Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery is part of the Fort Rosecrans Military Reservation located in San Diego. Named after William Starke Rosecrans, a Union general in the American Civil War, the cemetery is registered as a California Historical Landmark.
Origins of Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery
The hillside cemetery dates back to February 1852. At that time, President Fillmore set aside the southern region of Point Loma for the military. It was given to the US Army and named Fort Rosecrans. In the 1860s, a one acre portion of land at the crest of the point was used for burials from the San Diego Barracks. The cemetery is now forty times that size and serves as a final resting place for thousands of veterans of the Armed Forces.
There are currently 22 Medal of Honor recipients who are buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. Of those recipients, three served in the Army, 12 in the Navy, and six in the Marine Corps. These medal recipients span a long range of time, from the Indian Wars and Spanish-American War to the Vietnam War.
The cemetery is also a part of the early military history of California. It is the burial grounds for the men who died at the battle of San Pasqual during the Mexican War. Their efforts helped to earn California’s admission to the United States. Inside the stone wall of the original part of the cemetery is where the remains of the soldiers of the First Dragoons lie. They were killed on December 6, 1846, at San Pasqual. Their lives are commemorated on a granite boulder from the battlefield on which is a plaque that bears their names. Nearby are the graves of Capt. Benjamin D. Moore and Lieutenant Thomas C. Hammond, who led the attack. The grave of Albert B. Smith is also nearby; he is given credit for spiking the Mexican guns at the Old Town Presidio and is the man who nailed the American flag to the flagpole in the Plaza while under fire.
Other Notable Monuments and Memorials
There are many other monuments and memorials to those who died in service located at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. Some of these include:
- USS Wasp – a granite and bronze memorial to shipmates that died during the Battle of Guadalcanal on September 15, 1942
- USS Bennington Monument – a tall, granite obelisk dedicated to those that died in San Diego Harbor on July 21, 1905
- USS Ommaney Bay Monument – an etched granite memorial to those lost on January 4, 1945
- Mormon Battalion Monument
- Patriots of America Memorial – honors all Americans who answer the call to arms
- 3rd Infantry Division Monument
- Several monument honoring those who fought in the Battle off Samar on October 256, 1944, as part of the Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Philippines, including:
- The USS St. Lo and Composite Squadron VC-65
- The USS Hoel, USS Johnston and USS Samuel B. Roberts monument
- Taffy 3 monument
- USS Gambier Bay monument
More Information About Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery visitation hours are Monday through Friday 8am to 4:30pm and Saturday and Sunday from 9:30am to 5pm. To learn more about the cemetery please call 619-553-2084 or visit their website.
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