The original National Cemetery is located on Walnut Street on the south side of Grafton. This cemetery is full, so a new National Cemetery was opened in the 1980s about 5 miles from here, on part of the old Pruntytown Industrial School for Boys property.
From plaque by the entrance: On the night of May 22, 1861, Pvt Thornsberry Bailey Brown and Lt Daniel Wilson, both members of Capt George R. Latham's Grafton Guards, were returning to Grafton from Pruntytown. Along the Northwestern Turnpike, they encountered three Letcher Guards who commanded Brown and Wilson to halt.
Brown pulled his pistol and shot, hitting Daniel W.S. Knight on the ear. Knight returned fire, which instantly killed Brown. Thornsberry Bailey Brown was the first Union soldier killed by a Confederate soldier. The next day, Confederate soldiers returned Brown's body to Capt Latham's men. Brown is buried in the Grafton National Cemetery.
The Grafton Guards would become Company B, 2nd West Virginia Infantry. The Letcher Guards would become Company A, 25th Virginia Infantry.
For a complete list of soldiers and others buried here, please click here.
Historical Marker located on Walnut St south of Grafton.
Main entrance to cemetery. Plaque on right side is VA Administration.
Some of the headstones - veterans of all wars through WWI, WWII and Korea.
View to the left of the entrance.
Headstone of Thornsberry Bailey Brown.
Preparing to leave. Truly sacred ground!