Camp Douglas (Chicago)
Camp Douglas, in Chicago, Illinois, was a Union Army prisoner-of-war camp for Confederate soldiers taken prisoner during the American Civil War. It was also a training and detention camp for Union soldiers. The Union Army first used the camp in 1861 as an organizational and training camp for volunteer regiments. It became a prisoner-of-war camp in early 1862. Later in 1862 the Union Army again used Camp Douglas as a training camp. In the fall of 1862, the Union Army used the facility as a detention camp for paroled Union Army prisoners pending their formal exchange for Confederate prisoners. Camp Douglas became a permanent prisoner-of-war camp from January 1863 to the end of the war in May 1865. In the summer and fall of 1865, the camp served as a mustering out point for Union Army volunteer regiments. The camp was dismantled and the movable property was sold off late in the year. In the aftermath of the war, Camp Douglas eventually came to be noted for its poor conditions and death rate of between seventeen and twenty-three percent.
Location and construction
On April 15, 1861, the day after the U.S. Army garrison surrendered Fort Sumter to Confederate forces, President Abraham Lincoln called 75,000 State militiamen into federal service for ninety days to put down the insurrection. On May 3, 1861, President Lincoln called for 42,000 three–year volunteers, expansion of the regular army by 23,000 men and of the U.S. Navy by 18,000 sailors. Convening in July 1861, Congress retroactively approved Lincoln's actions and authorized another one million three–year volunteers.
The states and localities had to organize and equip the volunteer regiments until later in 1861 when the federal government became sufficiently organized to take over the project. Soon after President Lincoln's calls for volunteers, many volunteers from Illinois gathered in various large public and private buildings in Chicago and then overflowed into camps on the prairie on the southeast edge of the city. Senator Stephen A. Douglas owned land next to this location and had donated land just south of the camps to the original University of Chicago. Henry Graves owned most of the property on which the camp was located. Illinois Governor Richard Yates assigned Judge Allen C. Fuller, soon to be adjutant general for the State of Illinois, to select the site for a permanent army camp at Chicago. Judge Fuller selected the site that was already in use for the makeshift camps because it was only four miles from downtown Chicago, prairie surrounded the site, nearby Lake Michigan could provide water and the Illinois Central Railroad ran within a few hundred yards of the site. Fuller was not an engineer and did not realize that the site was a poor choice for a large camp because of its wet, low–lying location. The camp originally lacked sewers and the prairie on which it was built could not absorb the waste from thousands of humans and horses. The camp flooded with each rainfall. In the winter, it was a sea of mud when the ground was not frozen. When the camp opened, only one water hydrant worked. There was a severe shortage of latrines and medical facilities from the time of the camp's initial use through the period of incarceration of the first group of Confederate prisoners in mid–1862.
The camp ran west four blocks from Cottage Grove Avenue to the present Martin Luther King Drive. Its northern boundary was what is now East 31st Street and its southern boundary was the current East 33rd Place, which then was named College Place. A gate in the south fence of the camp provided access to the property donated by Senator Douglas to the Old University of Chicago. A smallpox hospital, four rows of garrison barracks and an Illinois Central Railroad station were located on the former Douglas property.
The boundaries of the camp and the number, use and location of its buildings evolved during the war but certain main divisions of the camp existed for significant periods of time. "Garrison Square" contained officers' quarters, post headquarters, a post office and parade ground. "White Oak Square" housed both Union soldiers and prisoners until late in 1863. Prison hospitals and a morgue were located just to the south of the camp in an area of 10 acres (4 ha) known as "Hospital Square". In 1863, the army built "Prison Square" or "Prisoner's Square" in the western division of the camp as well as surgeons' quarters and warehouses. White Oak Square included the original camp prison and the building that would become the infamous "White Oak Dungeon." Prisoners who were being punished were subject to close confinement in small, dark and dirty conditions in this "dungeon." The "dungeon" was a room 18 square feet (1.7 m2), lit by one closely barred window about 18-by-8-inch (460 by 200 mm) off the floor, with entry only through a hatch about 20-inch (510 mm) square in the ceiling. The room had a damp floor and an intolerable stench from a sink (latrine) in the corner of the room.
Prison Square, which was located along the south and west sides of Garrison Square, was created by combining parts of other squares with White Oak Square and separating the area from other parts of the camp with a fence. Prison Square eventually contained 64 barracks which were 24 by 90 feet (7.3 by 27 m) with 20 feet (6.1 m) partitioned off as a kitchen. Designed for about 95 men, the camp's barracks held an average of 189 men when the prison population was its highest.
Command of Colonel Joseph H. Tucker
Governor Yates put Colonel Joseph H. Tucker, commanding the 60th Regiment, Illinois State Militia, in charge of building the camp. Yates also appointed Tucker as the camp's first commander. State militia troops called the Mechanics Fusiliers, who were apprentice and journeyman carpenters, built the barracks in October and November 1861. These troops mutinied on December 18, 1861 when the State of Illinois tried to press them into service as infantry upon completion of their work on Camp Douglas. The State further aggravated them by paying them less than they believed they were promised for their work. Regular troops had to suppress the rioting construction troops and restore order to the camp. After the Mechanics Fusiliers repaired damage that they had caused to a fence, they were allowed to return home.
By November 15, 1861, Camp Douglas housed about 4,222 volunteer soldiers from 11 regiments. In an ominous preview of the effects of living at the camp on the future prisoners, the recruits, who were in better physical condition than the later prisoners, suffered forty-two deaths from disease by February 1862. About 40,000 Union Army recruits arrived at the camp for outfitting and training before the camp was permanently converted to a prisoner of war camp. Colonel Tucker's job as camp commander was not easy even before the camp was converted to a prison camp. He had to use increasingly hard measures to curb considerable drunk and disorderly conduct by recruits in camp and in the city of Chicago, where the soldiers abused pass privileges.
Prison camp, 1862
Commands of Colonel Joseph H. Tucker and Colonel Arno Voss
On February 16, 1862, the Union Army under then Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant captured Fort Donelson, on the Cumberland River, and Fort Henry, on the Tennessee River, near Dover, Tennessee and with it about 12,000 to 15,000 Confederate prisoners. The army was unprepared to handle this large group of prisoners and scrambled to find places to house them. Colonel Tucker told General Grant's superior, Major General Henry W. Halleck, that Camp Douglas could accommodate 8,000 or 9,000 prisoners, which was about the same number of recruits that the camp was supposed to be able to accommodate. Fortunately, General Halleck's chief of staff at the scene, Brigadier General George W. Cullum sent many prisoners to St. Louis before he received War Department instructions to direct 7,000 prisoners to Camp Douglas because the camp and its staff could not even easily handle the smaller number of prisoners that it received. In the event, the Illinois Central Railroad took only 4,459 of the Fort Donelson prisoners to Camp Douglas from Cairo, Illinois where they had initially been sent.
On February 18, 1862, Colonel Arno Voss took brief temporary command of the camp until Colonel Tucker returned from Springfield, Illinois several days later. Thus, Voss had to prepare for arrival of the first prisoners from Fort Donelson. The first Confederate prisoners of war arrived at Camp Douglas on February 20, 1862 to find a camp but no real prison. They were housed for their first few days at the camp in the White Oak Square section along with newly–trained Union soldiers about to depart for service at the front. The army sent sick prisoners to the camp where there were no medical facilities at the time even though they were specifically warned not to do so. On February 23, 1862, the Union troops vacated the camp except for the inadequate force left to guard the prisoners. This guard consisted of one regiment of 469 enlisted men and about forty officers.
On February 25, 1862, General Halleck ordered Confederate officers transferred to Camp Chase, Ohio, which left Camp Douglas as a prison camp only for enlisted men. By the end of March, over 700 prisoners had died. About 77 escapes were recorded at Camp Douglas by June 1862. Historians have found no record of any escapee harming civilians.
Commands of Colonel Daniel Cameron and Colonel James A. Mulligan
On February 26, 1862, General Halleck ordered Colonel Tucker to report to Springfield, Illinois and a Union Army officer from Illinois, Colonel James A. Mulligan, took command of the camp until June 14, 1862. Between June 14 and June 19, 1862 Colonel Daniel Cameron, Jr. was in charge.
The first group of prisoners was treated reasonably well under the circumstances despite the inadequacy of the grounds, barracks and sewer and water systems. They received enough to eat, cooking stoves and utensils and clothing. A good sutler store was set up. On the other hand, Lieutenant Colonel William Hoffman, Union Army commissary general of prisoners, who had considerable authority over Union prison camps, and camp commanders Colonel Mulligan and Colonel Tucker made no efforts to secure a proper balanced diet for the prisoners, which would have helped prevent the onset or spread of disease.
