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American War Cemetery



The Regional National Cemetery Improvement Corporation (RNCIC) was incorporated in 1984 to aid in the expansion and improvement of the Fayetteville National Cemetery. The incorporators were Col. Larry L. Browne, Jr., Ken Gibson and John Wm. Murphy. These three were also the RNCIC's first Board of Directors. Clem McClelland was our first president. The IRS designates 501(C)3 not-for-profits as:  501(C)3. It is a legally constituted, not-for-profit corporation 501(C)3 whose officers and directors are volunteers working without compensation. Membership in the RNCIC is open to all interested parties. We have kept the Cemetery open for burials and increased its size by over 200% since our founding.

Without past donations for the purchase of land, the cemetery would be closed to burials today.


Our mission is to secure land adjacent to the Fayetteville National Cemetery to ensure the cemetery can continue to receive veterans for burial.


Veterans living in Northwest Arkansas, as well as many veterans living outside our region, have planned their final resting place here. This desire stems from having been born and raised in Northwest Arkansas, having close family ties here, or having made their homes in the area following their service.


On July 17, 1862, Congress enacted legislation that authorized President Abraham Lincoln to purchase "cemetery grounds" to be used as national cemeteries "for soldiers who shall have died in the service of the country." National Cemeteries were established following an Act of Congress of February 22, 1867 and put under the jurisdiction of the War Department.


The War Department purchased four parcels of land in Fayetteville totaling 6.009 acres from Stephen K. Stone, merchant, on May 20, 1867 and David Walker, lawyer and judge, on June 14, 1867. This land constituted the Fayetteville National Cemetery which opened July 2, 1867. The Cemetery has been placed on the National registry of Historic Places and the Civil War Discovery Trail. It has also been declared a National Shrine.


The present size of the Fayetteville National Cemetery is nearly 16 acres and has over 10,398 interments. The increase in size has come about from many donations of land by the Regional National Improvement Corp. (RNCIC) beginning on August 1, 1989.


Since September 1, 1973, responsibility for the national cemetery rests with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Today, there are 136 national cemeteries in all. The Department of Veterans Affairs, through its National Cemetery Administration, administers 120 of them. Two national Cemeteries, Arlington and Soldiers Home, are still administered by the Army. Fourteen national cemeteries are maintained by the Department of the Interior.


More than 2.5 million Americans, including veterans of every war and conflict - from the Revolutionary War to the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars - are honored by burial in VA's national cemeteries. More than 14,200 acres of land from Hawaii to Maine, and from Alaska to Puerto Rico are devoted to the memorialization of those who served this nation.


Many of the national cemeteries have been closed to further burials and some are open only for cremations. Expansion to any existing cemetery can only be done by adding adjacent usable land. Any acquisition must be donated to the National Cemetery with an unencumbered title and the land cleared of all structures, utilities, pipes, sewers, etc.


We Need Your Support! Many people have given generously in the past. Your giving will be deeply appreciated and donations are tax deductible under current law. The RNCIC tax identification will be furnished upon request. Please become a member and/or make a donation.


We are the only organization of our kind in the country.

Our Board Of Directors

Steve Real, President

John Barnes, Vice President

Christine Thompson, Secretary

Steve Long, Treasurer

Board Members

Jake Lamkins
Jannie Layne
Cliff Madewell

Dan Webb
Merle Williams
Anton McBride, ex officio

Peggy McClain

Roger McClain

Erin Mize

Our Meetings

The monthly board of directors meetings are at 10:00 a.m. on the second Saturday of the month
at the American Legion Post 27, 1195 So. Curtis Ave., Fayetteville, AR or via Zoom. Due to Covid, these details are subject to change.  Contact us at if you have any questions. 

Members and guests are always welcome.

See More About our Full History and Archives


Help our nations heroes have a local resting place.

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