In 1846, with the founding of the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, local leaders recognized the necessity of a local cemetery. Forest Home Cemetery was established in 1850 to meet this need. An example of the rural cemetery movement, Forest Home Cemetery originally contained 72 acres of pastoral land located outside of the city center. It is one the oldest rural cemeteries in the region, as well as the final resting place for many significant individuals in Wisconsin history. Sixteen mayors of Milwaukee and five governors of Wisconsin are interred at Forest Home Cemetery. Over the years the cemetery has expanded and today it is 200 acres.
The 0.038-acre soldiers' lot, located in section 24, block 5, was purchased from Forest Home Cemetery by the federal government in 1872. Most of the initial burials in the soldiers' lot came from general hospitals in the Milwaukee area. There are 21 interments within this lot.
Forest Home Cemetery, including the soldiers' lot, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in November 1980.