Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Elmira Museum Unveils Civil War Prison Camp Exhibit

From the August 12, 2014, Elmira (NY) Star Gazette.

The Chemung County Historical Society at 415 E. Water Street in Elmira, New York, has a new exhibit "So Far From Home: Life in Elmira's Confederate Prison Camp" which has opened.  It is the last in its four-part Chemung County Civil War Experience series.

Earlier in the war, Elmira had been a military recruiting depot where soldiers trained.  Later in the war, Elmira became a draft rendezvous and then a prison.

Just three granite markers showing the boundaries of the camp remain.  They were dedicated in 1900 by the Baldwin Post of the Grand Army of the Republic.

Two are still outside: Water Street and Hoffman Street (northeast corner), West Water Street east of Gould Street (northwest corner) and one is on display at the Chemung Valley Historical Museum.

You hear so much about the horrors of Confederate prisons, it is good to see that efforts are being made to bring the stories of Union ones to the public.  I understand there is a movement to do the same at Chicago's Camp Douglas.

--Old Secesh

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