”The dead continue to live by way of the resurrection we give them in telling their stories” -Stories of Real Human Beings Make History Powerful, Photographs Make it Immediate.
A Blog Remembering the Men and Women of the American Civil War, North & South, people, faces, and a unique culture we will never see again. Photos and stories about the people that lived it, including African American Photographs, pre civil war photos and the period in cultural history that began just after the civil war. The historical info, photos and documents in this blog reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of different times. This blog does not endorse the views expressed in some posts, which may contain materials offensive to some readers, you cannot compare the beliefs and ethical values of the people of the 1800's to the standards of today.
Every effort is taken to remember the men and women of the Union and Confederacy equally with dignity and respect.
The events of the war, and the men of the war, are fast fading from the public attention. Its history is growing to be an “Old, Old Story.” Public interest is weakening day by day. The memory of march, and camp, and battle-field, of the long and manly endurance, of the superb and uncomplaining courage, of the mass of sacrifice that redeemed the Nation, is fast dying out. Those who rejoice in the liberty and peace secured by the soldier’s suffering and privation, accept the benefits, but deny or forget the benefactor-1877 National Tribune.
Rock Island Rebels in Illinois Confederate Prison
From the collections of the Kentucky Historical Society Accession Number 2000PH05.p45
The prison was built in mid 1863, and not yet completed in December 1863 when the first prisoners were incarcerated. 468 Confederate prisoners captured in battles at Chattanooga, Tennessee were the first to arrive, although, over 5000 total would swell the population of Rock Island Prison in that month alone.
There were over 12,000 total prisoners imprisoned at Rock Island during the Civil War. Recorded deaths numbered almost 2000.
Temperatures when prisoners began arriving in December 1863 were below 0 and sanitation was deplorable due to the overcrowding. Disease broke out swiftly, including a smallpox epidemic which killed hundreds of prisoners in the first few months of the prison’s existence. Prisoners were buried next to the prison. In the spring of 1864, the bodies of dead prisoners were moved, a hospital built, and sewers installed. These measures improved health conditions tremendously and ended the smallpox epidemic.
In June 1864, the government ordered rations to be cut at Rock Island, in response to the treatment of Union prisoners at Andersonville. Malnutrition and scurvy resulted from these orders contributing to the death toll of Confederate prisoners at Rock Island Prison.