Wednesday

Sum it up: Chicago's Civil War Camp Douglas

This is my best effort in providing a Civil War, Chicago, Camp Douglas, summation.  I have a hunch that despite related articles I’ve written, minus further research, readers have more questions than answers. 

A near requirement of blog articles, keep it short, so here it goes: 

Chicago’s Camp Douglas contained, or tried to contain, thousands of Confederate prisoners.   

Camp Douglas was decrepit, disease ridden, starvation was rampant, senseless executions happened often, and the accounted for death toll, unbelievable. 

This relatively hidden Civil War camp was a tragic man made force.  How do we weigh one single horrendous event as more significantly disappointing than the other?

How could Chicago administrations metaphorically brush this relevant history under the rug?  Aside from embarrassment as the seed for an ugly excuse, laziness or foolishness, or a combination of any said reasons are quite possible.

Originally a Union training camp in 1861, the following year it turned into a prison camp for our Confederate soldiers.  When the American Civil War ended, roughly 26,000 soldiers lived, or died there.

It’s located on Chicago’s near South side, and contains the largest mass grave in the western hemisphere.

Levy, George: To DIE in CHICAGO: Confederate Prisoners at Camp Douglas, 1862–1865.

Tomorrow, there is more on Levy and the groundbreaking unearthing of facts, stay tuned.

Sheila Cull
Twin Cull ©