The Union Army sent 3 tons of corn meal and large quantities of blankets, clothing, shoes and eating utensils to the camp on March 1, 1862. Nonetheless, sickness and death among the prisoners, and even among some guards, reached epidemic levels. Frozen hydrants led to a water shortage. One in eight of the prisoners from Fort Donelson died of pneumonia or various diseases. Colonel Hoffman told Colonel Mulligan to quarantine sick prisoners but Mulligan was slow to do so. Colonel Mulligan finally permitted only physicians and ministers to visit the prisoners after April 12, 1862.
Colonel Mulligan cooperated with local residents who provided a relief committee for the prisoners when they learned of the camp's poor conditions. Mulligan apparently showed some sympathy for the prisoners because he had been treated with respect by Confederate General Sterling Price when Mulligan's regiment had been captured and paroled at the First Battle of Lexington, Missouri on September 19, 1861. Mulligan was exchanged on October 30, 1861.
Colonel Hoffman soon realized that the camp was inadequate for a prison camp. He proposed construction of two–story insulated barracks at the camp but the army approved maintenance or construction of only the thin single-story structures that had been constructed for short term use by volunteer trainees. In 1862, Colonel Mulligan, Colonel Tucker and Colonel Hoffman all tried to get funds to improve the sewers and to build new barracks, but without immediate success.
After the Union Army victory at the battle of Shiloh and capture of Island No. 10 in the spring of 1862, Camp Douglas housed 8,962 Confederate prisoners. Conditions at the camp further deteriorated with the overcrowding. Escapes increased. Some escapes were aided by Southern sympathizers in Chicago and others were facilitated by lax administration by Colonel Mulligan and the guards.
Second command of Colonel Joseph H. Tucker
Even though he remained in the Illinois militia and was not taken into federal service, Colonel Tucker returned to command the camp on June 19, 1862. To deal with local civilian sympathizers who might be aiding escapes, Colonel Tucker declared martial law on July 12, 1862. When twenty–five prisoners escaped on July 23, 1862, Tucker arrested several citizens whom he believed aided the escapees. In addition, he brought in Chicago police to search the camp. This action caused much lasting animosity from the prisoners because the police confiscated many of the prisoners' valuables. The police also confiscated five pistols and many bullets. Twenty of the escapees were recaptured within two weeks.
In the summer of 1862, Henry Whitney Bellows, president of the U.S. Sanitary Commission, wrote the following to Colonel Hoffman after visiting the camp: "Sir, the amount of standing water, unpoliced grounds, of foul sinks, of unventilated and crowded barracks, of general disorder, of soil reeking miasmatic accretions, of rotten bones and emptying of camp kettles, is enough to drive a sanitarian to despair. I hope that no thought will be entertained of mending matters. The absolute abandonment of the spot seems to be the only judicious course. I do not believe that any amount of drainage would purge that soil loaded with accumulated filth or those barracks fetid with two stories of vermin and animal exhalations. Nothing but fire can cleanse them." Hoffman already had made requests for improvements in the camp, but he kept the report secret because he did not want to take a position contrary to that taken by any superior such as Quartermaster General Meigs. The camp was such an unhealthy place that one of Colonel Tucker's sons who served with him at the camp became ill and died in the summer of 1862.
Conditions at the camp improved that summer as almost all the prisoners left by September 1862. About one thousand prisoners took an oath of allegiance to the United States and were freed. All prisoners who were not too ill to travel were exchanged due to implementation of the July 22, 1862 Dix–Hill prisoner cartel between the Union and Confederate armies. By October 6, 1862, the few remaining prisoners who had been too ill to leave earlier also were gone. Through September 1862, 980 Confederate prisoners and 240 Union Army trainees and guards had died at Camp Douglas, almost all from disease.
Training camp and camp for detained Union parolees, 1862
In the fall of 1862, Camp Douglas again briefly became a training camp for Union army volunteers. The Union Army then used the camp for its most unusual purpose.
Union Army parolees under command of Brigadier General Daniel Tyler
Union soldiers who were paroled after their capture by Confederate Lieutenant General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson at the Battle of Harpers Ferry, Virginia (later West Virginia) on September 15, 1862 were sent to Camp Douglas for temporary detention. Under the terms of the prisoner cartel, they had to await formal exchange before they could leave the camp. These 8,000 paroled Union soldiers began to arrive at Camp Douglas on September 28, 1862. Brigadier General Daniel Tyler relieved Colonel Tucker  of command of the camp. Under Tyler's command these Union soldiers had to live under similar conditions to those endured by the Confederate prisoners from Fort Donelson. In fact, the conditions were worse because the camp had become filthy and even more run down during its occupancy by the prisoners. The paroled soldiers were fortunate to have only about a two–month stay. They were able to tolerate the conditions somewhat better than the previous Confederate prisoners could because the Union parolees were more warmly dressed and in better physical condition. The damp conditions and bad food still took their toll on the parolees. By November, forty soldiers of the 126th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment were dead and about another sixty were ill with fevers.
Under these oppressive conditions, the Union Army parolees soon became mutinous, set fires and made many attempted escapes. On October 23, 1862, General Tyler brought in regular U.S. troops to stop parolee riots. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton also ordered Tyler to relax his strict discipline which helped calm the parolees. Most of the prisoner of war exchanges between the Union and Confederate armies under the cartel were completed by the end of November, 1862 All the parolees left the camp by the end of that month except for Colonel Daniel Cameron and his 65th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment who were held until April 19, 1863 and put to work as guards. Thirty–five men of this regiment also had died of disease at the camp during their confinement.
Prison camp, 1863–1865
Command of Brigadier General Jacob Ammen and Second and Third Commands of Colonel Daniel Cameron
Ironically, on November 20, 1862, Colonel Daniel Cameron, who had been in brief command of the camp earlier in the year, and had been among the parolees, again took command of the camp.
On January 6, 1863, the Union Army ordered Brigadier General Jacob Ammen to take command of Camp Douglas, as Confederate prisoners from the Battle of Stones River were being sent to the camp. About 1,500 poorly clothed and generally physically unfit Confederate prisoners arrived at the camp on January 26, 1863. About 1,300 other prisoners arrived the next day and 1,500 more arrived on January 30, 1863 after the Union Army captured Fort Hindman (Arkansas Post). On February 2, 1863, General Ammen reported that many prisoners were too sick to endure conditions at the camp, but his report did not prompt the army or the War Department to make any immediate improvements at the camp.
During February 1863, 387 of 3,884 prisoners died. This was the highest mortality rate in any Civil War prison camp for any month of the war. Since the prisoners had just arrived at the camp during the previous few weeks, these prisoners must have been in bad physical condition when they got to Camp Douglas. Temperatures that month reportedly were as low as −20 °F (−29 °C). Smallpox and other diseases were widespread among these prisoners. By March 1863, nineteen prisoners and nineteen guards had died from the disease. Smallpox later was spread to northern cities and into Virginia by several infected prisoners who traveled through several large cities by train and steamer to City Point, VA for exchange along with many other prisoners. Most of the prisoners were exchanged under this later prisoner cartel by April 3, 1863.
By April 27, 1863 the final death toll from this group of prisoners was 784. It seems that over 300 deaths must have been covered up at the time, which would have made 784 a significant undercount of prisoner deaths to date. By the time these early 1863 prisoners departed from the camp, sources suggest that actually between 1,400 and 1,700 prisoners likely had died at Camp Douglas. Yet official records showed only 615 prisoner deaths to this date. The majority of the deaths at the camp had been caused by typhoid fever and pneumonia, which in turn had resulted from the condition of prisoners when they arrived plus filth, an inadequate sewer system, bad weather and a lack of sufficient heat and clothing. A few prisoners were wounded or killed by guards who saw them step over the "dead line" near the boundaries of the camp or commit minor offenses but such occurrences actually occurred infrequently. Despite these hardships, survivors from this group of prisoners who wrote about their experiences generally stated that they were treated humanely at Camp Douglas.
General Ammen was ordered to Springfield to command the District of Illinois on April 13, 1863 and Colonel Cameron again took command of the camp, but only for about a week.
