Rock Island National Cemetery is a United States National Cemetery located within Rock Island Arsenal near the city of Rock Island, Illinois. It encompasses 66 acres (27 ha), and as of the end of 2006, had 24,525 interments. The cemetery is also nearing compliance with the National Shrine guidelines, due to its use of college students during the summer to reset and realign stones. When looking from any one stone there should be seven lines visible and all should be straight.
The cemetery was established in 1863 as a place to inter the remains of American Civil WarUnion army soldiers. Its initial placement interfered with expansion of the Arsenal's facilities, so it was moved to a location on the northern end of the island. Civil War veterans who were interred in Oakdale Cemetery in Davenport, Iowa, were later disinterred and moved to the National Cemetery. Property transfers from the Arsenal in 1926, 1936, and 1950 increased the cemetery's area. There are plans for further expansion of this cemetery including an addition pavilion, more land, and a wall for cremations near the tank track.
A second, 2-acre (0.81 ha) cemetery was established near Rock Island National Cemetery to bury Confederate prisoners of war, nearly two thousand of which would die while in captivity on the island, primarily from the harsh living conditions.