During the Civil War, the government needed to care for disabled soldiers returning from the conflict. In 1865, President Lincoln signed legislation to create the “National Asylum for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers and Sailors.” Renamed the “National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers” in 1873, the original site was expanded from a basic shelter for veterans to a planned community, fully equipped with chapels, schools, hotels, libraries, theaters, and farm buildings. As the carnage of war left thousands in need of care, the Board of Managers of the Home created ten self-contained branch facilities throughout the country.
The National Military Home in Marion, Indiana, was one of these branches. Opened in 1890, the 151-acre facility served veterans of the Civil War and every conflict thereafter. The Home was also racially integrated: white and black veterans lived together here a full eighty years before the integration of the military troops. After it’s creation in 1930, the Veteran’s Administration took charge of the home.
Once serving as many as 1,700 veterans in its nearly one hundred buildings, the National Military Home in Marion, Indiana is now used as a military hospital for roughly 200 patients. Bounded by the Mississinewa River, the National Military Home still features a beautiful campus along with a rich national history of care for war veterans.
For more information:
- Dick Simons, Grant County Historian (765) 664-2150