At Hinchliff-Pearson-West Funeral Directors and Cremation Services it is our wish that veterans and their spouses strongly consider using Rock Island National Cemetery. All veterans and their spouses are entitled to two (2) free graves, 2 concrete grave liners, perpetual care, and a solid granite double upright grave marker. There are never charges to dig graves at a bona – fide National Cemetery. Rock Island National Cemetery has a rich history. It is conveniently located on Arsenal Island which is accessed over the Moline Bridge, from 14th Street, Moline, IL.
All visitors are required to enter the Rock Island Arsenal over the Moline Bridge, which is accessed from 14th Street, Moline, IL.
Military Funeral Honors
Military Funeral Honors may be obtained through the local funeral director and are provided by various veterans’ service organizations in any of the Quad-Cities. Organizations such as The American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars generally provide the honors at Rock Island National Cemetery.
Rock Island National Cemetery was established within the confines of the U.S. Arsenal located on Rock Island in the Mississippi River near the cities of Davenport, Iowa, and Moline, Illinois. In 1863 an area was set aside to bury Union soldiers who died while serving as guards at the large Confederate prison camp established on Rock Island by the U.S. government. In 1868, the inspector of national cemeteries reported that the Rock Island cemetery contained 136 remains, including seven unknowns and six women and children. He described it as rectangle of 216 feet by 96 feet, enclosed with a “paling fence.” At the time, the arsenal’s commanding officer, General Thomas Rodman, indicated that the location of the burial area would ultimately conflict with his plans for extending arsenal-complex buildings. He recommended the remains of individuals currently interred at Rock Island be moved to the upper end of the island; the inspector of national cemeteries further suggested that Civil War decedents interred in Oakdale Cemetery in Davenport, Iowa, be removed to the new site on Rock Island, as well. Subsequent property transfers from the Rock Island Arsenal Reservation in 1926, 1936 and 1950 brought the national cemetery to its present 31.5 acres. Rock Island is the final resting place of soldiers who served in the Civil War, as well as the Mexican War, Indian Wars, Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, Persian Gulf and Iraq.
Rock Island Confederate Cemetery
Between 1863 and 1865, the federal government established a second cemetery of a little more than two acres for the burial of Confederate prisoners of war. Approximately 1,950 soldiers died at the Rock Island Confederate Prison, founded there in 1863. The first POWs, captured during the battles of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge in Tennessee in November 1863, arrived in December. Throughout the war, Confederates were brought to Rock Island from battle areas throughout the South; eventually, more than 12,000 POWs were confined there. Prisoners died from a variety of causes, including exposure to the cold, harsh winters, malnutrition and diseases such as smallpox.
Notable Persons – Medal of Honor Recipients
Private First Class Edward J. Moskala (World Ward II), U.S. Army, Company C, 383rd Infantry Division. Kakazu Ridge, Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, April 9, 1945 (Section E, Grave 293).
Private First Class Frank Peter Witek (World War II), 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division. Battle of Finegayen at Guam, Mariana’s, Aug. 3, 1944 (Section E, Grave 72).
It is an honor to be buried at a National Cemetery! Please remember this when making your pre-arrangements.