Established in 1862 for deceased from nearby hospitals and as 1 of 14 of the original National Cemeteries, the cemetery was increased 13 acres (5.3 ha) in 1885 to reinter soldiers from numerous small plots throughout the region. A federal superintendent had been appointed by 1869 for the "number of burials in seven incorporated cemeteries near the city of Philadelphia." As of September 30, 2008, Philadelphia National Cemetery had 13,202 interments. This number is not expected to change significantly as the cemetery is closed for new interments, except for those in reserved plots and in plots opened by disinterments.
^"The Grand Army: Pennsylvania" (Chronicaling America archive). The National Tribune. October 6, 1887. Retrieved 2011-06-24. "Ellis Post No. 6, has secured permission … to erect a rostrum in the Philadelphia National Cemetery at Germantown, to facilitate the services of the Post in the cemetery."