Did you know that Rosehill Cemetery, located on Chicago’s North Side, is the largest non-sectarian cemetery in the city? 

Chartered in 1859, Rosehill was still in its formative years when the American Civil War broke out two years later.  In an effort to advance its reputation within the community and to draw outside visitors, the cemetery actively pursued the families of prominent war dead in hopes of having them interred at Rosehill. 

The Civil War dead did come… followed by the living.

In the post-war years, Rosehill Cemetery became a foremost site where Chicagoans wrestled with how to remember the sacrifices of the over half million soldiers who perished between 1861 and 1865.  Marking graves, building monuments, and participating in commemorative events allowed veterans, families of deceased soldiers, and the country as a whole to attempt to create meaning and find understanding.

Now, over 150 years after the first Union soldier was buried in Rosehill, an extensive Civil War Section greets visitors to the cemetery, urging them to explore the grassy lawns, walk the winding avenues, and read the faded text on monuments from times long past.

Interested in discovering the Civil War history that lurks in Rosehill Cemetery yourself?  Click through this digital exhibit!

This exhibition includes three sections:

The sections are designed to build upon each other and to be navigated in the above order.  Each is divided up into smaller segments featuring images and photos, excerpts from historical newspapers, and background information.  A final section provides concluding remarks. 

Check out the featured exhibit below to get started!

Recently Added Items

Map of Monuments and Markers


Map depicting the monuments and markers featured in "The Civil War and Chicago: Memorialization, Commemoration, and Remembrance at Rosehill Cemetery"…

View of Civil War Section

Front Section.JPG

Photo of the primary Civil War section just inside the gate.

Entrance to Rosehill with Chicago and North Western Railway Station and Tracks

Train Platform.jpg

Photo depicting William W. Boyington Gate and Chicago and North Western Railway.

Soldiers' Cemetery, Alexandria, Va.

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Photo of the Soldiers' Cemetery in Alexandria, Virginia.