The Crown Hill Confederate Plot is located in Section 32, Lot 285, of Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, IN. Crown Hill Cemetery is notable as one of the largest private cemeteries in the country at 555 acres. Incorporated September 25, 1863, as a non-denominational facility, Crown Hill Cemetery provided much needed burial grounds at a time when space was diminishing in the city cemetery. Following the contemporary movement to locate cemeteries away from urban cores, Crown Hill Cemetery was established approximately three miles away from downtown Indianapolis. Among the many notables buried in Crown Hill Cemetery are President Benjamin Harrison, 11 governors of Indiana, and the notorious bank robber John Dillinger.
The Crown Hill Cemetery Confederate Plot was established in 1931 as a memorial and burial place for 1,616 unknown Confederate Soldiers. Most of the soldiers interred here died at Camp Morton, a Union prison on the north side of Indianapolis. Between 1862 and 1865, at least 9,000 Confederate prisoners passed through the gates of Camp Morton. Initially, deceased prisoners were interred in the nearby Greenlawn Cemetery. In 1912, the federal government erected an imposing, 27' tall Confederate monument in Greenlawn Cemetery, featuring the names of persons who perished at Camp Morton. However, Greenlawn Cemetery closed in 1928, and the Confederate monument was relocated to the city's Garfield Park to make it more visible to the public. Five years later, the remains of the Confederate soldiers were moved to Crown Hill Cemetery, and placed in a mass grave. On top of the mound a new granite monument was erected, commemorating the unknown Confederate dead.
Crown Hill Cemetery, including the Confederate Plot and the nearby Crown Hill National Cemetery - established for the Union dead - was listed on the National Register for Historic Places in February 1973.
Monuments and Memorials
The original inscription on the 6' tall granite monument erected on the site in 1933 read: "Remains of 1616 Unknown Confederate Soldiers who died at Indianapolis while Prisoners of War." In 1993, a local effort led to the rededication of the site, which included a modification of the original monument. Today, a bronze tablet on its base reads: "Confederate Mound: These Confederate soldiers and sailors died at Indianapolis while prisoners of war. They were transferred here from Greenlawn Cemetery in 1933 to rest eternal. A large monument to these dead now stands in Garfield Park, Indianapolis, Indiana." In addition, ten bronze tablets on granite bases were placed nearby, which contain the names of the Confederate dead believed to have been re-interred here.