Finn’s Point was declared a national cemetery on Oct. 3, 1875, at the behest of Virginia Gov. James L. Kemper. Kemper’s concern was the neglected condition of the graves of Confederate soldiers who died while being held prisoners of war at Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Island in the middle of the neighboring Delaware River.
Most all of the confederate soldiers were buried in mass graves at the cemetery.
Many of the dead prisoners were ferried across the river and buried at Finn’s point, while others were interred on the grounds of the island fortress, along with those Union Army guards who also died during the course of their service.
In response to the Virginia governor’s request, Adjutant-General E.D Townsend directed that the remains of all Confederate and Union Soldiers from Pea Patch Island be reinterred at the new national cemetery.
In 1879 the U.S Government erected a marble monument dedicated to the memory of the 135 Union soldiers now buried there.
In 1910, a monument to the 2,436 Confederate soldiers buried there in a mass grave was rebel dead was established.
The cemetery also holds the remains of soldiers from the Spanish-American War, World War I, and some of those who served at nearby Fort Mott when it was still an active military base.
The grounds of the cemetery also contains the bodies, and simple white marble markers, of 13 German prisoners of war who died while imprisoned at Fort Dix.
Many local veterans are also buried there.
Finn’s Point is one of only two national cemeteries in New Jersey, the other being located in Beverly, and unlike Beverly, still accepts cremains for interment.