Danville National Cemetery is located within the municipal Bellevue Cemetery in the city of Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky. Danville is the county seat, situated about 40 miles south of Frankfort. The Dix River, a primary watershed and a principal geographic reference during the late 18th century, is located three miles east of the city. Walker Daniel laid out the town in 1783-84, and gave the community its name. Danville was chartered in 1787 by the legislature of the Commonwealth of Virginia; it was among the first incorporated settlements in what was then the county of Kentucky.
Kentucky's first governor, Isaac Shelby, made his home just outside of Danville. The city hosted Kentucky's first Constitutional Convention in 1784; after nine additional meetings, the original constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky was adopted in 1792. Later that same year, the state capital was relocated to Frankfort.
Bellevue Cemetery was established in the 1840s, and was originally known as Danville City Cemetery. At the beginning of the Civil War, the federal government appropriated 18 lots in the cemetery from the city. In 1876, the small rectangular soldiers' lot was designated a national cemetery.
Danville National Cemetery encompasses less than a half-acre in the northwest corner of Bellevue Cemetery. Each corner of the federal property is marked with a square post inscribed with the letters "U.S." on the upper face. There is a centrally located U.S. flagpole. The cemetery is divided into six burial sections; five for soldiers and one for the interment of civilians. Most of the initial interments were Union soldiers who died in several Danville hospitals, including one set up in the courthouse; the rest of the burials were primarily reinterments from regional cemeteries. A Confederate lot in the Bellevue Cemetery with 66 interments adjoins the national cemetery. Bellevue Cemetery continues to be operated by the city of Danville and remains open for burials.