Speaker: Al Cochran
Superintendent of Jefferson Barracks
Mr Cochran presented an overview of the history and operations of the cemetery. Me Cochran gave the history of and explained criteria for burial in National Cemeteries.

Jefferson Barracks, one of the National Cemetery Administration's oldest interment sites, has served as a burial place for soldiers from all wars. The original military post was built south of St. Louis on the banks of the Mississippi River to replace Fort Bellefontaine. Selected for its strategic geographic location, the post was opened in 1826. Jefferson Barracks became the Army’s first permanent base west of the Mississippi River. By the 1840s, it was the largest military establishment in the United States. During the Civil War Jefferson Barracks served as a training post for the Union Army. There was also a hospital at the post for the Union army’s sick and wounded. Jefferson Barracks was formally established as a national cemetery in 1866 by passage of a Congressional joint resolution. The first burial is believed to have occurred the year after the post’s founding on August 5, 1827. On that date, Elizabeth Ann Lash, the infant daughter of an officer stationed there was interred at the post cemetery.