Bellefontaine Cemetery (Posey Co., Ind.)

Bellefontaine Cemetery is located in Posey County, Indiana, one mile north of Mt. Vernon, on Highway 69. Bellefontaine Cemetery was established in 1850 and has over 9,800 graves. Some of the Civil War soldiers and sailors buried there include:

  • Richard Fulton Barter, a Union colonel who commanded the 25th Indiana Infantry Regiment and was wounded at the Battle of Shiloh.
  • Alvin Peterson Hovey, a Union brigadier general who fought at the battles of Shiloh, Corinth, and Vicksburg. He later became the governor of Indiana and has a historical marker near the cemetery entrance.
  • James Biddle, a Union brevet brigadier general who served as a staff officer and an engineer. He was involved in several campaigns in Virginia and North Carolina.
  • John W. Foster, a Union brevet brigadier general who served as a diplomat and a journalist. He is the namesake of our SUVCW chapter. He was also the grandfather of John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles.
  • William Harrow, a Union brigadier general who commanded a division at the Battle of Gettysburg and was wounded at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House.

The John W. Foster Camp embarked on a large-scale cemetery project that resulted in application for and receiving 103 new military headstones, in addition to another 26 to be reset. In all, there will be 129 replaced and reset headstones within the Soldiers Row at Bellefontaine. Over one quarter of the soldiers buried in Soldiers’ Row at Bellefontaine died at the Mt. Vernon, Indiana, U.S. General Hospital during the Civil War. The remaining number were buried after the war and include a small number of Spanish American war veterans as well as one Indian War and WW I veteran. The research to find unknown named soldiers has been ongoing since February of 2022. Work at the cemetery is nearing completion and is expected to end in early May. The Foster Camp has been working side by side with the Sons of the American Legion Post in Mt. Vernon, Indiana, to complete the project.

In addition to replacing and resetting headstones in Soldiers’ Row, the Foster Camp received requests to replace three additional headstones within the cemetery but outside of Soldiers’ Row. Assisting in the work was Camp Commander David Hoesli and Past Department Commander Dennis Hutchinson.

Notably, there are 23 Confederate soldiers buried at Bellefontaine Cemetery. They were captured by Union forces and died as prisoners of war. They were originally buried at Camp Morton in Indianapolis, but were later reinterred at Bellefontaine Cemetery by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.