patriotic citizens of Louisville. A plan like this properly inaugurated for all of the national cemeteries would, no doubt, meet the approval and enlist the earnest co-operation of all the States. Each of these beautiful spots that have been selected and adorned with so much care and expense by the government as resting-places for the remains of its noble dead, would be crowned with glory of national monuments on which each State would thus inscribe its record of grateful remembrance.

The graves at present are designated by small headboards painted white and numbered to correspond with this record. They are all neatly sodded and are kept in order at the charge of the cemetery corporation. The borders of the sections and the vacant spaces between the graves are being handsomely adorned with shrubbery and roses, from funds furnished by the ladies of Louisville, and an appropriation of some surplus funds in the hands of the local agents of the United States Sanitary Commission. This work is being done under the direction of the W. B. Belknap and other gentlemen of Louisville.

The Cave Hill cemetery is adjacent to the city, on the Bardstown pike, and at the terminus of Broadway. It is beautifully laid out, and is not surpassed in the beauty of its natural features, in the taste of its design, or in the costliness of its monuments by any rural cemetery in the country.

A discharged soldier has been appointed as permanent keeper by the government to reside at the cemetery to wait upon visitors, and give information to friends visiting the soldiers' graves. His address is William Hele, superintendent Cave Hill National Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky.

27th Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry
Roll of Honor
Cave Hill National Cemetery, Louisville, Ky.

No. Name Rank Co. Died Original Place
of Interment
Sec. Range No. of Grave
20 Johnson, Wm. A Pvt. K Feb. 2, 1865 Louisville, Ky C 3 95
38 Reed, Perry Pvt. B Feb. 10, 1865 Louisville, Ky C 2 97