Interim Command of Captains John C. Phillips and J. S. Putnam
For about two weeks, Captain John C. Phillips was the senior officer at the camp and in command. Between May 12, 1863 and August 18, 1863, Captain J. S. Putnam was in charge of the almost empty camp, which then held only about fifty prisoners. The army made some improvements to the camp and planned others in the summer of 1863 because the army intended to return the camp to its original purpose of housing and training new Union Army recruits. Union victories during the summer of 1863 again produced a large number of prisoners, however, and Camp Douglas again had to be used as a prisoner-of-war camp from this time until the end of the war.
Command of Colonel Charles V. DeLand
The first of the new Confederate prisoners, 558 militant guerrilla raiders who had been under the command of Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan, arrived at the camp on August 20, 1863. Colonel Charles V. DeLand, who had been a prisoner of the Confederates earlier in the war and would be again, and who had commanded the First Michigan Sharpshooters in the pursuit of Morgan, was ordered to take command of the camp on August 18, 1863. Colonel DeLand was appointed commandant of the camp because he was the senior officer of the regiment guarding the prisoners as they were brought to the camp. By September 26, 1863, 4,234 Confederate prisoners were being held at Camp Douglas. On October 9, 1863, Dr. A. M. Clark, medical director of prisoners, inspected the camp and found the number of prisoners had risen to 6,085 with only 978 Union soldiers in the garrison to guard them.
Colonel DeLand tried to impose discipline on the disorderly camp but was frustrated by its poor condition and corrupt guards, including especially those from his own regiment. Because only two water hydrants were available to the prisoners, they had to wait in the cold for hours to get water. Open sinks (latrines), or sewers, ran through the middle of the camp. The rundown buildings provided inadequate shelter. Hospital capacity, with 120 beds for prisoners and 50 beds for guards, was seriously inadequate. The post chapel was converted into hospital space but there was still insufficient capacity to accommodate all sick prisoners and guards. During this period, in retaliation for treatment of Union prisoners by Confederates, an undisclosed official in high command ordered cook stoves, which also provided heat, replaced by 40-US-gallon (150 L) boilers. These large pots provided little heat for the buildings and destroyed the quality of the food cooked in them.
DeLand put infantry prisoners to work building a new sewer system for the camp. Prisoners were not required to work but many volunteered, probably in part because they were paid in chewing tobacco and clothing. He also had them begin construction on a more substantial stockade. After criticism from Dr. Clark and Colonel Hoffman, in mid-October 1863, DeLand provided cooking utensils, one hundred barrels of lime, twenty-four white wash brushes and a quantity of lumber for repairs to the prisoners. On October 25, 1863, DeLand ordered that prisoners clean their quarters regularly, but overcrowding seems to have made it impossible to keep the barracks sanitary. Construction of the new sewers was finished by November 6, 1863 but this new system had inadequate 3-inch (76 mm) pipes and ran along only two sides of the camp. Additional improvements at this time included laying of water pipes and the near completion of fences for the first time since the camp became a prisoner detention facility.
Prisoners who tried to escape were placed in White Oak Dungeon, an 18-square-foot (1.7 m2) space under the guard room, which had only one small window and was permeated with an intolerable stench. In his October 1863 inspection, Dr. Clark found 24 prisoners in this space, which he described as suitable for no more than 3 or 4.
Morgan's men attempted many escapes because of the weak security force. Twenty-six prisoners even were able to escape from the dungeon on October 26, 1863. More than 150 prisoners escaped during DeLand's period of command of the camp.
President Lincoln's brother-in-law, Ninian Wirt Edwards, a Union Army captain, contracted with vendors to supply meat and other rations to military camps. Their subcontractors delivered poor quality rations directly to prisoners at Camp Douglas and not to the camp commissary. The garrison also received poor quality meat from these subcontractors. This grew into a scandal which carried over to the administration of the next camp commander.
DeLand was pressured to increase security but had several factors working against him including the arrangement of the camp, the guards from the Invalid Corps who were unable to perform efficiently and the quartering of prisoners and guards together at White Oak Square. This, and the ease with which money could be sent or brought to prisoners created a climate of corruption and bribery. On one occasion, DeLand lined up the prisoners from the 8th Kentucky Cavalry Regiment when a tunnel was found under their barracks and ordered guards to shoot "if any sat down." One prisoner was killed and two were wounded by the guards before the line–up was concluded. Finally, fifteen to twenty men confessed to being the main diggers and were sent to White Oak Dungeon. Later, DeLand hung three men by their thumbs so they partly had to tip toe for an hour allegedly because they threatened an informer. One of these men fainted and another threw up on himself. DeLand imposed the same punishment at least one more time.
DeLand also ordered men out of barracks for long periods of time while searches for tunnels were conducted. He ordered that cook stoves be extinguished at Taps which was a hardship during cold weather. Despite these measures, about 100 of Morgan's men escaped through a tunnel on December 3, 1863, although most were recaptured. DeLand ordered guards to shout only one challenge to prisoners who came too near a fence or outside a barracks at night before firing if they did not obey and back off. Confederate prisoner T.D. Henry suggests that most shooting incidents at Camp Douglas occurred during DeLand's term as commandant. To discourage escape attempts, prisoners who went to use latrines at night had to leave their clothes in the barracks regardless of the weather.
On November 9, 1863, Colonel Benjamin J. Sweet, commander of the Eighth Regiment of the Invalid Corps guarding the camp, challenged Colonel DeLand's command of the camp because Sweet's commission arguably pre-dated DeLand's. A few days later, DeLand reacted quickly to prevent escapes when a fire destroyed 300 feet (91 m) of barracks, fences and the sutler's shop on November 11, 1863. This worked in his favor and Colonel Hoffman ordered that Colonel DeLand remain in charge of the camp. Hoffman ordered DeLand to cut rations at this time, which increased the hardships of the prisoners although they still seem to have had a sufficient quantity of food daily.
Hoffman decided to inspect the camp himself in order to see the fire damage on November 15, 1863. Incredibly, DeLand bribed prisoners with whiskey to clean up the camp for Hoffman's visit. On November 18, 1863, Brigadier General William W. Orme, who reported directly to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, showed up to inspect the camp in preparation for Orme taking over command. Orme noted that the garrison of 876 men was dangerously small and that sixty–one men had escaped in the preceding three months.
The army ordered sutler stores at prison camps shut down on December 1, 1863 in retaliation for reported mistreatment of Union prisoners and the store at Camp Douglas was closed on December 12. After a successful tunneling escape on December 3, Colonel DeLand ordered all floors torn out of barracks and dirt placed even with the floor joist. This was bound to produce conditions that would increase sickness and mortality. The garrison also tore out partitions in the barracks. DeLand confiscated warm coats, possibly to prevent escapes but as likely in retaliation for past escapes and attempted escapes. On December 17, 1863, the prison camp officials closed the barber shop and newsstand and stopped sales of stamps, envelopes and writing paper, also probably in retaliation for the escape attempt. When Sergeant–Major Oscar Cliett of the 55th Georgia Infantry Regiment reported to DeLand that his men rejected an offer of amnesty if they joined the Union Navy because they could not swim, DeLand had him placed in the dungeon for twenty-one days. Despite these harsh actions, DeLand also worked to free fifty prisoners between the ages of 14 and 17 Nothing was ever approved or done about the release of the young prisoners.
Command of Brigadier General William W. Orme
On December 23, 1863, Brigadier General William W. Orme relieved Colonel DeLand as commander of the camp, although Colonel DeLand remained at the camp until March 11, 1864 as commander of the garrison. About 400 reinforcements for the guards from the 15th regiment of the Invalid Corps under Colonel James C. Strong arrived the next day. On March 18, 1864, in an effort to improve morale, the Union Army renamed the Invalid Corps as the Veteran Reserve Corps.
General Orme tried to handle the continuing scandal over the poor quality beef as well as other administrative problems which he took over from Colonel DeLand. Unexpectedly, he exonerated Ninian Edwards and his vendors and placed the blame for the problem solely on sub–contractors. Despite Edwards's exoneration and his relationship with the President, the army finally took control of subsistence at the camp away from Edwards on January 27, 1864. Nonetheless, Edwards, a captain in the Union Army, showed up as food commissary and treasurer of the prison fund in March 1864.
A blizzard and temperatures of −18 °F (−28 °C) occurred on January 1, 1864. Some prisoners who escaped at this time were found frozen to death nearby. On January 8, 1864, General Orme instituted a program of armed guard patrols. Some prisoners reported the killing and eating rats when a prison kitchen was demolished on January 10, 1864 and food shortages resulted but the reports appear to be dubious. General Orme obtained some Union army overcoats outside of channels and distributed them to prisoners, only to be reprimanded by Colonel Hoffman for proceeding outside regulations.
