Winchester National Cemetery was established on land appropriated for burials during the Civil War. Although the land was used for burial purposes as early as 1862, the cemetery was not officially dedicated until April 8, 1866, and the land was not legally transferred to the U.S. government until Dec. 1, 1870, when Jacob Baker was paid $1,500 for the 4.89-acre tract and the deed was signed and executed.
Winchester National Cemetery was the final resting place for Union soldiers who fought and died at the battles of Winchester, New Market, Front Royal, Snickers Gap, Harper’s Ferry, Martinsburg, and Romney.
Physically, it was typical of first-generation national cemeteries built before 1870: the grounds were surrounded by a fence and thereafter a wall, a flagpole was centrally located, and a frame lodge followed by a masonry lodge served as an office and dwelling for the superintendent.
The Winchester cemetery benefited from federal programs initiated during the Great Depression. In 1930, the original tool house/comfort station was removed and a new, brick and stucco tool house/storage/comfort station building was erected by Civil Works Administration labor. During 1934 and 1936, headstones were reset and realigned, sunken graves were filled in, existing trees trimmed, new trees and roses planted, and the wall was repointed and repaired. In 1936, a brick and stucco gasoline storage building was constructed and a one-story addition and basement was added to the superintendent’s lodge by Workers Project Administration laborers. On Aug. 28, 1939, the original flagstaff was replaced with a new tubular steel one.
Winchester National Cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.