Andrew Johnson National Cemetery

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Andrew Johnson National Cemetery
Andrew Johnson National Cemetery
Nearest city Greeneville, Tennessee
Coordinates 36°09′19″N 82°50′17″W / 36.15528°N 82.83806°W / 36.15528; -82.83806Coordinates: 36°09′19″N 82°50′17″W / 36.15528°N 82.83806°W / 36.15528; -82.83806
Governing body U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service
NRHP Reference # 66000073
Added to NRHP October 15, 1966

The Andrew Johnson National Cemetery, administered by the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site, is a United States National Cemetery outside Greeneville, Greene County, Tennessee, that was established in 1906. Among its more than 2,000 internments, it features the grave of the seventeenth President of the United States Andrew Johnson.

Andrew Johnson's grave

Andrew Johnson acquired twenty-three acres outside Greeneville on "Signal Hill" in 1852. It is held by family tradition that Andrew Johnson greatly enjoyed the view the hill provided. It became known as Signal Hill due to being an excellent place for soldiers to signal to friendly forces. When Johnson died, he was buried on the property on August 3, 1875. The funeral was performed by Freemasons. On June 5, 1878, a 28-foot (8.5 m) tall marble statue was placed by Johnson's grave. The monument was considered so dominant that the hill's name was changed to "Monument Hill". His daughter Martha Johnson Patterson willed on September 2, 1898 that the land become a park. She further pushed in 1900 to make the site a national cemetery, so that instead of the Johnson family maintaining it, the federal government would.[1] The United States Congress chose to make the site a National Cemetery in 1906, and by 1908 the United States War Department took control of it. By 1939 there were 100 total graves in the cemetery. On May 23, 1942, control of the cemetery went to the National Park Service.[2][3] [4]

When the area was made a cemetery, two of Andrew Johnson's sons were reinterred. Charles Johnson had been buried in Nashville, Tennessee; he died in 1863 by falling from a horse while serving as a military surgeon. Robert Johnson, who died shortly after the Johnsons' 1869 return to Greeneville, had originally been buried in Greeneville's Mount Olivet. Several other members of the Johnson family, including grandchildren, would later be buried in the cemetery.[3] Amongst these are his daughter Martha and her husband, former Tennessee United States Senator David T. Patterson.[5]

When the National Park Service was given jurisdiction of the cemetery in 1942, they ruled to allow no more interments, in order to preserve the historic nature of the cemeteries. Due to efforts by the American Legion and the Daughters of the American Revolution, the cemetery once again accepted new interments, making the national cemetery one of the few controlled by the National Park Service to contain soldiers of the World Wars, Spanish-American War, Korean War, Vietnam War, and the Gulf War. Aside from Andersonville National Cemetery, it is the only National Cemetery controlled by the United States Department of the Interior to accept new burials.[3] [6]

The marble monument depicts the United States Constitution, an eagle, and the Bible.[4]

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