Dr. Edward D. Kittoe of the surgeon general's office inspected the camp on January 18, 1864. He found the severely overcrowded barracks deep in filth and mud and swarming with vermin due to the lack of flooring. Cooking was deficient and garbage littered the streets. Old sinks (latrines) were not sealed properly and waste was seeping to the surface. Dr. Kittoe gave high marks to the hospital but noted that 250 sick men remained in barracks because the hospital's 234 beds were full. He found that thirty-six percent of the prisoners were ill and fifty-seven prisoners had died in December 1863. The guards also were suffering from the poor conditions at the camp with twenty-nine percent ill and six deaths among them in December 1863. Dr. Kittoe concluded the camp was unfit for use, but it remained in use.
On January 20, 1864, prisoners began to move from White Oak Square to Prisoner's Square. The construction added 40 acres (16 ha) to the camp. Barracks had to be moved on rollers. When unpaid prisoners refused to do further work on the move, they were forced to use makeshift shelters rather than being allowed to sleep in the partially moved buildings. All the prisoners were not moved from White Oak Square until April 1864.
Thanks to another inspection of the camp by Dr. Clark on February 4, 1864, flooring was restored to the barracks. By February 27, 1864, floors were laid in all barracks. The barracks were raised five feet on thick timber legs. This not only improved the condition of the barracks but actually helped prevent tunneling. Nonetheless, after the move, many of the barracks and kitchens had been placed close to the fences, which encouraged further tunneling efforts. Upon the discovery of these escape efforts, prison officials moved the barracks further from the stockade walls, which succeeded in reducing the tunneling attempts. Clark found that the number of working hydrants for supplying water to the camp had been increased from three to twelve.
On March 11, 1864, Colonel DeLand and his regiment were sent to the front. DeLand was wounded four times in the battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania and Petersburg. He was taken prisoner again by the Confederates but was not mistreated despite his command of Camp Douglas, possibly because his Confederate captors gave attention to his wounds. DeLand was exchanged and discharged from the army on February 4, 1865. On March 13, 1867, Congress confirmed the award to DeLand of the honorary grade of brevet brigadier general to rank from March 13, 1865.
Garrison command of Colonel James C. Strong
The War Department appointed Colonel James C. Strong as the new head of the garrison. His command began during General Orme's command of the camp and continued through Colonel Sweet's command of the camp. At the beginning of his duty, Strong had only about 650 healthy men to guard almost 6,000 prisoners. Strong prepared new prison rolls and found that 84 prisoners were missing. Strong was the first garrison commander to force prisoners to work but work details only lasted four hours per day. Between January and March 1864, when Colonel Strong had only 550 men available for guard duty, thirty-two escapes were made from the camp. Strong realized placement of the buildings in Prisoner's Square contributed to the problem and had them moved closer to the middle of the square. The fence separating Prisoner's Square from the rest of the camp was completed on March 22, 1864. About this time General Orme attached many bright oil–burning lamps to the fence to illuminate the area at night.
A new sutler's store, with high prices, was established at the camp around April 1, 1864. A very advanced additional 180–bed hospital, including a mess room, kitchen, hot water, adjoining laundry and flush toilets, was completed on April 10, 1864. Yet, the hospital facilities were still too small for all the needs of the prisoners and guards. Only 70 more beds in two old buildings were subsequently added. The separate smallpox hospital remained in a converted cavalry stable until it was moved to a site called Adele Grove, one–half mile south of the camp on the south side of the University of Chicago, facing Cottage Grove. The expanded facility began to operate on April 15, 1864.
Strict discipline and abuse of the prisoners increased at this time. Colonel Strong gave more power to patrols and put each barracks under control of a sergeant, two corporals and five privates. Some of these individuals were vindictive and even dangerous. On April 10, 1864, guards made some prisoners stand on barrels for purchasing whiskey from a guard. Others were made to wear signs noting various offenses. A new dungeon about 20 feet (6.1 m) and 7 feet (2.1 m) high, with two small air holes, was built in Prisoner's Square. Three men spent a night there for climbing a roof to watch horse racing. Punishment through extensive use of ball and chain, using a 32-pound (15 kg) cannon ball chained to a prisoner's leg, began. Some prisoners received this punishment for reneging on a request to take the oath of allegiance to the United States.
On March 17, 1864, the War Department ordered that any shooting incident at a prison camp must be investigated by a board of officers. Thereafter only eight shooting incidents were reported at Camp Douglas: six in connection with escape attempts, one for urinating in the street and one for crossing the deadline. Two prisoners in a barracks were wounded when the shots missed the prisoner who had crossed the deadline.
On April 16, 1864, Lt. Colonel John F. Marsh of the inspector general's office inspected the camp. He found lax control of sutlers, prisoners being paid tobacco for garbage collection by a private garbage contractor, barracks in poor condition, with floors ripped up, filthy bedding, grounds wet and poor policing.
On April 17, 1864, General Grant canceled all prisoner exchange negotiations and said they would not resume unless they included black Union prisoners in Confederate hands. This led to an impasse in prisoner exchanges until shortly after negotiations were resumed on January 21, 1865 and resulted in the need for both Union and Confederate armies to house many additional prisoners for longer periods of time than in the past. When the prisoner cartel was in force many prisoners could expect to be exchanged within a few months.
On April 27, 1864, without authority, General Orme fired Colonel Strong as commander of the garrison and installed Colonel Benjamin J. Sweet. Two days later, when Orme was ordered to correct the problems at the camp, he resigned. This resignation may not have resulted entirely from pique because Orme also was ill at the time.
Command of Colonel Benjamin J. Sweet
On May 2, 1864, the War Department appointed Colonel Sweet as commander of the camp. He had been at the camp for seven months and wanted the post. Some historians now doubt his claim to have been wounded at the battle of Perryville because he claimed that two wounds, including a chest wound, were treated by ordinary soldiers, not doctors. On the other hand, other sources say that his right arm was rendered useless by the wounds. In any event, Sweet transferred to the Invalid Corps. Sweet proved to be a strict disciplinarian who increased punishments and cut rations, although this action also was in line with revised War Department policy in 1864. He also proved to be better organized in most respects and a better administrator than his predecessors.
Colonel Sweet reinstated Colonel Strong as commander of the garrison. He strained relations with Colonel Hoffman by refusing to live at the camp and by moving his office downtown, which he probably did because his 12-year old daughter, Ada, was with him, apparently to act as his secretary. Confederate prisoner T. D. Henry noted that Sweet appointed "a fiend name Captain Webb [Wells] Sponable as inspector of prisoners. From this time forward the darkest leaf in the legends of tyranny could not possible contain a greater number of punishments." Sponable's largely unaccountable patrol force of 2 lieutenants, 10 sergeants, 20 corporals and 38 privates continued to regulate rations, cooking arrangements and work details, with a 5-man squad on constant patrol in Prisoner's Square. For some prisoners, the patrols were a benefit because they protected prisoners from each other. The patrols even cracked down on a few guards whose actions were out of line.
Sweet eliminated hominy, which he said was wasted, and candles, which he believed were used in aid of tunneling, from the prisoner ration. Using forced labor, he placed the increasing number of prisoners' barracks on parallel streets. Sweet had the prisoners searched daily for contraband to be sure prisoners had no cash to bribe guards but all such hidden money was not found. During a prison–wide roll call on May 24, 1864, the guards confiscated excess clothing from the prisoners' barracks.
The top soil at the camp had become so eroded that guards had to wear goggles as protection against blowing sand and dust and prisoners had to almost close their eyes to move around. On May 27, 1864, Sweet ordered two more sinks built in Prisoner's Square. He had more than six thousand feet of pine board delivered for repairs to barracks. He also tried to force prisoners to keep the camp in repair.
Prisoners attacked the fence in an escape attempt on June 1 but were thwarted mainly by guards on the ground using revolvers rather than those on the fence lines who were armed with rifles that might not have worked. Surprisingly, no prisoners were killed in the incident.
As the number of prisoners at the camp increased in the summer of 1864, the War Department again reduced rations, in retaliation for reduced rations allotted to Union prisoners held by the Confederates. Rations reportedly no longer lasted quite as long as the period for which they were allotted and a few prisoners reported that prisoners resorted to eating rats. Guards punished anyone caught taking bones from the garbage by tying the bone in the prisoner's mouth and making him crawl around like a dog. As the length of confinements increased due to the lack of prisoner exchanges, more fights between prisoners arose. Other prisoners usually broke them up before guards intervened. Work details were still required.
