Resting on a hillside facing Interstate 295 is a burial area that was first utilized about 1856 for the burial of patients. In 1864, and for several years thereafter, Civil War casualties were also interred here. This included Union and Confederate soldiers and other military personnel who are buried adjacent to each other, without distinction to affiliation or ethnicity. The cemetery closed in 1873.
Brief History of St. Elizabeths and the Civil War
Built in 1855, St. Elizabeths was known then as the Government Hospital for the Insane. At the onset of the Civil War, the Army was looking for a suitable location to house its hospital. It was on October 10, 1861, the United States Congress authorized temporary use of the unfinished east wing as a 250-bed general hospital for the sick and wounded soldiers of the Union Army. St. Elizabeth Army General Hospital received its first patient November 2, 1861. The West Lodge for colored insane males was converted into a 60-bed general and quarantine hospital for the sailors of the Potomac and Chesapeake fleets. This resulted in three distinct hospitals, each with their separate organization and headed by a different physician.