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Chicago's forgotten Civil War prison camp
Researchers from DePaul University and members of the Camp Douglas Restoration Foundation were out Monday where the Civil War prisoner camp Camp Douglas stood more than years ago searching for artifacts for a museum about the prison. But the Civil War-era camp still has some secrets lurking nearly two feet below the grass in parts of Douglas. Gregory said most of the historical sites of the camp have been destroyed when basements were dug for homes or is now paved over or on private land, like where the cemetery for small pox victims from the camp once was and which is now the parking lot for the Lake Meadows Shopping Center. During the Civil War, 31, Confederate soldiers went through Camp Douglas, with nearly 6, dying of small pox and diseases from malnutrition at the acre prison complex, which is where Lake Meadows Apartments, Martin Luther King Drive and Pershing school now stand. The group is hoping to start a museum about the camp in the Douglas community to serve as a physical reminder of the camp and is applying for a spot on the National Register of Historic Places to commemorate the spot.
What if they broke free and attacked? But once Chicagoans got a look at the defeated soldiers, the fears surely dissipated. The prisoners, who had no winter coats or blankets, had endured several days of travel on unheated boats up the Mississippi River to Cairo, Illinois, and then more exposure to frigid temperatures during the mile train trip to Chicago. Livermore, a Union army nurse, would recall years later. But somehow the Confederate POWs struggled on, just a few more yards, until they were inside the walls of Camp Douglas.
South Side Civil War Prison Camp Turning Up Bones And Buttons “No one in Chicago even knows about it, even now,” said Phil Grinstead.
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Orme Colonel Joseph H. DeLand Colonel James C. Strong Colonel Benjamin J. Camp Douglas , in Chicago , Illinois , sometimes described as "The North's Andersonville ," was one of the largest Union Army prisoner-of-war camps for Confederate soldiers taken prisoner during the American Civil War. Based south of the city on the prairie, it was also used as a training and detention camp for Union soldiers. The Union Army first used the camp in as an organizational and training camp for volunteer regiments.