Saturday, March 29, 2014

South Carolina Archaeologists Race to Uncover Civil War Prison

From the Feb. 16, 2014, Washington Times.

Archaeologists are going as fast as they can to learn as much as they can about a former prison camp near downtown Columbia, South Carolina.  They have been given four months to excavate a small portion of the 165-acre grounds of the former S.C. State Hospital for the remnants of what was known as Camp Asylum which held 1,500 Union officers during the winter of 1864-1865.

One source says Camp Asylum was hastily constructed on the grounds of the S.C. Lunatic Asylum, hence the name.  It also said that 500 Union officers were kept there.

Conditions were so dire that the prisoners dug and lived in holes.  They would share the holes and walk at night so they didn't freeze.  Enlisted men were sent off to Andersonville in Georgia.

The site was sold to a developer for development for $15 million.  Some 40 diaries concerning life in the camp have been located and are being used in the search..  So far, researchers digging in the reddish earth have found buttons, combs and remnants of clothing.  One hole contained crudely fashioned bricks.

From the diaries, they know that the camp commander told them "they could sing all the Yankee songs as they wanted, but they also had to sing a Southern song.  So they'd sing 'Battle Hymn of the Republic,' and then they'd sing 'Dixie."

Three days before Gen. Sherman's Army entered Columbia, the prisoners were removed to Charlotte and from thereto Wilmington.

Hurry Up and Research.  --Old Secesh

No comments: