In July 1862, Congress passed legislation giving the President of the United States the authority to purchase land for the establishment of cemeteries "for the soldiers who shall die in the service of their country." This legislation effectively began the National Cemetery system.
With more than 6,000 graves, Poplar Grove National Cemetery reflects the tragedy that befell the United States during the Civil War. Each simple headstone is a poignant reminder of the human cost of war. In 1933 responsibility of the cemetery was transferred from the War Department to the National Park Service (NPS). It is closed for burials but visitors are invited to walk the grounds, which are open daily.
The park's visitor center is located two miles east of I-95 (Wythe Street Exit) on State Highway 36 East and three miles west of I-295 (Fort Lee Exit). The Five Forks Unit of the park is in Dinwiddie County. From I-85, take the Dinwiddie Courthouse exit, follow the signs to Courthouse Road; turn right on Courthouse Road (State Route 627) and proceed five miles to Five Forks.