From the Nov. 6, 2015, Chicago Tribune "Rest in peace: Abraham Lincoln National cemetery serves veterans and their families."
According to the U.S. Department of veterans Affairs, the National Cemetery Administration began because of the mounting deaths during the Civil War. Congress empowered President Abraham Lincoln "to purchase cemetery grounds and cause them to be securely enclosed, to be used as a national cemetery for the soldiers who shall die in the service of the country."
This was the first U.S. legislation to establish and put into motion the concept of a national cemetery to honor the fallen.
There were 14 national cemeteries established in 1862, one of which was Camp Butler National Cemetery located in Sangamon County near Springfield, Illinois. It occupies a portion of Camp Butler (not named for Union General Benjamin Butler), the second-largest Union military training camp in Illinois during the war.
In addition to the Union soldiers, there are also Confederate soldiers buried there who died while prisoners of the North. Other wars represented among the burials are the Spanish-American War, the two World Wars, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
In 1997, Camp Butler National Cemetery was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.