By June 1864, guards had set up "the mule" or "wooden horse" a saw horse type device about 4 feet (1.2 m) off the ground, later raised to 15 feet (4.6 m) with a thin, almost sharp, edge as an instrument of punishment. Prisoners used their hands to brace themselves when on the device but a Confederate prisoner reported that men sat on it until they fainted and fell off. Some times weights were tied to the prisoner's feet. The device, which was outside, was used in any type of weather. A guard was even required to sit on the device as punishment for an unrecorded offense. In line with War Department instructions, the post surgeon refused Confederate surgeons' requests to send medicine for free to the prisoners.
The 1864 'Camp Douglas Conspiracy' to break out prisoners
The Camp Douglas Conspiracy, thought to have been a serious plot to assault the camp and free the prisoners, was supposed to have come to fruition on November 8, 1864. To this day, historians do not agree on whether the plot was real, or a hoax devised by self–seekers. Attorney and historian George Levy maintains the "conspiracy" began as a con aimed at Confederate agents that evolved into a hoax exploited by Colonel Sweet for his own advantage. Levy wrote that believing in the Camp Douglas conspiracy was a matter of faith: Confederate agents thought they had created a workable plot, and Colonel Sweet made their dream come true. On the other hand, Kelly did not adopt this reasoning and wrote that Sweet seemed to believe the plot was real. Eisendrath also treated the plot as real. Closer to the event, but undoubtedly more biased, Bross also describes the plot as real.
In the Spring of 1864, the Confederate government did send agents to Canada to plan prison escape attempts and attacks in the North. One of the agents, Captain Thomas Hines, did believe he could raise a force of about 5,000 Confederate sympathizers in Chicago to free the prisoners from Camp Douglas. On the other hand, no evidence of elementary planning of the details for the assault has been found for the period before Hines himself began to plan the operation in mid–August 1864. He soon found that he had only 25 untrained volunteers for the difficult mission. He apparently gave up on the scheme as the Democratic convention in Chicago, which was supposed to provide volunteers and cover for execution of the plan, ended at the end of August. Sweet kept the tale alive, however, and told superiors he was about to crush a dangerous uprising. Among the reasons this does not seem true to Levy is that Sweet made no effort to prevent the 196th Pennsylvania Infantry from leaving the camp 11 days earlier.
On November 6, 1864, Brigadier General John Cook in Springfield, IL authorized Colonel Sweet to arrest two Confederate agents at Chicago but Sweet sent a message, by hand delivery not by telegraph, to Cook in which he said that Colonel Marmaduke of the Rebel army and other officers were in town plotting to release the prisoners. Therefore, Sweet claimed he had to act immediately and also to arrest two or three prominent citizens who were actively involved in the plot.
Without a warrant, Sweet's men searched the home of Charles Walsh, leader of the "Sons of Liberty," who were sympathetic with the South, and discovered a cache of guns and ammunition. These arms were not found in the quantity needed to arm 2,000 men as the plot supposedly called for. Sweet in effect extended martial law from the few blocks surrounding the camp to the entire city of Chicago. Sweet stated that 106 men were arrested, including Walsh and Judge Buckner Stith Morris of the Circuit Court of Illinois, treasurer of the organization. Over half of those arrested were promptly released. Curiously, seventy–eight more guns were found in a further search on November 11. Only six of eighteen Camp Douglas prisoners from Chicago were arrested on November 6 while the others were arrested between November 12 and 16. Sweet found only fifty–one of the sixty–nine Chicagoans on his list of 108 suspects on November 6. The other Chicagoans were seized later and the other suspects were arrested outside Chicago in their home counties. Sweet's claim to have arrested leaders of the Clingmann gang of southern Illinois draft resisters and Southern sympathizers is not borne out by the records. Sweet confined those he arrested in a church before moving them to Camp Douglas.
Secretary of War Stanton approved of Sweet's action, Generals Hooker and Cook sent him reinforcements and Governor Yates put the Chicago militia at Sweet's disposal. Sweet then had about 2,000 troops available. Sweet arrested five more members of the Sons of Liberty on November 14, including Richard T. Semmes who was not the brother of the Confederate Admiral, Raphael Semmes, as Sweet asserted. He also arrested Vincent Marmaduke, who was not the Confederate colonel according to Levy. After the release of a number of the suspects, the total number of leaders and foot soldiers in the alleged plot to assault the camp and free the prisoners was only sixty–six men. The army agreed with Sweet's advice to try those arrested before a military commission but ordered that this trial take place in Cincinnati, not in Chicago. Sweet did not arrest Mary Morris, the young pro–Southern wife of Judge Morris, but the prosecutor, Major Henry L. Burnett, ordered her arrested. Yet she was not charged, probably as part of a deal in return for her testimony. Her later self–incrimination led to the exoneration of her husband.
Sweet's main agent, John T. Shanks, a Confederate prisoner who was a former Morgan's Raider and a convicted criminal turned informer to Sweet, testified against the defendants. Sweet kept the pretense that Shanks was not his agent and lied that Judge Morris had aided Shanks escape from Camp Douglas. In a recently discovered letter of March 29, 1865 from Sweet to Hoffman, Sweet admitted his use of Shanks to Hoffman and asked for approval of one year's pay from the prison fund for him. No record of a reply from Hoffman has been found. Shanks criminal past was disclosed to the military commission, but they convicted many of the defendants in any event. On December 12, 1864, President Lincoln awarded Sweet the rank of brevet brigadier general United States Volunteers to rank from December 20, 1864, and the U.S. Senate confirmed the award on February 14, 1865. Shanks was recruited as a "Galvanized Yankee" in 1865 and as captain commanding Company I of the 6th U.S. Volunteer Infantry, was the only former Confederate prisoner commissioned as an officer.
The first use recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary of the phrase, to hell in a hand basket, was in The Great North-Western Conspiracy in All Its Startling Details, an account by I. Windslow Ayer of events surrounding the Camp Douglas Conspiracy. Ayer alleges that, at an August meeting of the Order of the Sons of Liberty, the Judge Morris noted above said: "Thousands of our best men were prisoners in Camp Douglas, and if once at liberty would ‘send abolitionists to hell in a hand basket.'"
Late 1864 and 1865
Toward the end of 1864, surgeons refused to send recovering prisoners back to the barracks due to the rampant scurvy attributable to Hoffman's policy of withholding vegetables from the prisoners. In October 1864, 984 of 7,402 prisoners were reported as sick in the barracks. Meanwhile, in November 1864, as repairs were being carried out, water was cut off to the camp and even to the hospital. Prisoners had to risk being shot in order to gather snow, even beyond the dead line, for coffee and other uses.
On December 5, 1864, prisoners from Confederate General John Bell Hood's army, which had been shattered at the Battle of Franklin and the Battle of Nashville, began to arrive at Camp Douglas. These "weak and destitute" prisoners were made to undress and stand outside for a long period of time in ice and snow while guards robbed them of any valuables. One of these prisoners, John Copley, stated that rations were sufficient to keep the men "tolerably hungry."
By this time, the new 6-inch (150 mm) water pipes kept latrines running smoothly. With bath and laundry facilities now available, prisoners themselves enforced clothes washing and bathing if other prisoners were recalcitrant. Although censored, mail was sent and delivered faithfully, even to and from prisoners in the dungeon. Little, if any, evidence backs up a few later assertions that prisoners "often" froze to death, although some sick prisoners who should have been in the hospital probably did die because of the cold. Near the end of March 1865, a sewer pipe broke and with the incentive of forty–two barrels of whiskey, prisoners were put to work repairing it.
The camp officials contracted with an unscrupulous undertaker, C. H. Jordan, who sold some of the bodies of Confederate prisoners to medical schools and had the rest buried in shallow graves without coffins. Some bodies reportedly were even dumped in Lake Michigan only to wash up on its shores. Levy states that bodies may have ended up in the lake because they were initially buried in shallow graves along the shore. Jordan shipped 143 bodies to Kentucky according to official records and claimed to have sent 400 bodies to the families of the deceased during the course of the war. Many dead prisoners' bodies initially were buried in unmarked pauper's graves in Chicago's City Cemetery (located on the site of today's Lincoln Park), but in 1867 their bodies were reinterred at what is now known as Confederate Mound in Oak Woods Cemetery (5 miles (8.0 km) south of the former Camp Douglas).
