Saturday, July 7, 2012

Unearthing Chicago's Civil War History-- Part 2

By the end of the war, about 6,000 Confederates had died at the infamous prison Camp Douglas.  The final resting place for most is Oak Woods Cemetery which has their names on plaques and an impressive monument.  Famed blacks such as Chicago's Mayor Harold Washington, Olympic champion Jesse Owens and Ida B. Wells are also buried there.

Camp Douglas was demolished after the war with the remaining wooden posts and limestone foundations gradually sinking  into the Near South Side earth.

Now, a small group of academics and volunteers is trying to bring the camp back into the city's consciousness.  Historian Robert Girardi said, "This is probably the most significant Civil War site in Chicago."

I agree completely.  And most Chicagoans are completely unaware of its existence or the horrible conditions the prisoners had to endure.  Many people are aware of Andersonville, the infamous Confederate prison in Georgia, but not this one.

There is even a camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans named after Camp Douglas to salute those poor victims.

More to Come.  --Old Secesh

No comments: