Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hellmira Prison Camp

Over this past weekend at home, I had the chance to visit one of New York State's greater Civil War sites, Elmira Prison Camp and Woodlawn National Cemetery, the final resting place of the 2,973 Confederate soldiers who perished at "Hellmira" from July 1864-July 1865.  The 40 acre prison camp is infamous for having the highest death rate per capita of any Civil War prison camp: 2,963 out of 12,123 prisoners, or roughly 24 percent.

Confederate Prisoners in line for roll call at Elmira Prison Camp.
Courtesy of Binghamton University

 Here are a few pictures that I took during the weekend.
Map Legend for the following map of Elmira Prison Camp (below)

Map of Elmira Prison Camp

The original flagpole of Camp Chemung
Inscription of the monument in front of the flag pole

Confederate Monument at Woodlawn National Cemetery

Graves of Union Soldiers surrounding those of the Confederate soldiers to forever keep the Confederate prisoners guarded

Monument to the Union and Confederate soldiers who perished in a railroad accident near Shohola, Pennsylvania. The unidentified remains from the accident were interred in the cemetery
The sexton of Woodlawn Cemetery during the time of Camp Chemung's use as a prison camp was a freed slave named John W. Jones.  It is said that Jones helped nearly 800 slaves escape bondage via the Underground Railroad.  Jones is also responsible for meticulously recording the name, rank, regiment, and date of death of every Confederate soldier that perished in the camp and for interring their remains in Woodlawn Cemetery.  He is the reason that there are so few unknown Confederate soldiers buried in Woodlawn National Cemetery.

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