Veterans of Green-Wood

With over 580,000 permanent residents and counting, Green-Wood is the final resting place for people from all walks of life, spanning over three centuries. That number includes thousands of veterans who dedicated their lives in service of our country. And thanks to the work of hundreds of volunteers, guided by our historian, Jeff Richman, we’ve not only been able to identify over 5,000 veterans interred at Green-Wood, but also research and write biographies so you can learn about all of them!

Scroll down for directories to our veteran biographies, organized by the war in which they served.

BACKGROUND

It all began in August of 2002, when Green-Wood rededicated New York City’s Civil War Soldiers Monument on Battle Hill. As we spoke with reenactors and participants, we realized there was a great interest in the history of our many permanent residents who served in the military. In response, Historian Jeff Richman launched Green-Wood’s Civil War Project. The goal: to identify what were expected to be several hundred or so veterans of the Civil War who are interred at Green-Wood, to research and write their stories, and to mark any of their unmarked graves.

Over the years since, hundreds of volunteers have contributed their time and skills to the project. We have been able to identify many more individuals than we had anticipated, a remarkable 5,200 veterans who served in the Civil War in military, political, and social welfare roles. Short biographies were written for each of them (scroll down to access). We also placed approximately 2,200 monuments for those whose graves were unmarked, provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Following the unprecedented success of our Civil War Project, we set out to honor other veterans in the same way. Telling their stories is our way of thanking them for the work they did in preserving what we hold dear about this country. In 2017, which marked the 100th anniversary of United States participation in World War I, we turned our attention to World War I veterans. We now have almost 200 biographies of veterans of that “War to End All Wars” online. In 2021, we focused on veterans of World War II, calling on their descendants to identify those interred at Green-Wood. That effort was a triumph—hundreds of their wives, children, and neighbors generously shared stories and photographs. We now have almost 400 World War II biographies online, including those of women who served as “Rosie the Riveters,” as nurses, and in the military. Many of these biographies feature extraordinary photographs—of soldiers in uniform, surrounded by their comrades, of weddings, of funerals, all generously shared by loved ones.

Most recently, we’ve turned our attention to veterans of the Revolutionary War. In December 2023, we honored Ebenezer Stevens, who is interred at Green-Wood, on the 250th anniversary of his participation in the Boston Tea Party. He is the only participant in that event who is interred in New York City. We felt that it was important to search for other individuals interred at Green-Wood who played a role in our War of Independence. This research has been quite a challenge—almost all these veterans died before Green-Wood’s founding. They were interred in other burial grounds and later relocated to Green-Wood, so we have far less demographic information on them. But our volunteers were up to the challenge. We have been able to identify about 60 people who played a role in the Revolutionary War and are interred at Green-Wood.

Now we are expanding our work to include other turning points of history: the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Spanish-American War, and others, all the way to service in Iraq.

Our work is ongoing. So, if you have information about a veteran interred at Green-Wood, please contact our historian, Jeff Richman, at history@green-wood.com.

Revolutionary War

Civil War

World War II

War of 1812

World War I