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Civil War Fact: The Prison Camps Were Total Hell

September 2, 2018 Topic: History Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: Civil WarHistoryWarPrison CampsDeath

Civil War Fact: The Prison Camps Were Total Hell

New archaeological digs conducted across the country might be able to offer new insight into prison life during the American Civil War.

According to a recent CNN article, 2014 marks the 150 anniversary of “the peak year of suffering” in American Civil War prisons. Andersonville, officially known as Camp Sumter, held more prisoners at any given time than any other Confederate military prison; according to the Civil War Trust, more than 45,000 Union soldiers were confined there, and 13,000 died from disease, poor sanitation, malnutrition, overcrowding, or exposure.

However, new archaeological digs at Camp Asylum in South America, Johnson’s Island in Ohio and Camp Douglas in Chicago might be able to offer new insight into prison life during the Civil War, according to the CNN article.

Camp Lawton in Georgia is of particular interest to historians because many artifacts were so well preserved.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regional archaeologist Rick Kanaski told CNN that “when you are looking at Lawton, we have an opportunity to delve into the daily details, daily life, from both the prisoner and Confederate guards’ perspectives.”

You can view paintings, artifacts and maps that have turned up on the CNN website.

This first appeared in Warfare History Network here