On April 9, 1868, Little Rock National Cemetary was designated a national cemetery with the stated purpose to concentrate remains of Union dead who had been buried throughout Arkansas.
In 1884, an 11-acre Confederate cemetery was established adjacent to the national cemetery. The remains of 640 Confederate soldiers were removed from Mt. Holly Cemetery in Little Rock and reburied here. In 1913, Congress authorized the Secretary of War to accept a deed from the City of Little Rock for the Confederate cemetery, with the restriction that only Confederate veterans could be interred on the newly acquired land. In 1938, this restriction was removed and the Confederate cemetery became the Confederate Section of Little Rock National Cemetery.
In 1990, the National Expansion Corp. purchased additional land from the adjoining Oakland Fraternal Cemetery and formally donated it to the United States for expansion of the national cemetery. In November 1999, the City of Little Rock donated one additional acre. Little Rock National Cemetery, encompassing a little over 31 acres, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.