Photographer's Note

...."Fort McPherson National Cemetery"....
Fort McPherson National Cemetery, Maxwell, NE was established and designated as a national cemetery on March 3, 1873.

The first burial took place in 1867.

The cemetery serves an estimated 7,000 veterans and their families within Nebraska.

Fort McPherson National Cemetery conducts an average of 232 burials each year.

Fort McPherson National Cemetery is the final resting place of four Medal of Honor recipient's. Three of them served during the Indian Wars, and the other is a Vietnam veteran.

A memorial section honors veterans and their families whose remains have never been recovered, who were buried at sea, scattered, or donated to science.
History of Fort McPherson National Cemetery

Located in the Platte Valley of Nebraska, USA, Fort McPherson National Cemetery is a reflection of the people who settled the American West. Through the valley passed traders and trappers searching for furs, settlers in their quest for land and freedom, miners seeking the riches of the Rocky Mountains, and the first transcontinental railroad.

From these people and their descendants came a special breed of men and women who were willing to fight in battles both foreign and domestic for which American freedoms have been preserved. These grounds are maintained as a tribute to those willing to make the sacrifices necessary to continue our American heritage.

Established September 27, 1863, the original fort provided protection for the building of the railroad and settlers on their westward trek. Initially named Fort McKean, and for a brief time Post of Cottonwood Springs, the fort received its present name on February 20, 1866, in honor of Major General James Birdseye McPherson who was killed in action on July 22, 1864 during the Battle of Atlanta. As settlement of the area progressed, the need for soldiers decreased, and Fort McPherson took on a new role in the area. With many forts in the area closed and their cemeteries deteriorating, it was decided that the remains resting in 23 frontier forts be reinterred in Fort McPherson National Cemetery.

Many interesting tales are associated with the area. In August of 1864, Lt. John L. Grattan and 28 of his men were killed near Fort Laramie, Wyoming, in what came to be know as the "Grattan Massacre". It began over a cow who wandered from a passing Mormon wagon train into an Native American village. Searching for the person responsible for killing the cow and receiving no answer, Lt. Grattan ordered his troops to fire on the Native Americans. Brave Bear, a chief noted for his effort to establish peace, was killed. Incensed at the injustice, the Native Americans returned fire, killing Lt. Grattan and his entire troop. In 1891 their remains were moved to Fort McPherson National Cemetery.

Numerous other tales and stories of the early years are in the History of Fort McPherson National Cemetery. The last of the Civil War Veterans of Lincoln County, NE, Private Cyrus Fox, a member of Company C 7th Iowa Infantry, died on June 12, 1942. Coincidentally, Private Fox had served under General McPherson, for who the cemetery was named.

In some instances positive identification has been impossible due to the circumstances of death. Eighty-one group burials in Fort McPherson National Cemetery represent 350 decedents who served their country.
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Additional Photos by Larry Williams (lrw1966) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 378 W: 0 N: 451] (1632)
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