Chicago’s Civil War Graves

The Main Gate at Rosehill

Although the city was not the site of many significant battles, Chicago is home to thousands of Union and Confederate graves. Robert Girardi, a local Civil War historian, talked to Chicago Tonight about where people can go to pay their respects in honor of the anniversary of the start of the war.

Rosehill Cemetery
5800 N. Ravenswood Ave.
Chicago, IL

Rosehill, established in 1859, is among the oldest cemeteries in Chicago. It is the final resting place for many of Illinois’ governors and Chicago’s mayors, as well as a significant amount of Union veterans and generals. Here are the generals that you can visit at Rosehill:

Thomas E.G. Ransom: Originally the colonel of the 11th Illinois infantry, Ransom was wounded numerous times and died during the war.

Edward Kirk: Kirk was the colonel of the 34th Illinois infantry. He was mortally wounded at the Battle of Stones River in Tennessee.

John McArthur: A Scottish immigrant, McArthur ran the Excelsior Iron Works before founding the Chicago Highland Guards. McArthur formed the 12th Illinois infantry in Springfield, Illinois after the battle at Fort Sumter. He later became a division commander.

“Long John” Wentworth: Wentworth was mayor of Chicago during the Civil War.

Bohemian National Cemetery
5255 N. Pulaski Road
Chicago, IL

Many Union and Confederate soldiers are buried here, and the cemetery has a Civil War monument that was dedicated in 1892.

Graceland Cemetery
4001 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL

Along with many Civil War soldiers, Graceland is home to the grave of Joseph Medill, who was one of President Abraham Lincoln’s biggest supporters and edited the Republican Chicago Tribune.

Calvary Catholic Cemetery
301 Chicago Avenue
Evanston, IL

This cemetery dates back to 1859, and has many Civil War soldiers’ graves. Calvary contains the grave of Patrick McGuire, the Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor recipient. He was a Private in the Chicago Mercantile Battery, and was awarded the medal for action in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The grave of another Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor winner, Hugh Molloy, is also at Calvary. Molloy was in the Union Navy.

Also present is James Mulligan’s grave. Originally from Ireland, Mulligan founded the 23rd Illinois infantry which was known for its Irish ties. After losing a battle, Mulligan went to Camp Douglas in Chicago where he was the commandant. He was killed in the Shenandoah Valley in 1864.

Oak Woods Cemetery
1035 E. 67th Street
Chicago, IL

Established in 1854, Oak Woods is among the oldest cemeteries on the South Side. It is estimated that there are close to 6,000 Confederate soldiers, who died at the neighboring POW Camp Douglas, buried at Oak Woods. A tall monument stands above their graves and cannons surround them.

Forest Home Cemetery
863 Des Plaines Avenue
Forest Park, IL

Among the Civil War veterans interred at Forest Home Cemetery is Samuel Fallows, a Union Brevet Brigadier General. He began the war as the 32nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Chaplain, but eventually gave up the role to join in the fighting. After the war ended, he became a bishop. Brigadier General Milo Hascall from Indiana is also buried at Forest Home.

For more information on local collections of Civil War artifacts and memorabilia, check out the links below:

Chicago Public Library: Civil War Archives
Chicago History Museum: Abraham Lincoln
The Newberry Library


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4 responses to “Chicago’s Civil War Graves”

  1. sally Duros says:

    Quad Communities covers some Civil War history in its neighborhoods through audio slide tours and mobile tours.

    These high-quality neighborhood based tools for tourists are well worth viewing and using.

  2. Edward Podlesak says:

    I was glad to see that Bohemian Nation was on the list. My great grand father John Talafous is one of the Union Soldiers buried there. He was with the Illinois 24th.

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