In August, 1862, David Judd of the 33rd New York Infantry wrote upon passing through Yorktown: "Near to the fortifications [Confederate] was a Union Cemetery, containing the graves of 300 Union soldiers, each of which was adorned by a neat head-board, designating the name and regiment of the soldier." By the end of the Civil War in 1865, the total of Union soldiers buried in the "Union Cemetery" exceeded 600. The following year, the cemetery formally became a National Cemetery and Union dead from 50 sites within a 50 mile radius of Yorktown were re-interred in the newly landscaped cemetery.
Today, the Yorktown National Cemetery, which is closed to burials, contains the remains of 2,183 soldiers, ten of which are Confederate. Only 747 of the dead are identified. Many of the dead are from the 1862 Peninsula Campaign and other battles around Richmond, though some died during the period Yorktown served as a Union garrison from 1862-1864.
Yorktown is located a short distance from Interstate 64 (I-64). Eastbound from the Richmond area via I-64, take Route 199, exit 242B, to the Colonial Parkway. Follow the parkway to its end. West bound I-64 from the Virginia Beach/Norfolk/Hampton area take Route exit 250B (Route 105 East - Fort Eustis Boulevard) to Route 17 (George Washington Memorial Highway). Turn left (North) onto Route 17. Follow the signs to the Yorktown Battlefield.