End of the war
With the surrender of Robert E. Lee's army on April 9, 1865, enough former Confederate prisoners volunteered to enlist in the U. S. Army to "join in the frontier Indian warfare" to fill ten companies. Despite the imminent end of the war, a few instances of cruelty by guards were reported even after this date. On May 8, 1865, Colonel (and by this time, Brevet Brigadier General) Sweet received the order to release all prisoners except those above the rank of colonel. Those who took the oath of allegiance were provided transportation home but those who did not were on their own. About 1,770 prisoners refused to take the oath. On July 5, 1865, the guards were withdrawn from the camp. Only sixteen prisoners then remained at the camp hospital. Sweet resigned from the army on September 19, 1865 and was briefly replaced as commander of the camp by Captain Edward R. P. Shurley. About October 1, 1865, Captain E. C. Phetteplace became the last commander of the camp. About 26,060 Confederate soldiers had passed through the Camp Douglas prison camp by the end of the war.
After the war, the camp was decommissioned and the infamous barracks and other buildings were demolished. The camp was gone by the end of November 1865 and the property was sold off or returned to its owners during late 1865 and early 1866.
By the end of 1864, the Official Records showed that 2,235 prisoners had died at Camp Douglas but Levy states this may be 967 short of the true figure. Another 867 died in 1865, making it the worst short period for mortality of prisoners at the camp. The official death toll at Camp Douglas has been put at 4,454. Others have estimated that from 1862 through 1865, more than 6,000 Confederate prisoners died from disease, starvation, and the bitter cold winters (although as many as 1,500 more were reported as "unaccounted" for), based in part on an 1880's memorial in Chicago's Oak Woods Cemetery which states that 6,000 Confederate dead (4,275 known dead) are buried there in a mass grave. On the other hand, it was discovered that unscrupulous contractors buried some crude empty coffins in the relocated graves to increase their profits.
In the aftermath of the war, Camp Douglas eventually came to be described as the North's "Andersonville" for its poor conditions and death rate of between seventeen and twenty-three per cent, even though the death rate was lower than at Andersonville and its conditions were better. An exact accounting of the number of prisoner deaths at Camp Douglas is now impossible, but despite arguments for a higher number, the best estimates, which place the number of deaths at about 4,454 and the percentage of prisoners who died at the camp at about 17 percent, appear to be reasonably accurate.
Today, condominiums fill most of the site where Camp Douglas stood. For many years, a local funeral home built on the site maintained prisoner records and a Confederate flag at half-staff. The business closed December 31, 2007.
- McPherson, James M., Battle Cry of Freedom, p. 187. Oxford University Press, New York, New York, 1988. ISBN 978-0-19-503863-7
- McPherson, 1988, p. 322. Many of the 90,000 ninety–day volunteers re–enlisted for three years. McPherson, 1988, p. 322
- McPherson, 1988, p. 322
- McPherson, 1988, p. 323; In February 1862, Captain John Christopher, U.S. Army recruiting officer, assumed most of the construction costs of Camp Douglas for the federal government. Eisendrath Jr., Joseph L. Chicago's Camp Douglas, 1861–1865, Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, (Springfield, IL), LIII:1 (Spring 1960), p. 38.
- Levy, George, To Die in Chicago: Confederate Prisoners at Camp Douglas 1862–1865. Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican Publishing Company, revised edition 1999, original edition 1994. ISBN 978-1-56554-331-7. p. 29. The 7th Annual Fair of the United States Agricultural Society was held at this location in 1859. Speer, Lonnie, R., Portals to Hell: Military Prisons of the Civil War, p. 71. Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA, 1997. ISBN 978-0-8117-0334-5
- Senator Douglas died June 3, 1861
- Levy, 1999, p. 29–30
- Bross, William, Biographical sketch of the late Gen. B.J. Sweet. History of Camp Douglas. A paper read before the Chicago Historical Society, June 18, 1878. Jansen, McClurg & Co., Chicago, 1878, p.10
- Levy, 1999, p. 29, 40; Kelly, Dennis. A History of Camp Douglas, Illinois, Union Prison, 1861–1865, p.3. National Park Service, Southeast Region, 1989. http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/ande/douglas.pdf retrieved September 17, 2010
- Levy, 1999, p. 29
- Levy, 1999, p. 29; Heidler, David S. and Jeanne T. Heidler, eds., Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: A Political, Social and Military History, p. 344. W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY, 10110, 2000. ISBN 978-0-393-04758-5. Combines into one volume the original 5 volume work published by ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, California in 2000. Article on Camp Douglas, pp. 344–346.
- Levy, 1999, p. 33
- Speer, 1997, p. 72
- Levy, 1999, p. 43
- Levy, 1999, p. 31
- Levy, 1999, p. 30
- Levy, 1999, p. 33; Speer, 1997, p. 71
- Levy, 1999, p. 33; Speer, 1997, p. 71; singular form of word is in the source
- Speer, 1997, p. 182
- Speer, 1997, p. 71
- Levy, 1999, pp. 29, 33
- Levy, 1999, p. 34; Kelly, 1989, p. 11
- Levy, 1999, p. 34
- Levy, 1999, p. 38; Eisendrath, 1960, p. 41 gives the number of recruits that passed through the camp as 25,000.
- Kelly, 1989, pp. 9–11
- Levy, 1999, pp. 21, 36
- Levy, 1999, p. 37
- Levy, 1999, pp. 39, 47
- Levy, 1999, p. 43. "Arno" may have been an abbreviation for "Arnold."
- Levy, 1999, p. 41
- Levy, 1999, p. 39
- Levy, 1999, p. 45
- Levy, 1999, pp. 41, 43, 50
- Levy, 1999, p. 49
- Levy, 1999, p. 47
- Heidler, 2000, p. 344
- Levy, 1999, p. 50
- Levy, 1999, pp. 50–51, 76
- Levy, 1999, p. 81
- Levy, 1999, pp. 51, 55
- Levy, 1999, p. 58
- Levy, 1999, pp. 40, 56
- Levy, 1999, p. 57
- Levy, 1999, p. 59
- Levy, 1999, pp. 53, 58
- Levy, 1999, p. 58; Heidler, 2000, p. 344
- Heidler, 2000, p. 345; Levy, 1999, p. 81. Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs said construction of a new sewer system would be too "extravagant", although in June 1863, he authorized the construction of the sewers after being pressured by the U. S. Sanitary Commission. Speer, 1997, pp. 73, 136
- Heidler, 2000, p. 345
- Heidler, 2000, p. 345; Levy, 1999, p. 63
- Levy, 1999, p. 76
- Levy, 1999, p. 76.
- Heidler, 2000, p. 345; Levy, 1999, p. 87
- Levy, 1999, p. 77
- Levy, 1999, p. 92
- Despite its name, the United States Sanitary Commission was a volunteer civilian charity, not a government agency, and except for its actions in assisting the army to improve sanitary conditions at camps, hospitals and prisons, its role was only advisory. Faust, Patricia L. "Sanitary Commission, United States" In Historical Times Illustrated History of the Civil War, edited by Patricia L. Faust. New York: Harper & Row, 1986. ISBN 978-0-06-273116-6. Thus, Bellows was not Hoffman's boss or his employee or a fellow government agent.
- Levy, 1999, pp. 80–81
- Levy, 1999, p. 85
- Levy, 1999, p. 100
- Heidler, 2000, p. 345; Levy, p. 91
- Speer, 1997, p. 88
- Levy, 1999, p. 106. Levy characterizes these figures as the best effort at accurately calculating the deaths at Camp Douglas up to this date from the sources, which are available.
- Heidler, 2000, p. 345; Levy, 1999, p. 109
- Colonel Tucker resigned his commission in the Illinois militia on January 1, 1863, having never officially entered federal service. Levy, 1999, p. 119
- Heidler, 2000, p. 345; Levy, 1999, p. 110
- Levy, 1999, p. 115
- Kelly, 1989, p. 35
- Levy, 1999, p. 111: Kelly, 1989, pp. 36–40
- Heidler, 2000, p. 345; Kelly, 1989, p. 39 relates that the U.S. Regulars actually shot one or two of the parolees.
- Eisendrath, 1960, p. 43
- Heidler., 2000, p. 345; Levy, 1999, pp. 117, 121
- Levy, 1999, p. 113
- Heidler, 2000, p. 345; Levy, 1999, p. 121
- Levy, 1999, p. 121; Eisendrath, 1960, p. 43
- Heidler, 2000, p. 345; Levy, 1999, p.122; Kelly, 1989, pp. 40–41
- Levy, 1999, p. 123
- Levy, 1999, p. 124; Speer, 1997, p. 135; Kelly, 1989, p.42
- Kelly, 1989, p. 43. The prisoners who also had been held briefly at St. Louis with inadequate clothing and shelter.
