Cave Hill National Cemetery is located in the northwest corner of Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, Ky. The original .65 acre was donated by the Cave Hill Cemetery Company as a burial site for soldiers who died in the service of their country. Additional acreage was added in 1863, 1864, 1867 and 1897 through donation and purchase.
While the site was officially established as a national cemetery in 1863 within the fashionable Cave Hill Cemetery, the first interment occurred in November 1861. The initial burials were soldiers who died at camps and hospitals in the Louisville area. In spring 1867, 732 remains gathered from various points along the Louisville and Nashville Railroad were also interred at Cave Hill, primarily in section D.
Twelve soldiers of the 32nd Indiana Regiment, commanded by Brig. Gen. August Willich are interred in graves 1-12, Section C. The troops perished in a battle at Rowlett Station between the 500 men under Willich’s command and 3,000 Confederates. They were originally buried near the battle site and the graves marked by a stone tablet bearing a carved American eagle and the following inscription in German:
Here rest the first heroes of the 32nd Indiana German Regiment, who laid down their lives for the preservation of the free Constitution of the republic of the United States of North America. They were killed December 17, 1861, in a fight with the rebels at Rowlett Station, Kentucky, in which one regiment of Texas rangers, two regiments of infantry, and a battery of six cannon, (over 3,000 strong) were defeated by 500 German soldiers.