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This changed in September 1861, when the United States War Department issued , which designated Union commanding officers responsible for burial of the dead from their units. Fighting often killed a large number of soldiers, including the commanding officer.

Of the survivors, after a long and arduous battle, few were capable of moving bodies and digging graves due to fatigue, hunger, and injury.

Visitors to the cemeteries can pay their respects to those who are buried there and view the historic buildings and landscapes.

In addition, materials and information for grave markers were often non-existent.

Given that many battles occurred on farm fields, soldiers often received hasty burials in shallow graves where they fell.

From Necessity to Honor: The Evolution of National Cemeteries in the United States Originally created to honor Union soldiers killed during the Civil War, national cemeteries have become national memorials to all United States veterans.

About a dozen national cemeteries and numerous soldiers' lots were established in 1862, more than a year after the war began with Confederate troops firing on Fort Sumter.

The itineraries are created by a partnership of the National Park Service; the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers; and Federal, State, and local governments and private organizations in communities, regions, and heritage areas throughout the United States.

The itineraries help people everywhere learn about and plan trips to visit the amazing diversity of this country's historic places that are listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, which the National Park Service expands and maintains for the nation.The Civil War Era National Cemeteries travel itinerary offers several ways to discover and experience the historic places that shaped and illustrate the history and development of the National Cemetery system: • Descriptions of each featured National Cemetery on the List of Sites highlight its significance, photographs and other illustrations, and information on how to visit.• Essays with background on important themes in the development of the National Cemeteries during and after the Civil War offer context for understanding historic places featured in the itinerary.Weapon accuracy and fighting techniques led to more casualties than in previous wars; railroads and steamships carried soldiers to battles farther and farther from their homes; disease caused a high percentage of the deaths on battlefields, in prisoner-of-war camps, and in hospitals.Prior to the Civil War, burial of the war dead was the responsibility of the Army’s Office of the Quartermaster General, which also provided food, shelter, and supplies to the soldiers.The National Park Service and its partners hope you enjoy this itinerary and others in the series.

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