|Established||1948, 72 years ago|
|Owned by||United States Department of Veterans Affairs|
|Size||105.9 acres (42.9 ha)|
|No. of graves||20,000 +|
|Website||Black Hills Nat'l Cemetery|
Black Hills National Cemetery is a United States National Cemetery in South Dakota, located three miles (5 km) southeast of Sturgis in Meade County. It encompasses 105.9 acres (42.9 ha), and as of the end of 2005, had 19,147 interments. Located at exit 34 of Interstate 90, it is administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which also administers the nearby Fort Meade National Cemetery. It is one of three national cemeteries in South Dakota (the other two being Fort Meade and Hot Springs).
The area around the Black Hills Cemetery was originally inhabited by the Lakota Indians. French explorers went through the region in the 1740s, and Spain laid claim to the area in 1762 until it was acquired by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. Fort Randall was established in 1856, and the 1861 establishment of Dakota Territory brought more settlers to the region, but it wasn't until gold was discovered in the Black Hills that the area acquired a large white settler population. Under the Treaty of Fort Laramie, the Lakota retained possession of the land of the Black Hills, but there was no stopping the settlers from entering the region, which led to several conflicts. Most of the original interments in the cemetery were soldiers who fell in battles of the Indian Wars, but it has since been used to inter veterans from every major campaign the United States has been involved in. The cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2016.