- Kelly, 1989, p. 43; Eisendrath, 1960, p. 46 reports the low temperature for the period as low as an unlikely −40 °F (−40 °C).
- Heidler, 2000, p. 345; Kelly, 1989, p. 43
- Kelly, 1989, p. 117
- Levy, 1999, p. 131
- Levy, 1999, p. 138
- Speer, 1997, p. 135
- Speer, 1997, p. 168. Boards of inquiry often found that abusive guards were intoxicated at the time they perpetrated abuses on prisoners or took shots either at prisoners or even at random. Speer, 1997, p. 169
- Eisendrath, 1960, p. 44
- Levy, 1999, p. 133; Kelly, 1989, p. 46
- Kelly, 1989, p. 46
- Heidler, 2000, p. 345; Levy, 1999, p. 139
- Heidler, 2000, p. 345; Kelly, 1989, p. 47
- Heidler, 2000, p. 345; Levy, 1999, pp. 138, 143
- Heidler, 2000, p. 345; Levy, 1999, p. 141
- Levy, 1999, 141
- Levy, 1999, p. 144
- Levy, 1999, p. 146
- Levy, 1999, p. 145
- Levy, 1999, p. 145–147
- Levy, 1999, p. 147
- Levy, 1999, p. 150
- Levy, 1999, p. 147, 149, 155
- Levy, 1999, p. 149
- Levy, 1999, p. 151
- Levy, 1999, p. 155
- Levy, 1999, p. 152
- Levy, 1999, p. 148
- Levy, 1999, p. 153
- Levy, 1999, p. 174
- Levy, 1999, p. 157
- Levy, 1999, p. 157; Kelly, 1989, p. 133
- Levy, 1999, p. 162
- Levy, 1999, p. 163
- Levy, 1999, p. 164-165
- Levy, 1999, p. 181
- Henry, T. D., Deposition of T. D. Henry, Southern Historical Society Papers, Vol. I. Richmond, Va., March, 1876. No.4. pp. 276–277. http://www.csa-dixie.com/csa/prisoners/t26.htm. Retrieved September 21, 2010.
- Levy, 1999, p. 158–159
- Levy, 1999, p. 159–160
- Levy, 1999, p. 160
- Levy, 1999, p. 165
- Levy, 1999, p. 167
- Levy, 1999, p. 194
- Heidler, 2000, p. 345; Levy, 1999, p. 167
- Levy, 1999, p. 198
- Levy, 1999, p. 175; Kelly, 1989, pp. 62–63; Eisendrath, 1960, p. 56 states that Fowler and Company were ordered to make restitution for deficiencies in the beef, soap and molasses that they provided to the camp.
- Levy, 1999, p. 190; Kelly, 1989, p. 63
- Levy, 1999, p. 195
- Levy, 1999, p. 177
- Levy, 1999, p. 181; on the other hand, Kelly, 1989, p. 91 states that no one claimed he had actually eaten a rat but some claimed it had been done by others.
- Levy, 1999, p. 183; Kelly, 1989, pp. 59–60
- Levy, 1999, p. 183
- Levy, 1999, p. 184
- Levy, 1999, p. 184–185
- Levy, 1999, p. 185
- Levy, 1999, p. 187
- Levy, 1999, p. 193
- Kelly, 1989, p. 94
- Eicher, John H., and Eicher, David J., Civil War High Commands, p. 207. Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 978-0-8047-3641-1.
- Eicher and Eicher, 2001, p. 744
- Levy, 1999, p. 197
- Levy, 1999, p. 199
- Levy, 1999, p. 201
- Levy, 1999, p. 200
- Levy, 1999, p. 200. The new hospital cost about twice its estimated cost.
- Levy, 1999, p. 201, 203; Kelly, 1989, p. 106
- Levy, 1999, p. 201; Kelly, 1989, p. 105
- Levy, 1999, p. 203
- Kelly, 1989, p. 133
- Kelly, 1989, p. 133; one other incident of a new prisoner being shot when he went to the sick men's tub after dark when it had been placed under the barracks instead of outside of it was mentioned by prisoner Curtis R. Burke and does not seem to fit any of the eight incidents mentioned above. Bennett, Pamela J., ed., Curtis R. Burke's Civil War Journal. Indiana Magazine of History, June 1971, p. 131
- Levy, 1999, p. 203; Kelly, 1989, p. 60
- Levy, 1999, pp. 203–204
- Levy, 1999, p. 204
- Wagner, et al, eds, 2009, p.599.
- Kelly, 1989, p. 59
- Ironically, another Colonel Sweet, Colonel George H. Sweet, was one of the commandants of the Confederate prison camp at Camp Ford, Texas. Speer 1997, p. 217
- Levy, 1999, pp. 204–205
- Levy, 1999, p. 207
- Kelly, 1989, p. 64; Bross, 1878, p.9.
- Kelly, 1989, p. 64
- Levy, 1999, p. 208
- Levy, 1999, p. 208; Kelly, 1989, p. 65
- Levy, 1999, p. 209
- Levy, 1999, p. 210. Levy notes that the prisoners might have overwhelmed the guards during this roll call but no leaders with that idea emerged.
- Levy, 1999, p. 210
- Levy, 1999, p. 211
- Levy, 1999, p. 215
- Levy, 1999, p. 213
- Levy, 1999, p. 214–215; as noted before, Kelly, 1989, p. 91 says no former prisoner who made such a statement actually claimed to have eaten a rat himself.
- Levy, 1999, pp. 214–215
- Levy, 1999, p. 216.
- Levy, 1999, p. 216. Eisendrath, 1960, p. 62 notes that a prisoner murdered another prisoner with a knife in March 1865.
- Levy, 1999, p. 214
- Levy, 1999, p. 217; Kelly, 1989, p. 133
- Levy, 1999, p. 218
- Levy, 1999, p. 218; Kelly, 1989, p.133
- Levy, 1999, p. 218; Kelly, 1989, pp. 135–136 notes that a number of guards were confined to the guard house, made to wear the ball and chain and given other punishments for a variety of offenses including desertion, striking an officer and allowing persons to pass their post unchallenged.
- Levy, 1999, p. 231
- Levy, 1999, p. 257; Kelly, 1989, pp. 67–69; Kelly notes that the conspiracy was called the Chicago Conspiracy. It also has been referred to as the Northwest or North-West Conspiracy.
- Levy, 1999, pp. 259, 261.
- Levy, 1999, p. 277
- Kelly, 1989, p. 69
- Eisendrath, 1960, pp. 59–61
- Bross, 1878
- Levy, 1999, p. 260
- Levy, 1999, p. 261; Kelly, 1989, p. 68
- Levy, 1999, p. 262
- Levy, 1999, p. 263
- Levy, 1999, p. 264–5. Their term of service did not end until November 15 and other short–term troops had their period of duty enlarged in emergencies.
- Levy, 1999, p. 264. According to Levy, "Colonel Marmaduke" was meant to refer to General John S. Marmaduke or to Vincent Marmaduke, a civilian, or was fictitious. Bross states that Vincent Marmaduke in fact was a Confederate colonel and General Marmaduke's brother. Bross, 1878, p. 24. Allardice, Bruce S. Confederate Colonels: A Biographical Register. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-8262-1809-4 does not name a Vincent Marmaduke as a full Confederate colonel. The book does not cover lieutenant colonels.
- Levy, 1999, p. 264
- Levy, 1999, p. 265
- Levy, 1999, p. 267
- Levy, 1999, pp. 267–268
- Levy, 1999, p. 268
- Levy, 1999, p. 269
- Levy, 1999, p. 271
- Levy, 1999, p. 273
- Levy, 1999, p. 272
- Levy, 1999, p. 273-275
- Eicher and Eicher, 2001, p. 759; Kelly, 1989, p. 72
- Brown, 1985, p. 162
- Ayer, I. Windslow, The Great North-Western Conspiracy in All Its Startling Details. Chicago: Rounds and James, 1865. p.47 retrieved October 30, 2010
- Levy, 1999, p. 279
- Eisendrath, 1960, p. 61
- Levy, 1999, p. 280
- Levy, 1999, p. 284
- Eisendrath, 1960, p. 57
- Kelly, 1989, pp. 91–92
- Levy, 1999, p. 285; Kelly, 1989, p. 71
- Levy, 1999, p. 287
- Levy, 1999, p. 288
- Levy, 1999, p. 289
- Levy, 1999, p. 319
- Levy, 1999, pp. 351–353
- Levy, 1999, p. 351
- Levy, 1999, p. 353
- This burial mound has been said to be the largest mass grave in the western hemisphere.
