The Alexandria National Cemetery was established in 1867 on a site in Pineville after it was authorized by an Act of Congress on February 22, 1867 in the wake of the Civil War. It contains the remains of veterans who have served in every war, representing every branch of service since the 1860s. The United States, through the Secretary of War, took possession of this 8.24 acre parcel from the succession of Francois Poussin in 1871. Initially, there were 1,378 interments, 871 unknown, 507 known. Bodies were removed from many sites throughout Louisiana and Texas
and reinterred here. As of February 28, 1997, there were 7,647 sites used for the interment of 9,683 casketed remains and 57 sites used for the interment of 114 cremated remains.
The cemetery was originally enclosed with a picket fence, later replaced with a brick wall in 1870. The entrance is enclosed by wrought iron gates that date to 1938, which replaced an original wooden arch and double doors. The 1879 lodge was demolished and rebuilt in 1931. The Flag mound and flagstaff were replaced in 1950. The surveyed center of the state of Louisiana is located in the cemetery and identified by a square marble marker. Records indicate that there were two large gun monuments near the main entrance with an inscribed shield attached to one. These monuments were subsequently removed, but the shield was preserved and restored, and attached to the flagpole in 1953.