Most of what remains of the site today is two acres of land, consisting primarily of the Confederate cemetery. In , William Knauss, a former officer in the Northern army, organized a memorial service for the dead Confederates. On June 7, , a monument to the Confederate dead was erected at the cemetery.
Confederate Prisoners of War
Memorial services have been held at the cemetery every year since Toggle navigation. Jump to: navigation , search. See Also William Dennison Jr. Dee, Christine, ed. Athens: Ohio University Press, Dodds, Gilbert F. Knauss, William H. Columbus, OH: General's Books, Leeke, Richard. Reid, Whitelaw. Cincinnati, OH: Clarke, Roseboom, Eugene H.
The Civil War Era: This beautifully carved and polished cane will be the center piece of the stories we tell about common soldiers experiences at Camp Chase. The cane is inscribed with Camp Chase Ohio 62 and the name J. Scrolling around the lower portion of the cane is a rattlesnake. Green is possibly John H. Green, a private who served in Company G of the 36 th Alabama Volunteers. Both items have been shipped the Historical Center, unpacked and photographed and will soon be cataloged in the Societys Online Collection Catalog.
The curatorial staff are excited that we were able to bid on these incredible objects and bring them to the Historical Society to preserve them for and share them with the people of Ohio. Posted January 22, Tagged With: No tags.
They solved the problem by taking apart burlap coffee sacks and reassembling the threads. Dentists, barbers, tailors, and shoemakers also plied their trades within the walls. One Confederate lieutenant, captured with his camera lens, located a tobacco tin, which provided a body for the lens. He then took photos of his fellow prisoners, which he sold to them for a dollar.
Those less skilled took in laundry, usually for a nickel a piece. Prisoners who received boxes of food from friends or relatives sometimes set up small restaurants in the prison marketplaces. Fort Delaware captives made beer from molasses, dispensing it at five cents a glass. Rations at Union prison camps were adequate but little more during the early years of the war. Sometimes they were able to exchange spoiled rations for better ones, sometimes not. Things changed for Confederate prisoners in the spring of Reports of horrible conditions at Andersonville and other Southern prisons had begun to reach the North.
Emaciated Yankees, returning on special exchanges, seemed to confirm those reports. Coffee, tea, and sugar were eliminated altogether except for sick prisoners. Worse, from the standpoint of prison entrepreneurs, the captives could no longer purchase food from the sutler. The Confederates also could no longer receive boxes of food from friends within Union lines.
Before long the diaries of Southern captives included accounts of measures taken to supplement meager rations. At Camp Morton streams running through the prison supplied crawfish. Oak trees offered acorns to Rock Island captives. Other options were less palatable.
Men began daily searches of their compounds, seeking out bones or any scrap of refuse. If their diaries are to be believed, the prisoners ate rats by the hundreds. Even dogs and cats that chanced into the compounds were not safe from the hungry Confederates. Retaliation also made escape a more tempting option for Confederate prisoners languishing in Northern compounds. The challenges were daunting. The first came in the form of a wall, patrolled by armed guards, that the men would have to get either under, over, or through.
Once beyond the wall, a furtive journey through many miles of hostile territory lay ahead. Tunnels were the most often tried method of escape, but in many ways the most difficult.
by Roger Pickenpaugh
For one thing the prisoners had to be very careful whom they enlisted to assist in their efforts. Many prisoners would inform on their comrades for extra rations or other special treatment. Commandants also planted detectives among the prisoners. Not all betrayals were so nefarious. Rainy weather collapsed one tunnel at Camp Chase, and a delivery wagon broke through another.
Ohio History Journal
Still there were occasional successes. A number of the escapees were eventually recaptured. In percentage terms the most successful tunnel escape from a Northern prison was the exodus of ten prisoners from Elmira on the night of October , Three men had begun their tunnel in a vacant tent on August Working with pocketknives, they went down six feet before starting their horizontal foot shaft to the wall.
The group enlisted a select group of volunteers, swearing them to secrecy under penalty of death. They worked in pairs, one doing the digging as the other removed the dirt. Although one of the escapees was never heard from again, none was recaptured. Scaling the wall was another option for would-be escapees, albeit a risky one.
Six Camp Douglas captives succeeded on the night of September 6, , largely due to the incompetence of the guards. The Chicago sentries had fallen into the habit of exchanging unused firing caps when a new relief came on duty. This saved them the trouble of firing then cleaning their weapons. It also fouled the caps, rendering them useless.
As a result several failed to discharge when the guards attempted to thwart the escape. Just three weeks later the guards had more success thwarting an attempted escape at Camp Douglas.
Twelve prisoners were involved in the plot. One tossed a blanket over a nearby lamp as a second followed with a plank of wood. He intended either to breach the fence or to allow the escapees a means of getting over it. His designs will never be known because a guard shot the daring prisoner in the face, mortally wounding him. Although one captive claimed to have heard some twenty-five shots, nobody else was wounded. Still, the shooting ended the charge, and nobody escaped. Prisoners at Camp Morton made the attempt on the night of September 27, , a night chosen for its extreme darkness.
Then they charged the fence with homemade ladders. Some were fashioned from tent poles. Two prisoners were shot and killed. Three escaped, although blood trails suggested that two had been hit,. The bloodshed did not serve long as a deterrent. On the night of November 14, forty-eight prisoners made their escape. The method was similar. They got over with ladders made from boards taken from the bottoms of their bunks. At least seventeen of the escapees were later recaptured. Often pure deviousness was the most successful means of effecting an escape-- but not always.
One Camp Douglas prisoner learned this lesson in May Watching a group of thirty citizens take a tour of the camp, he slipped into civilian clothes and blended in with them.
As the tour ended and he neared the gate with the group, a fellow prisoner greeted him, thus alerting the otherwise unsuspecting guard. On other occasions, acts of subterfuge worked.