- Levy, 1999, p. 325
- Levy, 1999, pp. 324–325
- Levy, 1999, p. 326
- Levy, 1999, p. 326; Kelly, 1989, p. 153
- Levy, 1999, p. 327
- Levy, 1999, p. 340
- Levy, 1999, p. 340.
- Levy, 1999, p. 28. The U. S. War Department originally stated that nearly 27,000 prisoners spent time at the camp but later reduced the number to 26,060.
- Eisendrath, 1960, p. 40 states that the camp had 158 buildings by the time it was dismantled.
- Levy, 1999, p. 338, 341; Kelly, 1989, p. 155
- Levy, 1999, p. 298
- Levy, 1999, p. 335
- Wagner, et al., eds., 2009, pp. 605–606, 609; Levy, 1999, p. 360, stated that the official number of prisoners reburied at Oak Woods was 4,039. With the approximately 400 sent South by Jordan for reburial, the total deaths reach approximately the number cited by Wagner, et al.
- Levy, 1999, p. 357
- The official overall death rate for all Union prisons was 12 per cent, whereas the overall death rate for all Confederate prisons was 15 per cent. Speer, 1997, p. xiv. Speer notes that if it were possible to determine the number of former prisoners who died from the effects of their confinement soon after returning home, these percentages would be higher. Speer, 1997, p. 295.
- Levy, 1999, p. 59. Officially, 12,919 (thirty percent) of the Union prisoners at Andersonville died whereas 4,454 (seventeen per cent) of Confederate prisoners at Camp Douglas died. Wagner, Margaret E., Gallagher, Gary W. & Finkelman, Paul, eds., The Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference. Simon and Schuster Paperbacks, Inc., New York, NY, pp. 605–06, 609. 2009 edition. ISBN 978-1-4391-4884-6. Levy also noted that prisoners could maintain many of their social customs and behaviors at Camp Douglas, which was impossible at Andersonville, and the garrison enforced discipline at Camp Douglas which deterred crime but the garrison at Andersonville rarely did so. Levy, 1999, pp. 343–344. Andersonville was an open "garbage pit" with no shelters or facilities while Camp Douglas had some buildings and facilities, even if inadequate, and some organization and order. Levy, 1999, p. 344. If about 6,000 deaths actually occurred at Camp Douglas as some sources suggest, the mortality rate for Confederates prisoners at the camp would have been about twenty-three percent. The highest mortality rate at any Union prison was twenty-four percent at Camp Elmira, New York. Wagner, et al., eds., 2009, p. 607. Without understating the conditions or death rate at Camp Douglas, Elmira or Fort Delaware might be more apt comparisons to Andersonville.
- Levy, 1999, pp. 59, 344. The lowest mortality rate at a Union prison was at Ft. McHenry, Maryland where only 37 deaths were recorded from a maximum prison population of 6,974. Speer, 1997, p. 326. Due mainly to the efforts of the prison physician, Dr. Timothy Woodbridge, the Union prison camp at Johnson's Island, Ohio also had a much lower than average death rate. Speer, 1997, p. 187. The death rate at the Confederate prison at Camp Ford, Texas was only about 5 per cent, despite its conditions which caused much illness and suffering among the prisoners. Speer, 1997, p. 218.
- Shamus Tomey (12 November 2007). "Griffin Funeral Home (Chicago) Built On Site Of Camp Douglas Closing At End Of Year" (archived by). Civil War Talk. Chicago Sun Times. Archived from the original on 2012-08-09. Retrieved 9 August2012. "The African-American-owned business ... memorialized [Confederate dead] on the Heritage Memorial Wall outside the funeral home."
- Ayer, I. Windslow, The Great North-Western Conspiracy in All Its Startling Details. Chicago: Rounds and James, 1865.OCLC 68764315 Retrieved January 3, 2011
- Bennett, Pamela J. Burke's Civil War Journal. Indiana Magazine of History, December 1969, June 1970, December 1970, June 1971. Retrieved September 20, 2010.
- Bross, William. Biographical sketch of the late Gen. B.J. Sweet. History of Camp Douglas. A paper read before the Chicago Historical Society, June 18, 1878. Jansen, McClurg & Co., Chicago, 1878. Retrieved January 3, 2011. OCLC 650780405
- Brown, Dee (1963, reprint 1985). The Galvanized Yankees. University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 978-0-8032-6075-7.
- Burnett, Henry Lawrence. Reply of the Judge advocate, H. L. Burnett, to the pleas of the counsel for the accused : to the jurisdiction of the military commission, convened by major-general Hooker, commanding northern department, in the case of the United States vs. Charles Walsh ... (et al.) charged with conspiring to release the rebel prisoners at Camp Douglas, Chicago, Illinois, and to lay waste and destroy that city. Cincinnati: Moore, Wilstach & Baldwin, 1865. OCLC 28445486
- Copley, John M. A sketch of the Battle of Franklin, Tenn.; with reminiscences of Camp Douglas. Austin, TX, Eugene Von Boeckmann, printer, 1893. OCLC 2747757
- Eicher, John H., and Eicher, David J., Civil War High Commands. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 978-0-8047-3641-1.
- Eisendrath Jr., Joseph L. "Chicago's Camp Douglas, 1861–1865," Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society (Springfield, IL), LIII:1 (Spring 1960).
- Faust, Patricia L. "Sanitary Commission, United States" In Historical Times Illustrated History of the Civil War, edited by Patricia L. Faust. New York: Harper & Row, 1986. ISBN 978-0-06-273116-6.
- Heidler, David S. and Jeanne T. Heidler. "Camp Douglas." In Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: A Political, Social, and Military History, edited by David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2000. ISBN 978-0-393-04758-5.
- Henry, T. D. Deposition of T. D. Henry. Southern Historical Society Papers 1, no. 4 (March 1876): 273–276. (Richmond, VA) Retrieved September 21, 2010.
- Keady, William G., Incidents of Prison Life at Camp Douglas – Experience of Corporal J. G. Blanchard. Southern Historical Society Papers 12, no. 6 (June 1884): 269–274. (Richmond, VA) Retrieved September 21, 2010.
- Kelly, Dennis. A History of Camp Douglas, Illinois, Union Prison, 1861–1865. National Park Service, Southeast Region, 1989. Retrieved September 17, 2010.
- Levy, George, To Die in Chicago: Confederate Prisoners at Camp Douglas 1862–1865. Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican Publishing Company, revised edition 1999, original edition 1994. ISBN 978-1-56554-331-7.
- Pucci, Kelly. Camp Douglas: Chicago's Civil War Prison. Arcadia Publishing, 2007. ISBN 978-0-7385-5175-3.
- Speer, Lonnie, R. Portals to Hell: Military Prisons of the Civil War. Mechanicsburg, PA: Pelican Publishing Company Stackpole Books, 1997. ISBN 978-0-8117-0334-5.
- Tuttle, Edmund Bostwick. The history of Camp Douglas: including official report of Gen. B.J. Sweet: with anecdotes of the rebel prisoners. J.R. Walsh, Chicago, 1865. OCLC 7833187
- United Confederate Veterans of Chicago, Camp No. 8. Appeal for Monumental Aid and Roster of Confederate Dead, Buried in Oakwoods Cemetery Chicago, Ills. Cincinnati: Cohen & Co. Printers, 1892. OCLC 13144474 Retrieved January 3, 2011.
- Wagner, Margaret E., Gary W. Gallagher, and Paul Finkelman. The Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference. New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, Inc., 2009 edition. ISBN 978-1-4391-4884-6. First Published 2002.
- Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Blue: Lives of the Union Commanders. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1964. ISBN 978-0-8071-0822-2.
- Encyclopedia of Chicago – Camp Douglas
- The Great North-Western Conspiracy in All Its Startling Details.
- [dead link]
- Camp Douglas
- Illinois in the Civil War – Camp Douglas
- A Sketch of the Battle of Franklin, Tenn.; with Reminiscences of Camp Douglas. Austin, Tex.: Eugene von Boeckmann, 1893.
- Photo of the monument to Camp Douglas's Confederate dead
- Camp Douglas Memorial #516