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Maryland's National Register Properties

Tour: Civil War (6 of 17)



Photo credit: MHT File Photo, Undated Photo
Annapolis National Cemetery
Inventory No.: AA-2128
Other Name(s): Ash Grove Cemetery
Date Listed: 6/13/1996
Location: 800 West Street (MD 450) , Annapolis, Anne Arundel County
Category: Site
Period/Date of Construction: 1862-1936

Description: The Annapolis National Cemetery is a 4-acre cemetery located at the intersection of West Street and Taylor Avenue. The site may be described as a parallelogram, enclosed by a rubble stone wall, 3-5' high, 1,763 linear feet, laid in mortar with granite coping. Approximately 450' of the stone wall, beginning in the southwest corner of the cemetery, was removed in 1951 and replaced with chain link fencing and a concrete curb wall. The main entrance is in the center of the south end, fronting on West Street. The 14' wide main entry gate, constructed in 1940, is typical of that period, when narrow original gates at many national cemeteries were replaced with new entries able to accommodate automobiles. This wrought iron gate is marked by two limestone columns approximately 8' high. They are designed in a modern classical form with eagles incised on the front face. From the main entrance, an avenue extends north through the grounds, passing around a small circular mound, on which stands the flagpole. The cemetery contains 15 burial sections. The original superintendent's lodge was constructed c. 1871 and was subsequently demolished. A new lodge, constructed in 1940, is situated in the southeast corner of the grounds. This building is a two-story Flemish bond brick residence with a slate gable roof with a chimney at each end and 6/6 sash windows. A utility building and gasoline storage building are located to the east of the lodge. There is also a 4' wide wrought iron pedestrian gate, supported by stone piers, on the south side of the lodge. Significance: The Annapolis National Cemetery is significant as a Civil War era cemetery. Prior to July 1862, interments in the Annapolis National Cemetery consisted almost exclusively of Union soldiers who died of wounds in the Naval School Army Hospital. Records state that it was not designated a national cemetery until August 1862, subsequent to the passage of the Act of July 17, 1862, which authorized the President to purchase cemetery grounds to be used as national cemeteries for soldiers who died in the service of their country. Many interments would come from the Camps of Parole, or prisoner exchange, located outside the city of Annapolis. Disease took its toll among their ranks. Epidemics of smallpox and "ague" periodically swept through the Annapolis area encampments, causing scores of deaths, but typhoid fever, chronic diarrhea (dysentery), consumption and tuberculosis were the most consistent causes of death among the soldiers there. Sometime prior to 1871, the federal government conferred National Cemetery status on this cemetery, changing its name from Ash Grove U.S. Cemetery, as it was previously known.
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