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Editorial Reviews. Review. "Horigan's prose is clear and his arguments compelling." --Civil War Elmira: Death Camp of the North by [Horigan, Michael] .
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Elmira: Death Camp of the North. Mechanicsburg: Stackpole Books, Reviewed by James F. The noted historian E. Long once wrote that "an 'Andersonville complex' seems to exist regarding Civil War prisons.

It is synonymous with all that was reprehensible in wartime prisons. Early in the war, Elmira--a village of about 8, citizens in Chemung County, New York, near the Pennsylvania line--was a vital cog in the Federal war effort, first as a state military depot and then as a Federal "draft rendezvous" one of three in the state of New York.

Both designations meant roughly the same thing: the village was a place where regiments formed up and began their training before being sent off to the war. As a result, by June, , six camps of barracks had been constructed around the town. As early as the late spring of , the Federal Commissary General for Prisoners, the parsimonious Lt. William Hoffman, began to wonder if the Elmira barracks complex could, in part, be put to use as a camp for Confederate prisoners.

With the collapse of the prisoner of war cartel in , this became a more urgent need with the opening of the spring campaign in ; so in May of that year Hoffman decided to convert one barracks complex at Elmira into a prison camp. As was the case with almost all Civil War prisons, the conditions at Elmira left a lot to be desired.

Despite the protests of post commander Lt. Seth Eastman, that only 4, men could be quartered in Barracks No. Patrick's Day of the Chemung River flooded, filling their tents and barracks with anywhere between six inches to two feet of water. Disease, overcrowding, and natural disaster took its toll.

Of the 12, prisoners assigned to the camp 2, died. Though some reports indicate prisoners received adequate rations, it is generally believed they did not. The sexton for Woodlawn Cemetery, John W.

Elmira: Death Camp of the North by Michael Horigan

Jones, a former slave who arrived in Elmira via the Underground Railroad, buried each Confederate soldier that died in the Elmira Prison Camp. Of the 2, prisoners who Jones buried, only seven are listed as unknown. The federal government declared the burial site a national cemetery on December 7, When the war ended, the prisoners received railway passes and money to get home.

If you read Horigan you will have little doubt that Stanton was behind the Southern loss of life. As pointed out in the post, there was a huge difference between supplying food to Middle-of-nowhere, Georgia, versus a centrally located railroad depot town. It was not cycled with fresh water and after a few months to drink from it was to die. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Email Address. Sign me up!

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Emerging Civil War. Skip to content. Davis Steve Davis Robert M. White Lee White Eric J.


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Davis, and Kristopher D. White, and Daniel T. Wittenberg and Daniel T.

Elmira, NY Civil War Prison Camp - Interview of John Trice - Woodlawn National Cemetery - 5-27-19

Dunkerly, Donald C. Pfanz, and David R. Share this: Twitter Facebook. Like this: Like Loading Bookmark the permalink.

Alexander says:. October 14, at PM.

Elmira: Death Camp of the North

October 15, at AM. Derek Foster says:. December 27, at PM. Chris Mackowski says:. October 15, at PM. Scott J. October 29, at PM. Marie says:. May 30, at AM. April 9, at PM. Stephen J. Fritz says:. September 27, at PM. Chrystal Hodgkiss says:. December 14, at PM. John Jones I think… Loading October 6, at PM.

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The role of the physician: Eugene Sanger and a standard of care at the Elmira prison camp.

Steve Benson says:. July 24, at PM. August 18, at PM. Brenda O'Brien says:.